Summary: How a successful Church should be
Most Successful Church In History
Lessons From The Early Church
What does a successful church look like?
What qualifies church as successful?
Before I began I want to look at the first word of verse 42, “THEY”
This is those that got saved plus all the apostle. Those who got saved and then baptized in verse 41 and who showed genuineness of their faith. Despite hate, ridicule they suffered, they remained faithful.
That is a mark of genuine salvation
John 8:31—“if you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of mine”
On the other hand John writes in 1 John 2:19—“they went out from us, but they were not really of us, for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us, but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us”
The idea that the church should be composed of saved individuals seems obvious. Sadly, however, many churches today are made up largely of unsaved individuals. Some churches even try to design their church where non-Christians can feel comfortable. This cannot be the goal in a church that is devoted to holiness and righteousness in all areas of life.
I want us to invite our lost friends and families. I want them to come in and feel welcomed, I want them to feel like they can come in and sit down and be a part of the service. To take part in fellowships and children’s activities and youth activities. But they should not feel comfortable in the setting, they should not feel comfortable for long. All that we do in worship should make them uncomfortable with their spiritual condition. They should feel the presence of God and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit because this church is devoted to the Word of God and to sharing it with the lost.
I never want us to be successful in the world’s eyes I want this church to be successful in God’s eyes. I believe that if we look at this first church we will see what makes a successful church.
1) They Were Steadfast In Their Practice-Vs. 42
a) Continued in the apostles teaching
1) The content for the church is clearly to be revealed truth.
2) God designed the church to be a place where His Word is proclaimed and explained
3) A commitment to the apostle’s teaching is foundational to the growth and spiritual health of every church
4) 1 Peter 2:2—“like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation”
5) Romans 12:2—“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”
6) Paul writing to Timothy and Titus reflected to these two pastors the priority of preaching the Word at least 6 different times
7) We should count it a wasted day when we do not learn something new from the Word of God
8) These people sat under the teaching from the ones who wrote the very words that we read today
9) Scripture is food for the believers
10) I pray we are never like Hosea says in 4:6—“my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”
b) Continued in fellowship
1) Fellowship is the spiritual duty of believers
2) It is here that we help to stimulate each other to holiness and faithfulness
3) When you read the NT and you come across “one another”, like in Rom. 12:10—“be devoted to one another in brotherly love”
4) The “one another” means fellowship.
5) Fellowship is partnership or sharing. Those who receive Christ become partners with Him and with all other believers
6) For a Christian to fail to participate in the life of a local church is inexcusable.
7) In fact those who choose to isolate themselves are disobedient to a direct command in Scripture
8) Hebrews 10:24-25—“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
9) You ought to be excited to come into the fellowship
10) Ill-well I guess we have to go to church again, it is our duty, let us look good for the other
c) Continued in the breaking of bread
1) This is a reference to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper
2) In the Lord’s Supper all believers meet on common ground at the foot of the cross.
3) Since we are all sinners saved by grace
4) The Lord’s Supper acknowledges the wondrous work of the Lord on the cross