Summary: Purity always brings power and progress.
1. Growth phases. The new church was growing. (Note the church growth term from arithmetic).
120 – praying in the Upper Room (Acts 1:15)
3000 – baptized (Acts 2:14)
5000 – men added (Acts 4:4)
More added. “Believers were increasingly added” (Acts 5:14).
Multiplied. “. . . the number of the disciples was multiplying” (Acts 6:1).
Multiplied greatly. “. . . and the number of disciples multiplied greatly” (Acts 6:7).
Compounded. “Then the churches . . . were multiplied” (Acts 9:31).
2. The term numbered implied those who identified with the church, i.e., members.
B. INTERNAL PROBLEMS (ACTS 5:1-2)
1. Ananias and Sapphira had three problems:
a. Pride - they wanted the attention given to Barnabas.
b. Greed - they gave only part of what they sold.
c. Lying - they lied to Peter and the Holy Spirit.
2. “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?” (Acts 5:3-4).
3. Hypocrites excluded, v. 13.
4. Believers included, v. 14. Purity always brings power and progress.
C. EXTERNAL PROBLEMS (ACTS 5:17-42)
1. Apostles arrested. The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” (Acts 5:25).
2. Saturation evangelism. “You have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine” (Acts 5:28). “Use every available means, to reach every available person, at every available time.” –Jerry Falwell
3. Gamaliel’s counsel. “But if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it–lest you even be found to fight against God” (Acts 5:39).
4. Who killed Christ?
a. Satan, Gen. 3:15
b. Herod, Acts 4:27
c. Jews, Acts 2:23; 3:17; 5:30
d. God the Father, Acts 4:28; Isa. 53:6,10
e. Christ Himself, John 10:17-18
f. The believer, Isa. 53:6
g. Judas Iscariot, Acts 1:16
h. Roman soldiers, John 19:23
D. INTERNAL PROBLEMS (ACTS 6:1-7)
1. The problem. “. . . there arose a murmuring against the Hebrews, by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected . . .” (Acts 6:1).
2. Why was this a dilemma? “It is not desirable that we should leave the Word of God and serve tables” (Acts 6:2).
3. What is known about the seven men who were appointed?
a. They had Hellenistic names.
b. They were servants, i.e., the name deacon means “to serve.”
c. Their qualifications: good reputation, filled with the Holy Spirit, wise and full of faith.
4. Organization follows organism. The church grew by the ministry of the Word and the power of the Lord. Only after it grew did the early church need to organize for continued growth.
5. Results. “. . . and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
All PBC lessons are available online at trbc.org/pbc. Go to www.Hopenow.tv for the current program schedule.
Dr. Towns’ email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Towns’ web address is www.elmertowns.com.