Summary: Acts chapter 9 provides a snap-shot of a healthy and thriving church that was flowing with the Holy Spirit. This is an example to the church today.
Many churches through the centuries have looked to the New Testament church in the Acts as a model of what Christ is wanting in his body
In Acts 9 we see an example of a healthy and thriving church
Acts 9:31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
5 Evidences of a Healthy Church
There is a peace that God has created for His people
It is beyond human comprehension
It is a heavenly resource
Phil 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
God’s peace will surpass our own natural reasoning, our own experience, our own logic
God’s peace will cause you to stay the course no matter what
This peace is not produced by accomplishment, it comes from relationship, It is a gift, a benefit
Ps 29:11 The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.
The Lord is speaking peace to His church (imparting)
Ps 85:8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak, For He will speak peace To His people and to His saints; But let them not turn back to folly.
You can tell if a congregation is flowing in the spirit or in the flesh by the peace in that house
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
You can tell if a congregation is in faith by the peace in that house
Isa 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
We should experience is every facet of our lives
2 Thess 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.
Edification means to promote growth within someone by teaching, encouragement and deeds
Produced by love and sound doctrine
It is the mark of an unselfish church
Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
This should be our pursuit in regards to how we treat our brothers and sisters in the church
Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."
Our words and actions should impart grace (God’s love) to others
1 Timothy 1:4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
Edification is not manipulative or self-serving
1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
There are things we can do in the church, that are religious, that are technically scriptural but are not helpful – and do not edify
3. Walking In Fear of The Lord
It is a reverence, a state of awe, an understanding, a respect for our God and His commandments
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
This is where revelation begins
Out of a reverential fear of our God – spiritual growth begins
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
The Fear of the Lord causes us to do His commandments
It is a "good understanding", a higher revelation
The fear of the Lord brings a purity to the church
Psalms 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.
You will see life in a church that has the Fear of the Lord
If you do not possess the fear of the Lord, you are an easy target for the devil
The fear of the Lord should be taught from the elders
Psalms 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
It will cause the church to want to avoid even the appearances of evil
Job 28:28 And to man He said, ’Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’ "