Summary: A unified chruch will bring praise and honor to the Lord. In turn God will bless the church for their unity.
THE BOOK OF ACTS – WHEN LIFE IS ABOUT GOD
Marks of Unity
A. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! David declared in Psalm 133:1
1. There is nothing better than a church, a group of brethren, who dwell together in unity.
2. Paul wrote to the Philippians, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind (Phil 2:2)
a. He had seen the effects of a unified church
b. It was strong, it persevered, it kept the faith.
3. In Acts 4:32 we read: And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul:
4. Praise God! One in unity even in the midst of persecution!
B. This Unified Church
1. Was turning the world up-side down (Acts 17:6)
2. People were getting saved, right and left, even hundreds right and left!
3. The church saw the power of God at work and worked for God’s kingdom night and day!
C. Oh, that God’s Church Would Be Unified Once Again!
1. Think about it, what if we could say, Praise God: for the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:47
2. Not just one a week, or one a month, or one a quarter or one a year; but daily!
3. Praise God – that would be exciting! Wouldn’t it?!
a. We would not have to beg people to come to church, we would have to beg then to hold church in their homes because there would not be enough room!
b. Now I saw some of your faces light up – you mean that is all we need to do to stay home for church on Sunday?
c. If we start winning them daily, we will start house churches, at least for a while! We will have to because of lack of room.
d. Praise God! Wouldn’t that be exciting!
D. Folk’s it is possible, we just need to be a unified, God glorifying body of Christ!
1. So how can we know if we are getting to that point?
2. I believe we can look at our passage for this morning and see at least four Marks of Unity within the church:
a. Great Humility
b. Great Power
c. Great Grace
d. Great Giving
3. I used the word “great” because that is what God meant the church to be!
E. We can’t help but be great if we will just become unified in the Lord and allow Him to do great things through us!
As I read this text, not just our portion but the whole section I could not help but see that the church was of one mind and soul. This takes
I. GREAT HUMILITY: Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
A. Notice the Heart
1. They did not claim their own things as their own
2. They had all things common
3. Greed was not present – everyone helped to meet everyone else’s needs
4. They were living the two greatest commandments
a. Love the Lord God will all your heart, soul, mind, and strength
b. Love your neighbor as yourselves
5. Pride of having and shame of not having was not present
6. They lived as having one heart and one soul!
B. What is pride?
1. The primary Greek word used in the New Testament that is translated “proud” is hoop-er-ay’-fan-os and it means appearing above other, haughty, proud.
2. It is seen most vivedly in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican found in Luke 18:9-14 where the Pharisee states, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. Luke 18:11
3. The idea being I’m better than everyone else
4. Of pride God’s word states:
a. The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: Psalm 10:2
b. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: Psalm 10:4
c. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: Proverbs 11:2
d. Only by pride cometh contention: Proverbs 13:10
e. The Lord will destroy the house of the proud: Proverbs 15:25
f. Pride goeth before destruction, Proverbs 16:18
5. Thank God there was not pride exhibited in that early church, only
C. Great Humility
1. One of the words used most in the N.T. is tap-i-nos’ meaning: base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly.
2. In the parable sited previously it was said concerning the publican: he was, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. Luke 18:13