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Summary: In spite of the persecution and opposition it endured, the early church was a powerful church. They experienced and operated in the power of the Holy Spirit daily. The Lord desires no less for His church today.

A Powerful Church

Scripture Reading: Acts 4:5-35

Scripture Text: Ephes. 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Ephes. 3:20 [Living] Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of--infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.

Introduction:

In spite of the persecution and opposition it endured, the early church was a powerful church. They experienced and operated in the power of the Holy Spirit daily. The Lord desires no less for His church today. He wants us to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit and accomplish the great and wonderful work He has ordained for us. Let us take a look at the early church and see what made it such a powerful entity.

The early church was a powerful church because............

I. They Were A Praying Church.

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

A. They were assembled in the same place for the purpose of prayer and worship.

Hebrews 10:25 [Living] Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.

1. If we want the power of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives and our church, we must be willing to gather together and pray together for a fresh infilling of His Spirit and power.

Matthew Henry: Christ’s followers do best in company, provided it is their own company.

B. They were assembled together; meaning they were of one mind and one purpose in their praying.

Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

Illustration: Dr. Ralph Byron is an outstanding Christian surgeon. Early in his medical profession he sought for a way to make life count. Professionally and personally, he wanted to be a man of God. One day in his search for godliness, he came across Ezekiel 22:30

And I searched for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

Dr. Byron pondered this kind of question: "Would God find me standing in the gap?" Here he was a young surgeon with the press of responsibility all around him, and he answered the question honestly, "No, not right now." He concluded that in order for him to be a man of God, he must continually place a priority on prayer. At first, it was very difficult, because his duties were numerous. He decided that in order for him to have time with God, he would personally have to get up very early. He set aside the time of 5:30 a.m., which he called "an unearthly hour." But he did it. It was the best time, in light of his busy schedule. The remarkable thing he discovered was that within just two weeks, he began to have a quality of

life he had never known before. He saw two men trust Christ. He discovered that a major conflict in their church had been resolved -- dissolved is a better word -- as he committed it faithfully to God in prayer. And so he concluded, "It was apparent to me that I must give prayer top priority, even if it means getting less than six hours of sleep every night."

II. They Were Full of The Holy Spirit.

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

A. The power of the Holy Spirit comes with the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

B. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to do the work of the Lord.

Mark 16:15-20 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; [18] They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. [19] So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. [20] And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

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