Summary: The transformation of these 3120 new believers by the Holy Spirit was incredible. These experienced some radical repriortization of their lives; even their finances! And God used them powerfully.
Passage: Acts 2:42-47
Intro: Growing up in the church as I have, I have seen many churches and heard of many others.
1. among most Christian churches, I found the same basic program going on.
2. opportunities to be instructed, Sunday School, worship services, kids clubs, VBS, Bible Studies, etc.
3. opportunities to get together, often around learning but not always.
-softball, picnics, retreats, camps
4. opportunities to eat either in a large group or a small one, or communion
5. and prayer opportunities, again sometimes in league with learning, other times by itself.
6. look at the bulletin today, you will see these four opportunities.
7. so that is what makes a church successful then, right? If it offers the programs, what else is there?
8. certainly the same Holy Spirit indwells us today.
8. the church in Acts was unusual, powerful, evangelistically effective. Why?
9. in obedience to the Holy Spirit, they…
I. Reprioritized Their Time
1. 3000 people joined the original 120 believers.
2. it is the most common name for the individual members of the church in Acts
3. they responded to Peter’s 3 minute sermon, repented and publicly confessed their faith in Christ through baptism.
4. now what?
5. v42 has a very powerful word, also v46
6. word means “adhere to, persist in, busy oneself with, be busily engaged in, be devoted to.”
Il) Longnecker in commentary (The Expositors Bible Commentary) defines it this way: “a steadfast and single-minded fidelity to a certain course of action.”
Il) several years ago, a few of us (at my suggestion) bought a 21 foot sailboat. I was rarely so single-minded as I readied it for action, fixed things and bought things. Jan was amazed at aher normally laid-back husband.
7. that’s the word that describes these people of the early church.
8. whenever the church met, they were there! And the church met every day!
9. I don’t see anyone with a whip in this passage!
10. doesn’t mean they quit their jobs, but “getting together with the believers” became an extremely high priority in their lives.
11. show me your calendar and I will show you your priorities.
Il) Satan makes this a favorite target. I introduced a new fish into my saltwater tank this week, and the more aggressive opponents are especially focused on keeping him from eating.
12. notice that there is a decided absence of entertainment in this listing of what the church did.
13. I’m afraid in the American church today, entertainment value is cherished above the simple truth.
Il) “In America God favors all of those who possess both a talent and a format to amuse, whether they be preachers, athletes, entrepreneurs, politicians, teachers or journalists.” Neil Postman, “Amusing Ourselves to Death”
Il) I once heard a serious Christian remark about a really fine preacher I know, “He’s like a stand up comedian”
15. the church is effective when it’s people make time for the really important work of celebrating our faith together.
II. Reprioritized Their Wealth
1. I looked at several sermons about this passage, and this part was given very little play.