Summary: Believers get really excited about the passages in Acts where a great number of people came to Christ and the church grew in miraculous leaps and bounds, however, what many beleivers miss in these passages are the previous verses that reveal what the chur
Date Written: October 13, 2010
Date Preached: October 17, 2010
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Reaching Our Community
Sermon Title: Devotion – The Seed of Growth!
Sermon Text: Acts 2:44-47 [ESV]
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
In reading this passage, most people get really excited about what happens in v.47 where the Bible tells us, “…and the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved…” and people SHOULD be excited about that verse! Growth in the church is an exciting event in a church fellowship.
However, what most believers DO NOT see is the previous 5 verses that reveal HOW the growth of the church in v.47 was achieved! There are some things here that we overlook and read right past because we want to get to the exciting part!
What I saying is these 5 verses reveal a template for how a church can grow… how the Lord intends the church to grow! For a church see the harvest of souls that are revealed in v.47… the church must be willing to take the steps necessary that are laid out in the preceding 5 verses!
And growth is really what we want, right? Isn’t the focus for Oak Park Baptist church all about growing our church in the Lord? The goal is to see the Kingdom of God grow and souls come to Jesus and lives be changed by the power Jesus!
This morning as we celebrated the Lord’s Supper we remembered what Jesus did to provide that salvation for us! We thanked God for Christ on the Cross of Calvary… we thanked God for the sacrifice He made on OUR behalf!
Ask yourself, what is the purpose of church? I would say that for many believers, the purpose of church is like a ‘spiritual filling station’… a place where they can come…get a quick ‘fill up’ in worship and grab a ‘snack’ of spiritual food to get them by… however, this is far from the picture of the 1st century church!
Far too many believers see church as a place to minister to them... and they don’t see it as where God wants them to serve Him. They look for the best children’s ministry or youth ministry or small group ministry… but not where God wants them to serve!
Wanting a good ministry for you and your family is NOT a bad thing…BUT, that has NEVER been God’s focus for the church! The church was created to make disciples…not coddle believers! We were saved to become fishers of men… NOT keepers of the aquarium!
When we look at the passage from Acts 2 this morning we can see a template being laid by the 1st church… a template for growth. If I had to compare…I would compare this church growth template to the process of growing a crop.
If the soil is properly prepared and a good seed is planted… with some water and nurture the plant will begin to grow… you won’t have to convince it to grow… it just grows… because a healthy plant grows, that is just what it does!
However, for a plant to BE healthy there are some actions that must be done to ensure its good health. What would you call a farmer who expected his crop to just appear in the field? Delusional? Lazy?
To ensure a crop, the farmer must take action… He must GO OUT into the field, prepare the field, plow the field and then plant the seed. After the seed is planted, the farmers work is to care for the coming crop by watering it and keeping the weeds out of it…growth will happen, but it takes time! Nothing grows overnight!
Now apply that analogy to the church. No church can just expect church growth… it doesn’t happen like that! There are actions that need to be taken and when we look at this passage we can see God’s pattern for growth in the church… when the church stays true to God’s pattern, God will bless… when they stray, God’s blessings are removed! So a fact we can hang our hat on is… A “healthy church” will grow!