Sermons

Summary: The believers were committed to 1. Grace 2. Personal Growth 3. Gathering, 4. Giving, and 5. Growing the Church

Fellowship - Commitment

Acts 2:42-47

Introduction

The past few Sundays we have been exploring fellowship in the New Testament. Fellowship is union with God through Jesus Christ. We have access to God Almighty and His desire is to love us as a perfect Father.

Fellowship is Christ centered. No one goes to the Father except through Him. There is no other way. Our fellowship in the New Testament church, the body of Christ, is centered, focused, and created through Christ.

Last week we looked at the "one another’s" of scripture. These are the attitudes that we are to live and exhibit toward those around us. We are to love, encourage, forgive, and serve one another. Why, because Jesus Christ’s lived His life with these goals and aims. If we belong to Him we too will live like Him.

Today we are going to look at the activities of fellowship, togetherness that we are to commit to as believers. These are the works we do because we belong to Jesus Christ and His local church. What did the New Testament believers commit to doing when they came to that saving relationship in Christ? What do we commit to as a church?

1. Committed to Grace - v. 42

42 - They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship

Who is the "they" in verse 42? Those who were baptized, the 3,000, accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ. Salvation was solely based on their relationship with Him. They were saved by grace. The work of salvation was finished on the cross and was free to all who would accept Jesus by faith.

They accepted the gospel and followed in obedience to baptism. It is a simple act and yet clearly reveals the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As a church, we are committed to salvation by grace through faith in Christ. We have no part in our salvation. It is a gift of God. We can not earn it or work for salvation. Salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone.

2. Committed to Personal Growth - v. 42

42 - They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship

The result of that salvation is good works. Once we are saved by Him we begin to do His will His way. One thing we do is commit to personal growth.

They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching. There was no New Testament yet. The believers gathered to learn more about Jesus Christ and the new life he brings. They wanted to know everything there was to know about their faith.

During my days in New England, I heard of a teacher who quizzed a group of college-bound high school juniors and seniors on the Bible. The quiz preceded a Bible-as-literature course he planned to teach at the Newton (Massachusetts) High School, generally considered one of the best public schools in the nation. Among the most astounding findings he got from the students were:

Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers.

Jezebel was Ahab’s donkey.

The four horsemen appeared on the Acropolis.

The New Testament Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luther, and John.

Eve was created from an apple.

Jesus was baptized by Moses.

Seriously! The answer that took the cake was given by a fellow who was in the top 5 percent of the graduating class, academically.

The question: What was Golgotha?

The answer: Golgotha was the name of the giant who slew the apostle David.

If it were not so pathetic, it would be hilarious. Isn’t it amazing how pitifully illiterate John Q. Public is of the written Word of God? In a land filled with churches and chapels, temples and tabernacles, there is only an insignificant handful of fairly well-informed students of the Book of books. We have Scriptures in hardback, paperback, cloth, and leather . . . versions and paraphrases too numerous to count, red-letter editions along with various sizes of print on the page . . . Bibles as big as a library dictionary and as small as one frame of microfilm . . . yet the years roll by as one generation after another passes on its biblical illiteracy.

(Excerpted from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope, Copyright © 1985, 1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc.)

We commit ourselves to personal growth by committing ourselves to the Apostles’ teaching here at WGBC. Our beliefs are not founded on the socials ethics of the day or passing fads of religions. We will not change to be popular with the youth, adults, or elders. God’s word, like God, is the same yesterday, today and always.

3. Committed to Gathering v. 42, 46

What is truly amazing about all of this is they learned daily. In order to learn they needed to meet with someone who could teach it to them orally, by mouth. What did they do? They committed to gathering daily.

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