Summary: Forth sermon in a five part series on Holy Spirit assisted Evangelism.
Holy Spirit Guided Evangelism Part 4
Last Session we looked at:
Christ promised the disciples the Holy Spirit. (John 14:15-21)
Pentecost - The Holy Spirit as Jesus promised: (Acts 2:1-4)
4 things happened to them.
They were anointed: They were inspired: They become effective witnesses: They became prophetic:
We discovered in Acts 2:5-12 The disciples were able to reach across cultural boundaries to reach people for Christ by speaking in their own native tongues.
Acts 10 - The way the Holy Spirit brought together Cornelius and Peter.
Paul, after his conversion, made 3 missionary journeys. Writes the majority of the Epistles which are full of stories of Paul being filled with the Spirit and doing miraculous things.
Spiritual laws affect us today (no matter what the culture) by:
1. Everyone needs to measure up to some kind of law.
2. We all have an innate need to understand our origins.
3. Need to overcome temptation.
4. We all have a need for community.
Acts 2:40-47 was the birth of the church
Importance of community… We all have a need for affection, a need to belong, to be affirmed, to be valued by family and friends. We have a need for commitment to and for others, among those who are important in our lives, and this goes from cradle to grave. Community is where we come in to physical contact with those of like mind and spirit. Our hands were created for healing and nurturing. That’s what community is about. That’s what the church is about.
A fresh look at church growth.
Just what is it that growing churches are doing that make them grow? They do several things, and they do them well. We are going to look at seven things that are necessary for church growth, and these things must be done well if the church is going to grow. I thought I’d be able to finish up the Holy Spirit Guided Evangelism series today, but there’s too much to cover.
We need to focus on our weaknesses and seek perfection for our strengths. We’ll start with worship!
If the worship service is just mediocre, and people aren’t aware of the presence of God, then Billy Graham could be preaching and it wouldn’t keep the people here.
Story of Nehemiah - Led the third return to Jerusalem after captivity - rebuilt the walls around the city.
Nehemiah had these moral characteristics:
Loved God - Had a deep desire to serve him - He was a man of prayer - and he was devoted to God’s word. He was deeply spiritual and open to God’s call on his life. He moved out of his comfort zone (which was high in the politics of the Persian government) in order to do “sacrificial work” for God.
1st Worship - READ NEHEMIAH 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-12
READ NEHEMIAH 9:1-3, 5b-6
How should we worship
READ PSALM 100
Comment about the parts of our service:
We don’t want to be like this:
READ ISAIAH 29:13
Robert Tuttle says, “if we don’t understand what our worship service should be like, get our worship committee on it’s knees and beg God to give someone the gift.”
B. Lively Theology
Everything about our theology should point to discipline. The Bible shows it taking on the meaning of being “goal oriented.” And God’s discipline is the role model for our own discipline. His discipline for us is an act of love to help us.
READ HEBREWS 12:1-13
Through our trials and tribulations, even though not all are from God, but of our own doing, God is able to make those weaknesses our strengths.
When Paul was in prison he was writing to Timothy to encourage him to keep his faith. He said:
READ 2 TIMOTHY 1:3-10
We are to also help keep our brothers and sisters true to God and his ways.
READ MATTHEW 18:15-17
READ 2 CORINTHIANS 2:5-11
So remember, when you hear of discipline…don’t think of it as some kind of punishment. Discipline in the Bible is “goal oriented”, a way of seeking to develop a Godly person who will walk in God’s ways. We tend to think of discipline as keeping ourselves and others in line, but at the heart of discipline is discipling, helping people become followers of Christ. The emphasis is on loving guidance and teaching.
1. Power of a praying church:
READ ACTS 12:1-17
Provided safety for Peter
READ ACTS 16:16-36
Brought a whole family to salvation and baptism.
2. We need to pray for our own evangelistic efforts.
3. We need to pray for the community we wish to evangelize.
4. We need to pray against the strongholds that are preventing church growth.
When you have strongholds in the church that don’t want growth it’s usually because it requires change. To some change might as well be a four letter word.