Summary: The early church was exemplary. They relied upon the power and grace of the Lord Jesus, and in concerted prayer experience victory in a harsh environment. They expressed their love for God by a sincere love for people, in meeting everyone’s needs.
This passage provides a picture of a great church.
• We see the unity of the people, a passion for God’s Kingdom, the courage to preach His Word, the power of God manifesting in miracles, and on and on.
• This is what we are striving for as a church. These are our prayers for the church today, that we may have the same unity, passion, courage, zeal, and God’s power and glory displaying.
They were up against the same world as we are. They were victorious, so can we.
• They were small yet they did overcome the challenges, so can we. They were different, people coming from all over, yet they were of one heart and mind, so can we.
• They prayed passionately and so must we. We serve the same God, proclaim the same Gospel and will experience the same power of Christ.
We love to see the church grow and be strong. How?
• How can we be as victorious as this church in Acts 4?
• See verse 33: With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.
• It’s a reliance on the power and grace of Jesus Christ.
We saw in the passage before this, shared in last ES, that the people were together with one voice, praying for the courage to preach on (in the midst of persecution) and for more miracles.
• We cannot STOP praying. That’s the key to refuelling our engines, firing up our passion for the Lord and His work.
• If there is any hope of a real, genuine ministry that can come out of a church, we know it cannot come from the natural realm. It is the supernatural presence of God that makes it happen.
True revival comes because God is present, because the people met God.
• The Holy Spirit fills the place, or more precisely, fills them!
• True revival will not happen because there is a good programme, lots of money, good facilities, etc. This is just playing church.
• The first church, and therefore our church today, must depend on the power and grace of God.
Any real ministry that come out of a church – if it cannot be achieve in the natural realm – must be birthed out of fervent passionate prayer.
• We must be DEPENDENT upon God. Our weapon is not of the flesh.
• Eph 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
• Eph 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
That’s a church that is victorious – one that is dependent upon God, one that prays with ONE voice.
• There is no room for self-centredness, no room for pride. No room for confidence in self. God is exalted and glorified.
• This oneness is amazing, in the first few chapters of Acts.
Acts 1:14 - They all joined together constantly in prayer.
Acts 2:1 - When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
Acts 2:46 - Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.
Acts 4:24 - When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God.
Acts 4:32 - All the believers were one in heart and mind.
They were committed – committed to the call of God, to the cause of Christ, to prayer, to building the church together.
• Do we sense that today? Do we have that today? Can we say that’s my desire too? That’s my burden.
• Can we say, we love unity, we love the fellowship, and we love being together and praying together?
And what is the result of that, where God is present?
• Needs were met. Verse 32: No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
• Verse 34: There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
• People are asking, what are the things God has given me that others do not have. What is the thing I have, that others do not have, and God wants me to share it.