Summary: This sermon shows the responisbilities of God and the church members to help a churh grow.

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I. Introduction

A. Background

1. Peter preached the sermon at Pentecost.

2. There were a number of people that received Christ.

B. Acts 2:41-47 – What is a church?

1. Many times we think of the church as the building.

i. The Church of Christ has a sign that states “Church of Christ – Meets Here.”

2. The church is the people. People of a birth and a baptism.

i. Birth – “Being born of the spirit of God” – Salvation

ii. Baptism – “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” – Also occurs during salvation

iii. We are also baptized into the local church.

iv. We may be baptized members of this church but you must be a born and baptized member of Christ’s church.

C. How does the church grow?

II. Our Lord is engaged in building his church. (Verse 47) “Lord added”

A. When we realize that Jesus is the one building the church, then we are unable to feel neither pride nor defeat. It is not our doing.

B. Many times we feel that it is our responsibility to build the Lord’s church.

1. That responsibility is left to Christ alone.

2. The Lord builds his church through different ministries. i.e. Sunday School, VBS, Youth Ministry

3. Matthew 16 – Christ says, “On this rock, I will build my church.”

III. Growth will be either helped or hindered by the church membership.

A. How can we as church members hinder growth?

1. Most non-church goers say that the reason that they don’t go to church is because the church is filled with hypocrites.

2. When we live like the world, the world wonders why there is a need for the Lord.

3. We hinder church growth by not being a living witness for Jesus.

B. How can we as members help church growth?

1. Verse 47 – “And the Lord added to them”

i. What did this group do that the Lord added to them?

ii. We find this in verses 41-47.

2. First, they were openly surrendered. (verse 41 – baptized)

i. “Those who had received the word were baptized”

ii. They made a public profession of faith.

iii. Jesus commands that those who receive him be baptized. He himself was baptized.

iv. Baptism doesn’t save, but it is an outward expression of an inward decision. i.e. Wedding band

v. We cannot grow spiritually to our fullest potential unless we are baptized.

a. If we are not baptized we are directly disobeying God.

b. This group followed God and was openly surrendered.

3. Second, they were continually devoted. (verse 42)

i. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer.”

ii. In order for us to help Christ build his church, we must be devoted to sound teaching, fellowship, and prayer.

iii. We are to be grounded in the Bible. We need to be reading the Bible. I believe that when God speaks, 90% of the time it is through his word.

iv. We need to be devoted to fellowship. Hebrew 10:25 says not to forsake the assembling of the saints as some are in the habit of doing.

v. We are to be diligent to pray for our community, for our lost friends and family, and our fellow members. James 5:16 says to pray for one another for a prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

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