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Summary: The seed for this sermon came from one I copied and read from SermonCentral but I did not copy the contributors name and do not know who to give the credit

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HALLMARKS OF A GROWING CHURCH

ACTS 2:41-47

Introduction: If we desire church growth, it would be good for us to look at the pattern set by the early church in Jerusalem following the Day of Pentecost. The church experienced phenomenal growth and had the power of God flowing through virtually everything they did on a daily basis.

I. THE WERE STEADFAST

STEADFAST - unwavering

1. Steadfastly adhere to truth - apostle’s doctrine

The Apostle’s doctrine—The Word of God

II Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

We are living in the day Paul described in

II Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"

Churches across our country have sought various ways to address growth in the midst of a changing culture. Unfortunately many have compromised and have failed to maintain a strong stand on doctrinal truth. Many have gone so far as to condone activities of the culture which clearly violated the precepts of Scripture.

A. W. Tozer wrote “Great saints have always been dogmatic.” We need a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God.

Don’t buy into this modern day philosophy that we need to lay our doctrinal differences aside and just get alone.

Doctrine is what defines us, it matters

II John 1:9-11 "Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. [10] If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: [11] for he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

2. Steadfastly share in the work - Fellowship

Fellowship - a sharing in common, partnership

Fellowship—fellows in a ship / We are in the same boat.

II Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?"

I Corinthians 1:9 "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."

For the early Christians, "fellowship" was no about the church-sponsored bowling parties. It was not tea, cookies, and sophisticated small talk in Fellowship Hall after the sermon.

The Greek word ‘koinonia’ (koy-nohn-ee’-ah) here translated fellowship means - joint participation, it implies an unconditional sharing of their lives with the other members of Christ’s body.

...working together for success.

This is the same word used in Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth

2Co 8:1-4 “1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to [their] power, I bear record, yea, and beyond [their] power [they were] willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.”

Christianity is not a solo sport.

Ephesians 4:11-13 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; [12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [13] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:"

Philippians 1:3-5 "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, [4] Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, [5] For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;"

When a member who is active in a church moves or dies, it creates a vacancy that is many times very difficult to fill.

We have some that are so involved it is hard to image our ministry with out them.

So, we understand that true fellowship means each person should be using their talents, their resources, and their time to make the their local church successful.

3. Steadfastly remember the cross - breaking of bread

This is speaking of = Communion = Lord’s Supper, it speaks of their worship.

Psalms 77:11 "I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old."

Ills A powerful ruler built a great palace. Among the rooms was one that was always locked. He called it the Chamber of Memories. Every day he visited that room, but no one else was permitted inside. Finally one day the servants got a peep inside the locked room. There was no silver, no gold, no precious jewels. All they saw was a humble shepherd’s robe; the one the king had worn before he came to the throne. The Lord’s Supper reminds us of what we were before Christ found us and how far we have come.

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