Summary: This sermon details the fellowship that the first church had and many churches today lack.
Ten Marks of a Prevailing Church
August 19, 2001
A. [Welcome and Do-Si-Do, Citation: Cartoonist Sandy Silverthorne in Leadership, Vol. 11, no. 4].
"And now here’s the point in our service where I’d like you all to rise, turn to the person on your right, shake hands, turn around, bow to your corner, then alamand left with that sweet corner maid ..."
B. We enjoy our fellowship times here at Somerset, but if Somerset is going to be a church that will prevail against the gates of hell, there has to be more to our fellowship than this.
1. There must be some strong ties that bind us together.
2. There must be cords that cannot be broken if we are to storm the gates of hell.
3. So this morning I want to look at the second chapter of the book of Acts to see what we can learn about fellowship in the family of God; first we see…
I. The devotion of the believers
Acts 2:42, They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
A. This verse gives us some very good insight into the early church.
1. You see the church, as we know it today, started at the beginning of Acts 2.
2. Up until this time, everything was really Jewish.
3. All of the OT and the first four books of the NT were actually Jewish synagogue worship.
4. Not until the beginning of this chapter did the church as we know it today begin.
5. At the beginning of this chapter we see the coming of the HS to humans for the first time.
6. We also see the very first gospel message preached by the apostle Peter.
7. We also saw that 3,000 people were saved and baptized on that day.
8. That was the very first church service as we know it today.
9. So here we find ourselves today at the end of the first chapter of the church.
B. So what do we learn about those first believers?
1. Well, Luke, the writer of this book tells us some very insightful things about those first believers.
2. And since this is the Word of God, we can ascertain that these first believers, lead by the apostles who had walked with Jesus during His earthly ministry, would have some very important information for us today about how to do church.
3. You see, it really doesn’t matter how any church has always done it.
4. It really doesn’t matter what any particular denomination practices.
5. What really matters is what the Bible says and how the first church did it.
C. And this verse 42 tells us what this first church was devoted to.
1. This verse tells us what this church of three thousand devoted itself to.
2. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching.
a. They devoted themselves to the teachings of the men who had spent the past three years walking with Jesus.
b. So what should the church today take from that?
c. The church today should devote itself to the apostles’ teachings which we find written for us in the Word of God.
d. We devoted ourselves to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.
e. Nothing more, like opinions of men.
f. And nothing less.
g. We devote ourselves to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.
3. Second Luke tells us that they devoted themselves to fellowship.
a. They were intentional about socializing with one another—on Sunday’s as well as throughout the week.
b. They purposely spent time with one another.
c. They devoted themselves to fellowship.
4. Third, they devoted themselves to the breaking of bread—which is communion.
a. They were intentional about the importance of remembering Christ’s crucifixion.
b. They partook of communion on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
c. They incorporated their remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice into their daily lives.
5. Fourth, they devoted themselves to prayer.
a. That was the final thing that Luke tells us that they were devoted to.
b. They were intentional about spending time with God; not just reading and studying God’s Word, but speaking to Him and opening their hearts up to Him through prayer.
D. Those are the four things that Luke tells us that the early church devoted itself to.
1. Those four things are what the very first believers in Jesus focused on.
2. Those are the four things that were the focal point of the first church of 3,000 people.
3. And the one of the four that Luke goes on to describe in the last verses of this chapter is fellowship.
4. And that is the one that we are going to focus on this morning as well.