Summary: If we trace God’s hand back to the book of Genesis and follow it through the OT, we find that God is the creator of two institutions. (1) The family and (2) the church.
“Balancing the Church”
If we trace God’s hand back to the book of Genesis and follow it through the OT, we find that God is the creator of two institutions. (1) The family and (2) the church. And we quickly realize that the two are very similar. They are similar in the way they are designed and similar in what God expects from them. Listen to these words…. I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God, I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by his blood. Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, I’m a part of the family, the family of God.
Have you heard that before? I hope so because we sang it about ten minutes ago. Bill Gaither wrote it 50 years ago. And God began forming his forever family thousands of years ago. We don’t know exactly how long ago … The Bible just says it happened in the beginning. We don’ know how long he thought about it before he started; but we CAN trace his hand all the way back to these two institutions that he put into place.
And that is what the scripture seems to tell us that he had in mind. The church is a family and families are better when they stay together. Community matters. And this is why. You can mark it down that anything that matters to God, Satan wants to destroy. So he attacks the church and he attacks the family. So we must remember this and keep in mind a couple of things that really matter…..
• Families are better when they work together
• Churches are better when they work together
Solomon said that one may be overpowered; two can defend themselves. All of us need to know that someone has our back. Someone is watching out for us. Because here’s the deal---you can try; in fact you can work really hard at it but you cannot live life on your own. Every one of us have 3 basic needs in this area…..here they are…..
1. We all have a need for other people to walk with us. Life gets dangerous at times. It gets complicated. The path is not always clear. Often in fact usually there are traps set i[for us in many places and traps are always hidden. That is what makes them a trap. So we don’t always see them in time but if we have someone walking with us they can help us navigate the really dangerous spots.
2. We all have a need for other people to work with us. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 4:10 … two are better than 1 … if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. We need people to work with us, don’t we? I don’t mean that in a literal sense as in a workplace although that helps. I mean it as you do when you say---hey man, work with me on this!!! I need some support. Work with me!
3. We all need other people to watch out for us. Satan can throw a lot at us and when you are going through a time of spiritual warfare, it’s nice to have someone helping us fight the battle. Paul said in Phil. 2:3-4, “do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
So this morning we come to the book of Acts, chapter 2 and the Bible says that now God’s people are being filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter stands up to preach and when he finishes, 3000 people have given their lives to Jesus. And now the family of God begins to prosper and grow. They grow spiritually; they grow in numbers; they grow in relationships. The growth is balanced. You see if the church only grew in numbers and failed to grow spiritually or failed to grow closer to one another, then the church would die. Write this down.
Church growth is much more than just numerical growth.
It’s not just about the numbers.
It is about balance.
I have read this passage many times through the years---have preached on it many times – it just never seems to grow old to me. There is just something exciting about seeing a great number of people coming to know the Lord--- at one time. Let me remind you that in acts 1:15 we are told that there were 120 people in the church. Then in acts 2 there are suddenly 3000. Then in acts 4 the number grows to over 5000. And then we are reminded in acts 2 that every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. One more thing—at this time women were not included in the count. Or children. So the actual number was even greater.