Summary: Throughout the book of Acts we see phenomenal growth. In 2:47: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved"; •By chapter 4 the church has exploded to over 5000. •And throughout Acts, the growth of the church is a common re
“Recipe for Revival”
What’s the key to success in life? Walk into any bookstore and you’ll see shelves of books on how to be successful. How to be successful in business; in relationships; in personal financial planning; in athletics.
One man who knew about success in sports was Vince Lombardi, by all accounts one of the greatest football coaches of all time.
•He began coaching the Green Bay Packers in 1959. The previous year they had a 1-10-1 record in 1958. Lombardi turned it around to 7-5 record in his first season.
•Over the next eight years, his Packers dominated the league, winning six divisional and five NFL championships and also winning Super Bowls I and II.
•I have special memories of Vince Lombardi, actually painful memories, because my family were hardcore Dallas Cowboy fans. Several times, in 1966, 67 the Cowboys faced the Packers in NFL championships. Each time getting beat.
•I still remember it. December 31, 1967. I was eight years old. In the now-legendary "Ice Bowl" game. It was 13 below zero and a wind chill of minus 46. With 13 seconds left in the game, Bart Starr scored winning touchdown from 1-yard line with a quarterback sneak. The Packers won 21-17.
•I still bear the scars.
Lombardi’s philosophies were hard work; perseverance; sticking with the fundamentals. He demanded the best of himself and his players.
•Forrest Gregg, "When Lombardi said ’sit down’ we didn’t look for a chair."-
•He would start the first practice session by picking up a football and saying, “This is a football.”
We can learn a lot about that focus on fundamentals.
If we are going to be successful as a Church, we have to re-focus on the fundamentals.
•That’s exactly what the Church in Acts did.
•So this is a Bible. If you have your turn with me to Acts 2.
This morning we are continuing our series in Acts.
Two weeks ago we learned that the Church in Acts had a great thing going
•Jesus had told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem. And seven weeks after Easter, on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers as Jesus promised it would be; the Church is born.
•The Apostle Peter preaches a great sermon and 3000 people are saved. An incredible day!
But this is just the beginning. Throughout the book of Acts we see phenomenal growth. In 2:47: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved";
•By chapter 4 the church has exploded to over 5000.
•And throughout Acts, the growth of the church is a common refrain.
5.14: "More and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number";
6.7: "the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly...
9.31 "and the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria was strengthened...and it grew in numbers"
And it goes on and on (11:21, 24; 14:1, 21; 16:5; 17:12).
•If the book of Acts were a song, the chorus, the refrain would be, “The Lord kept adding to their number.”
Now don’t get me wrong. Numbers are not the key to success.
•We could have extraordinary numbers. A great media event. Glitzy entertainment.
•But this growth is not just numbers; this is changed lives. People getting saved; people maturing in their faith.
Wouldn’t it be great if when the history of College Avenue for 1999 the common theme was “and the Lord added to their numbers daily those who were being saved.”
The question we want to address today is how did it happen to the Church in Acts?
How can we model that success? What are the fundamentals we need to focus on?
Acts 2:42-47. In this passage, Luke gives a summary of the actions of the church after the Day of Pentecost. What they were doing during this time of phenomenal growth.
•Verse 42 mentions four things the church was engaged in. Four ingredients for success. They are the apostle’s teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer.
•It is interesting to me that these four are all part of our ten signs or characteristics of a growing Christian.
•In a sense we are continuing our 10 signs. We will see how those Christian qualities worked themselves out in the early Church.
I’ve called this message “Recipe for Revival” Because in this passage Luke gives the ingredients to the Church’s success.
•Now I want to clarify something: This is not something we do. Repeatedly in Acts we hear, "the Lord added to their number daily those being saved." Not: “Through a slick media campaign the apostles were bringing them in.” “Through Peter’s incredible speaking gifts they were getting saved.”
•It was through the power of the Holy Spirit.
•The real question: How can we open ourselves up to his work.