Summary: In this message we will see that the church Jesus intends is made up of people who are devoted to the apostles teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and to prayer.
NOW - I want to start off our conversation this morning with what is arguably one of the most powerful passages in the entire Bible about Jesus… who He is and what He accomplished.
It is found in Colossians chapter one.
SO… MGCC R U ready to hear some God-breathed words?
AND HEY... One more thing before I read these words.
WHAT IF – they really are true?
AND – what if you and I actually believed them?
(not just in our heads but with our hearts)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation…this is the Gospel…– Colossians 1:15-23
This is… the what?
This is… The Gospel! (and what a Gospel, what good news it is!)
OKAY MAPLE GROVE - let’s do this, 'Becoming The Church He Intended'…
AND LET ME – be clear… when it comes to the church that we are striving to become at 3210 Proffit road… what I want, what you want, what our culture demands is not and will not be what sets our course…
INSTEAD – it will be what He intends.
This morning we will unpack the final 6 verses of Acts chapter 2…
Six verses that tell us what those 3000 believers who…
• Saw the massive flames leaping down from the sky
• Heard the sound of a loud rushing wind
• Listened intently as Peter preached the Good news about Jesus (who He is and what He had accomplished)
• Were convicted of their sin and cried out to Peter what should we do
• Accepted Peter’s message about Jesus and repented and were baptized FOR the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of the holy spirit…
YES – these final 6 verses tell us what these new believers did, what it was that they were committed to and the incredible results that followed.
UNDERSTAND - the first church was built on the things that pleased God most. AND IT - was their focus on these things that actually made them attractive. You know, I can’t read through the book of Acts without thinking, That’s a community of people I want to be part of.
I MEAN - what they were doing was unique. It was compelling in a way that nothing else in the world could rival.
IN FACT – it was something the world had never seen before.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. – Acts 2:42-47
Francis Chan (Letters To The Church)
Absent from this account is any attempt on the part of the early Christians to conjure up some sort of powerful experience. They weren’t strategizing ways to get people interested.
After Jesus left them to return to His Father, they were gathering together to ask God to direct them and work through them: “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1: 14). It was in one of these gatherings that the Spirit of God descended on them and the entire Church was launched as they “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (2: 42).
No modern church-growth movement would take this approach seriously. Where’s the excitement?
Sure, these elements are the basic building blocks, but do you really think you can accomplish anything with just the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer?