Summary: A look at the early church and what was normal for them. What are we not doing today that was done in that time? A cry for the church of today to get back to the normal ways of Christianity as outlined in God’s Word.
THE WAY THINGS ARE IS NOT THE WAY THINGS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE. IT IS TIME THAT THE CHURCH GET BACK TO WHAT IS NORMAL.
*The church was born in the power of God’s Spirit, and to think that God would limit the power of His Spirit to that time alone is to limit God Himself. He promises us that the end of a thing is better than the beginning, so I for one am ready to be a part of what God desires to do.
It’s time we allow God to get the church back to the place she is supposed to be.
Read Acts 2:42-47
1. True Unity in the Body – Acts 2:42, 44, 46
a. Unity does not mean conformity.
b. True unity is found when people are able to be who they are and not interested in trying to be someone or something that they are not.
c. True unity means that you are able to share the burdens of one another and care for those in need.
d. True unity is when one rejoices we all rejoice and when one hurts we all hurt.
e. True unity is that we don’t want to compete to see who has the best this or best that, but we are only concerned and focused on the Kingdom of God and its growth.
f. True unity doesn’t look at the social or economic status. True unity doesn’t look at race, ethnicity or gender.
g. TRUE UNITY ONLY SEES CHRIST AND HIS KINGDOM AND IS BORN OUT OF A DESIRE TO DO MY PART TO HELP THE KINGDOM ADVANCE.
2. Sincere Praise among the People – Acts 2:43, 47
a. Sincere praise comes out of a heart that is in awe of God. When you truly catch a glimpse of Who He is, you can’t help but praise Him.
b. Modern praise in the church has become about the method and style more than about the purpose.
c. God isn’t impressed with the content, God is looking at the intent.
d. You go in some places and praise and worship is more like an American Idol competition or an audition for a music contract.
e. You go in some other places and you get a song service that is filling in their time slot with absolutely no life or praise at all.
f. God Himself is stirred by true praise and He promises to inhabit the praise of His people. To inhabit means He wants to dwell and not just visit.
g. God is looking for somebody to fill His house with a sincere heart and attitude of praise so He can feel welcome to dwell in that place.
3. Salvation and the Growth of the Body – Acts 2:47
a. The intent of the gospel and the purpose of the Spirit is not solely for the benefit of the body, so that we can be built up.
b. The purpose is for the advancement and growth of the Kingdom of God.
c. There are far too many churches that report few if any salvations in an entire year.
i. In 2007, in the Assemblies of God, there were 2,727 churches that did not report one salvation for the entire year.
ii. 63% of Assembly of God churches have an attendance that is less than 100.
d. The church is not experiencing the growth that she should. Transfers from one church to the other does not equal growth.
4. The manifestation of the Spirit – Acts 2:43
a. Signs, wonders and miracles are a part of the Kingdom today just as much as they were in Bible times.
b. Someone asked why we don’t see miracles like we used to here in America, and I think the reason is that in our society and in our churches, God and His power is just one of many options. We need to get to the place where God is a necessity.
c. Psalm 103:2-3: Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals (some) all of your diseases.
d. If sin, sickness and death were a part of God’s will and ultimate plan, He would have never sent His Son to die on a cross as an act of all out war against these things.
e. It is God’s intention that His people walk in and enjoy the full blessings of His Kingdom.
f. God desires to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh and bring life, joy, peace, hope and healing.