Sermons

Summary: The candle and the fire of faith must never go out!

Keep the Candle Burning

Acts 2.42-47

August 3, 1997

Morning Service

Introduction

I. The Old Stage Coach House: Near Centerburg, Candles in every window, the purpose of remebrance, purpose of the candle, Kept the candle burning

II. The History of Laurel Cliff: Centinial Sunday, Light in the window, ways to keep the candle burning, been here and will be here

III. The Purpose of the church: Keep the candle burning, welcome the stranger, the weary, the broken hearted, We have something special that they need

IV. Live versus Dead: Read the Poem, service in a dead church

Read Text: Acts 2.42-47

Body

I. Spiritual Bricks - Actions of the Church

A. Built on Salvation: The early Church was saved, people were genuine in faith, genuine in commitment, genuine in cause and community

B. Built on Scripture: Apostle’s teaching - built on Jesus’ teaching, apostle’s teaching is now NT, focused on the Word and instruction,

C. Built on Fellowship: fellowship holds church together, they held one another up, Koinonia - Partnership, partners with Jesus, all the believers participated in the church

D. Built on Sacrament: Communion - central part, provides common ground, builds unity of the church, constant self examination - remembrance of the cross, symbolic participation in the death of Christ

E. Built on Prayer: Promise of provision, both personal and corporate, pray at all times, spiritual duty

II. Spiritual Mortar - Actions of the People

A. Mortar of Inspiration: sense of the divine presence, all people felt this awe, genuine spiritual power, both personal and corporate

B. Mortar of Miracles: Apostles were doing miracles, done to point to the truth, elicit spiritual response, Peter’s work in chapter 9 of Acts, confirmation of the Apostles,

C. Mortar of Sharing: Believers shared their lives and their gifts, sold their property and possesions - purely voluntary, sharing all together - not a commune

D. Mortar of Joy: Sincere in heart - Simplicity of faith and life, no selfish motives existed, praising of God - produced joy, Joy comes from giving glory to God

III. Spiritual Drawing - Impressions of Others

A. Drawing by Attraction: Allowed others to see and witness transformation, they loved one another, simple unity in faith and community, people were genuine and this spread the faith

B. Drawing by Growth: They were active in evangelism, they had new converts on a daily basis, people were impressed through the daily conduct of the church, the existence of the church was their most powerful witness, testimony to the truth, evangelized by the way they lived

Application

I. Spiritual Bricks - Actions of the Church

A. Built on Salvation: We need to be a saved church, we must be genuine in faith - in all areas of life, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, genuine in cause and community

B. Built on Scripture: founded in scripture - individuals and corporate, instruct the Bible not theory about the Bible, focus on the Word - it brings life to the people

C. Built on Fellowship: We must be partners with Christ, push Jesus’ agenda not ours, active participation in church, spiritual formation, hold one another up not tear one another down, Modern day replacement - bars

D. Built on Sacrament: We must celebrate the sacrament, it brings life, we participate in the death of Christ, Celebration of Jesus’ sacrifice, means of active grace, will be done more often, Wesley - Take the sacrament as often as possible

E. Built on Prayer: Promise of provision, pray for greater effectiveness, passion and power from God, pray for new strength for new direction, we must be mobilized in prayer

II. Spiritual Mortar - Actions of the People

A. Mortar of Inspiration: We need to see and feel the power, spirtual power not false pride, both personal and corporate,

B. Mortar of Miracles: Apostles had miracles to confirm them, God still preforms miracles today, God is still at work, miracles can and will happen, people will come to know God because of them

C. Mortar of Sharing: we must share together, purpose of tithe and offering, share what we have with others, community life - share our gifts from God,

D. Mortar of Joy: We must be sincere in heart, simple faith, motivated by God not self, praising God produces joy,

III. Spiritual Drawing - Impressions of Others

A. Drawing by Attraction: Allowed others to see and witness transformation, people believe what they see not what they hear, we must love one another, we need unity in faith and community, if we are genuine it spread the faith, we must be real in a Zerox machines and facsimles, we must be real,

B. Drawing by Growth: we must have active evangelism, people we have contact with on a daily basis, more than passing out tracts, living personal witness, we must have converts because filling the pews isn’t enough, the existence of the church must be our strongest witness, testimony to the truth, evangelized by the way they lived

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