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Summary: An indept study of Acts 2 that leads the congregation to the understanding that what is desperately needed in the local church today is a reclamation of spiritual passion.

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2002: The Paradigm of SPIRITUAL Passion

Acts 2:42-47

Sunday, January 20, 2002

Larry L. Thompson (2002)

INTRODUCTION:

Every year on this Sunday I give what I have called, “A State of the Church” message. It is a prayerful and pray both honest and insightful look at where we are today a church family.

As we begin this State of the Church message we must always begin with our Vision. It is at the point of our vision that we can gauge the progress of where we are and also where we need to be.

“OUR VISION IS TO BE A BIBLICALLY BASED, INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS, GLORIFYING JESUS CHRIST TOGETHER, BY BUILDING RADICAL RELATIONSHIPS FOR CHRIST.”

From this vision the Lord gave us our Community Orientation to help all of us to be on the same page. The basis for our Community Orientation came from Acts 2:42-47. READ.

“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 we talked about the joy that has been ours this past year to share what I called, “The Peace in the Pew!”

“All the believers were together and had everything in common.”

Today, it is time to look at this New Year and ask ourselves this question: “Are we in alignment with Acts 2:42-47?” If that text was the basis of what should happen within a New Testament Church and we see characteristics that are not present then we must ask what is missing? I believe what is missing is what I will call “Spiritual Passion for God.” In order to understand the importance of this spiritual passion I would now say that what we need for 2002 is…

I. 2002: A NEW PARADIGM OF SPIRITUAL PASSION

Please read again our passage of today

“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.”

Do you see or hear from God’s word an underlying theme throughout these verses? If not may I help you and share with you what I KNOW God has placed on my heart for today? Throughout not only this text but each time I am reading about God’s church flourishing I see two absolute essentials: 1) A Consuming Passion for God and, 2) A Common Plan for Growth.

Allow me to state what must be completely clear: TO BE WHAT GOD DESIRES US TO BECOME WE MUST INDIVIDUALLY AND CORPORATELY EMBRACE A NEW PARADIGM FOR OUR MINISTRY THIS YEAR IN 2002. This new paradigm begins with…

a. A CONSUMING PASSION FOR GOD

Let me first review with you the focus of the organized evangelical church in America for at least the past 26 years in which I have been involved in ministry…the paradigm has been to develop new strategies to win and influence our world for Christ. Before I go any further let me say there is nothing wrong with new methods and strategies, every organization changes or it dies. This is not an attack on new strategies, ideas or methodology. This is a clarion call to join me in surrender to God as we ask for Him to show us our need for spiritual passion.

DEFINITION OF SPIRITUAL PASSION vs. SECULAR PASSION

SECULAR PASSION: Webster defines “passion” as, “emotion, the state of being acted upon resulting from external forces, an intense driven feeling; can be either an outbreak of anger or ardent affection.” In the Bible the only use of the word “passion” refers to it in the negative such as any bodily desire which leads to sin.

Romans 6:12 “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires (passions).”

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Daniel Kopp

commented on Aug 20, 2011

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