Summary: Like the nursery rhyme; Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? This passage gives us the essentials for growing individually and corporately.
How do we Grow?
There is a very popular children’s nursery rhyme, Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Today we might say Christian, Christian quite contrary, how does the Church grow?
The Early Church had great growth because of several convictions, today I will deal with a few of them.
1. They became convicted that Jesus Christ is LORD v36
a. Peter’s Proclamation revealed the truth they were really looking for.
i. This Jesus whom you crucified is the Messiah.
ii. The response is what we always look for
1. They were cut to the heart
2. Every message, study, meditation hopes for this type of response.
2. What should we do?
a. We always should look for a response for what we do or say
b. We want people to ask questions, to seek answers.
c. Be ready to give an answer for the faith (1 Peter 3:15-16)
3. We have been Baptized, then what?
a. Baptism is necessary for salvation, but it is not an end, but a beginning.
b. They followed up.
i. They devoted themselves (dedicated, faithful, constant, loyal, committed)
1. There was a change in lifestyle and priorities.
2. Their change lead them to be caring, loving, kind, attentive, supportive. These are adjectives of the word devoted.
a. Apostles Teaching (oral tradition)
b. The Fellowship (they gathered and were committed to each other)
i. The Breaking of Bread (Lord’s Supper) Did they take each time they gathered?
ii. When did it become traditional to only Sunday.
iii. Some have changed it to once a year, once a month.
c. Whenever we do, we do it in Remembrance of the Lord and what He has done for us, yet that is not the only time we remember
i. An essential part of a Christian’s life is communication with the Father.
Of these essentials, I wish to focus today on the last four. (v42-47)
1. Apostle’s teaching: they did not have the Bible as we have today. They needed to hear the stories over and over again this is called Oral tradition.
a. They were eyewitnesses to the TRUTH
b. They shared what they knew.
c. They shared what they saw.
d. They shared the TRUTH about the Resurrection.
2. Lord’s Supper
a. We do not know the frequency in which they originally shared the Lord’s Supper.
b. Whenever they did, they did so in Remembrance of HIM.
a. This is a biggie.
b. They gathered together
i. At the Temple there were times they gathered for prayer
ii. Sharing and caring for each other.
iii. Requires listening, gathering, being the adjectives of be devoted.
iv. Look at all that followed these essentials
1. Shared to fill needs
2. Shared a common bond
3. They had a worship service daily
a. An essential to the growth of the Christian both individually and corporately.
b. Prayer circles are encouraging.
c. Winn Dixie experience
d. Meet you at the Flag pole.
These essentials are still necessary today, the results could be the same.
And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Today can be the same, we do our part, the Lord does the adding.