Summary: if we’re going to be a biblical community, a community that’s different, then we have to take seriously the command Jesus gave us to make disciples.
Intro: I’m a huge baseball fan. It doesn’t matter who’s playing on TV, I can pretty much watch the game. Now I do enjoy watching the Braves more than anyone but one of the best World Series games I’ve ever seen was between the Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks. I don’t know how many of y’all remember but it had some huge momentum swings. Arizona had dominating pitching that shut down the Yankees. But the Yankees came thru at the end of a couple of games hitting some walk off homers.
-The series went to a 7th game. It was Curt Schilling against Roger Clemens. Both men pitched excellent games. Near the end of the game though, the Yankees broke thru w/a go ahead run. When their closer, Mariano Rivera, came out it looked like the Yankees were going to claim their 3rd World Series in a row.
-But as he was trying to close the game out, there were a couple of key hits. Mark Grace got a hit. The next key hit came w/the bases loaded and Luis Gonzales at the plate. Rivera was looking for his 3rd out when Gonzales hit a bloop single just over the head of the short stop driving in Jay Bell for the winning run.
-That little hit by Gonzales will be the defining hit of his career. Even though he was known as a power hitter, he’ll be remembered for coming thru w/a bloop single. That one moment will define his career b/c it made him a champion.
-You know, all of us are defined by something. Many of us are defined by our names and whom we’re related to. Others of us are defined by our work ethic or by our attitude. Some are even known for the clothes they wear. But all of us have a distinguishing mark. Some of you might even wish you didn’t have a distinguishing mark.
-You might wish you were anonymous. But the fact of the matter is it’s important to have a distinguishing mark so that people can recognize who you are. Well, followers of Jesus have been called to have a distinguishing mark as well. It’s not to draw attention to ourselves but to Christ. You might think, “Why’s that so important?”
-Let me try and explain it to you this way. If you were traveling to Hobgood, NC what’s one thing you’d like to have? Directions! Not only do you want to have directions but you want PRECISE directions! Why? So you can get there. Now those who are followers of Jesus are to have distinguishing marks so that people who don’t follow Jesus can look at our lives and find out how to get to Jesus.
Sermon Idea: The Xians in our passage of Scripture were an interesting group. They came together and were identified by those around them b/c of the community they created. Their community stood out b/c the lives of the people in that community were noticeably different.
-The motivating factor of starting VillageChurch over 7 years ago was so that a new community of people who follow Christ would create a venue for people who didn’t know Jesus to come find out who He is. Now if we’re going to be a biblical community, a community that’s different, then we have to take seriously the command Jesus gave us to make disciples.
TEXT: ACTS 2: 44-47
Bckgrd: Jews from all over the ancient world were gathered together in Jerusalem for a festival known as Pentecost. It was a festive occasion but during that time something very unusual happened. Christ’s followers began to preach and the HS allowed everyone to understand what was being preached in their own language.
-The result was that many people became followers of Jesus and it ended up revolutionizing their lives and their communities back home. After receiving the good news the people they lived near to find out @ it. They wanted to people to be transformed like they had!
-So they began a very simple process of discipling. I think another way we can define this is to teach others @ Christ, to help people grow in their relationship w/Jesus. So how do we do that? How does VillageChurch achieve the goal of discipling? I want to point out to you 3 basic steps we want to follow at VillageChurch. The 1st step involved in discipling is:
DIV. 1: PEOPLE SHARING (vv. 44-45)
Exp: Jewish people had gathered in Jerusalem from all over the world in order to celebrate the Passover and other holidays. They’d come from Africa, Arabia, Media, and Rome to name a few. But in the midst of their visit something very exciting took place. 3,000 people became followers of Christ.
A. No doubt this threw a lot of the travelers’ plans out the window. They’d come as Jews but now many of them had become Xians. Our verses go on to tell us that they stayed in Jerusalem and began to study in order to learn more @ the Xian faith.