Summary: There are four signs that the child of God lives a life that is nourished by the Word of God and illuminated by the Holy Spirit.
Turn your Bibles to Acts 2:42
Title: Spiritual Health Checks
Theme: Four Signs of a Healthy Christian
Introduction: Rick Warren wrote, “The key for churches in the 21st Century will be church health, not growth.” When a congregation is healthy, it will grow spiritually and enjoy the benefits of a live, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. A healthy Christian will not find his strength or determine his weakness in the size of the church he attends.
Interrogative Sentence: What are four signs that the child of God lives a life that is nourished by the Word of God and illuminated by the Holy Spirit?
Listen as I read Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” These Holy Spirit filled believers devoted themselves to these four things.
Let us Pray!
Today’s text gives the first look at the early church and gives us a look at the results of a Holy Spirit revived heart. These Scriptures should prick at the heart of the modern day church and serve as a key guide for examining ourselves. All healthy things show signs of life. If the child of God is not growing spiritually in any or all of these four areas, that Christian is dying. A church will only be as healthy as those who attend her. Therefore it is a necessity that those who are part of the Body of Christ get a fair evaluation of their spiritual condition.
Proposition: I would propose to you that a healthy church begins with a consuming passion for the Lord Jesus Christ. The early church at Pentecost received the Word gladly, continued steadfastly, enjoyed Christian fellowship and was a praying church. These are the life expressions of a Holy Spirit led child of God.
Transitional Sentence: It must be noted that today’s text does not hold the complete list to everything a born again Christian does. However, it contains seeds that determine how much spiritual life is birthed forth in all the other activities in which the child of God applies himself.
A key sign of a healthy Christian is that he devotes himself to the apostle’s teachings. The New American Standard Bible says, “...they were continually devoting themselves to the apostle’s teachings” (Acts 2:42. Devoted (proskarteroutes) means to continue, preservere, stick to and persist.
The Christian surrendered to the Holy Spirit will not quit, back off from truth, fade away or slip back. He steadfastly stays in true Biblical teaching. He is diligent and constant in attendance to the proclaiming and teaching of the Word of God. The on-fire child of God makes a conscious hearing of the Word of God and he surrenders to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to obey it.
The mark of a true church is not the size and beauty of her buildings. It is not the number who attend or how modern the sanctuary looks. The important issue is whether it holds to the apostle’s doctrines. Born-again Christians have a teachable spirit and a hunger to learn more and more of God’s will for them by pain-staking study and listening to the Word of God.
Albert Barnes wrote, “One of the evidences of conversion is a desire to be instructed in the doctrines and duties of [Christianity] and a willingness to attend the preaching and teaching of [God’s Word]. Christians are hungry for Holy Spirit inspired teachings and they will make time to be exposed to it.”
The Christian who is devoted to the teaching of the Word of God goes to church and Bible studies, prayerfully reads his Bible, watches quality Christian programs, listens to Christian music and takes every opportunity possible to fill his eyes, mind and heart with things of God. There is an eagerness of mind and openness of heart to seek and hear what God’s will is for him. The child of God who is devoted to the teachings of God’s Word will place himself in the position where He can be lead by the Holy Spirit. He walks into church with anticipation and expectancy that the Lord has something specifically for him. These Christians are far apart from church attendees who walk out of church unmoved, critical and unfed because they refuse to eat from the table prepared for them.
Christians who are devoted to the teaching of the Word of God are like the Bereans that you read about in Acts 17:11. They were of more noble character than the Thessalonians for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
Luke gave the Jews at Berea undying fame by characterizing them as being “more noble” than the Thessalonians. They tested what Paul said to the truths of what we call the Old Testament. Rather than judge what he said by political and cultural consideration, they were captivated by what he said as it agreed with the Word of the Law.