Summary: We must pursue maturity in faith
Maturity: The Purpose of Christian Community Church
Moving Ahead Together, Part 2
September 5, 2004
NIV Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Last week, I stated that there is no such thing in the Christian life as maintenance only movement - forward or backward. There is no way getting around that reality. It follows that as a church or a community of faith we are not created for maintenance either, we are created for movement.
Let’s read the text together.
We see in this text a radical devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ and community life, which we will be describing in this series. This community life is evidence of the Spirit working in their midst and our midst – a radical devotion to Christ, Awe of God, selling personal property to help others out, meeting daily for fellowship and worship that flows out of glad and joyful hearts, favor of the community, and the Lord bringing people to himself. This devotion is an issue for many of us. There is a lack of passion for God that moves us to act – witness, giving, desire for community, God, prayer, etc. I.e. Edwards quote 1
MATURITY: We Educate God’s People through Discipleship
I must pursue a passion in my faith
If I asked you what were some of your goals in life, what would they be? If the first thing that comes to your mind does not revolve around Christ and the kingdom, then we are terribly missing the mark. One of the marks of Christians in the NT and that marked the life of the early church was a devotion to the Christian life. That is a passion, fervency, an obsession that was not limited to emotional or emotive people. It was the whole church. The personal pronoun, they does not just include the apostles, the leaders, those from the upper room, it was all the thousands that just became followers of Christ.
We all get excited about something – a raise, 4 wheeling, fishing, new deal, if found $1000 on ground. Yet when it comes to our faith we are devoid of affection and that my friends is should be a terrifying concern of ours. Delight yourselves in the Lord is a command. Be fervent in faith is a command.
This is not something that you or I can generate of our own accord. It is something that God has to do in us. It is something the Spirit does in us – it is the spirit that reveals to us the truth of the gospel and the same spirit that causes us to taste it as sweet. Or causes us to see it and savor it. This is so necessary because it is affection that moves us. Edwards Quote 2
This passion was the result of the filling of the spirit. When the spirit came at Pentecost, they were animated in a new and unique way. If you are lacking in your affection, then you need to get into a place where the spirit can renew you and refresh you.
I must pursue a passion for the word
They had an appetite for the apostles teaching. They did not have the NT at this time so the teaching was limited to Jesus teaching. We get a clue to the context in Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. Why were they devoted to the apostles teaching and why should we be devoted to this book, whether in our personal lives, in our teaching ministry, children’s ministry, youth ministry. Why is the apostles teaching so central (42, 45) in this passage in acts and here at CCC? Why is the word or the bible so prominent and preaching so prominent in our time together?
God has revealed himself as the Word and by the word.
The first reason the scripture is central to our life and worship is that God has chosen to reveal himself as the word and by the word. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. It is not in the beginning was the song or in the beginning was the drama, or in the beginning was announcements. God identifies his son, who himself is God as the Word. This is very important. Jesus is God’s communication to the world, God’s word.