Summary: How the church should conduct itself 2
Being the Church
The church Recognizes God’s Sovereignty – Acts 4:23-31
The church Receives God’s Unity – Acts 4:32-37
The church Reflects God’s Integrity – Acts 5:1-11
The church Realizes God’s Blessings – Acts 5:12-16
The church Relies on God’s Direction – Acts 5:17-32
The church Rejoices in Suffering for God’s Name – Acts 5:33-42
As we have been studying the book of Acts, we have seen that being the church that God desires, that honors Him, is
not always the easiest thing to do
nor is it always the most pleasurable in regard to the immediate circumstances, but it is always the best, both
for the church and
individually for our eternal joy
Well if it isn’t easy and pleasurable, how can it be best?
There are many things that aren’t easy or pleasurable in the moment that are the best for us.
Eat your vegetables!
Take your medicine!
Exercise your muscles!
These things are not always the most pleasurable in the moment, but they are best for our long term health.
We have seen the church in Acts experience both blessing and hardship.
They have faced both good circumstances and difficult circumstances
But God has used them both to grow the church and further His kingdom.
We find the same thing true in the Bible and how God works in our life today.
We will face persecutions.
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
We will face times of discipline when we are not following what God would have us do and that is not pleasurable, but it is beneficial.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
We are going to face difficulties and hardships and discipline, but as we persevere through them and follow the Lord, we will experience joy in both good circumstances and bad, and the blessings of walking secure in the Lord.
We begin the topic last week about being the church. What can a church expect from God and
do to honor God?
We will be continuing on in that message. We will be starting in Acts 5:12 (p.774)
We have been going through Acts looking at it from an aerial view that is giving us more principals to live by as a church than it is exact ways we are to do things.
We saw last week that to be a church that honors God
The church needs to Recognize God’s Sovereignty
Just like the early church did. Know that He is in control and that we can trust Him as long as we rely on Him to strengthen us so that we follow Him.
The church can then expect to Receive God’s Unity
We can be unified as each of us strives to follow the Lord and trust Him with our own lives.
The church also needs to Reflect God’s Integrity
There will be times that we must stand against sin in the church and it will be difficult but will be beneficial in the long run for the church and the individual as they turn and repent.
So continuing on in Acts 5:12, we read
12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.
Here we see the church is seeing the bigger picture of things going on and that
The Church Realizes God’s Blessings
The Apostles were performing miracles
People were being healed
The believers in Christ were highly regarded
The Lord was adding more and more people to the church daily.
It is easy to see the blessings going on from our perspective.
But if you were in their situation, you might be saying to yourself,
Gee, things are going pretty bad.
Our leaders are getting thrown in jail and threatened
Two of our people were just struck dead in a severe act of church discipline by the Lord. (Acts 5:1-11)
People are a little apprehensive about the church because of that.
Things aren’t looking too good.