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Summary: This is a sermon that gives a vivid picture of a healthy and growing church.

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Text: Acts 2:41-42

Title: The Marks of a Healthy Church

Introduction: If there was a medical doctor in the house that doctor could tell you how a healthy body should look. He or she would probably describe one that has the right height, weight, diet, etc… However, today I want us to look at what a healthy church looks like. In total, a health church, when it is functioning properly, the Church of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world. It is the only organization that has ever existed that is capable of healing broken lives, pointing people to God, and fulfilling the deepest longings of our souls. It is in the Church that the rejected find acceptance, the sinners receive forgiveness, and the lonely experience love. The church is made up of non-perfect people. The healthy church is not identified as being perfect. God used a lot of people who were not perfect, but people, according to John Maxwell, have all failed. Abraham was a friend of God, but he failed; Jacob wrestled with God’s servant; but, he failed; Moses spoke with God, but he failed…

A healthy church is a growing church. A church that is growing is a church in good health. The fact of the matter is, a church that is not growing, would it not be a church that is dying?

(41) Let’s look at the people who make up the church.

• Those who hear the message.

• Those who accept (accepted/believed with warmth and joy) the message.

• Those who respond to the message.

• These were new converts (3000 converts) WHAT AN ALTAR CALL!!!

(42) Continued steadfastly/Devoted - The believers’ continuance in/devotion/commitment to/be faithful in/be persistent in/ they were eager for; proskarterountes (TEV they spent their time in).

I. Devotion to the Word

• to have the apostles teach them

• Just as the apostles had been instructed by Jesus, so they passed along that instruction to the new Christians. In keeping with Jesus’ teaching to them (chap. 1), this would have included such subjects as his resurrection, the Old Testament Scriptures, the Christian witness, and surely their own reminiscences of Jesus’ earthly ministry and teachings.138

II. Devotion to Fellowship

• Fellowship (êïéíùíßᾳ). From êïéíüò, common. A relation between individuals which involves a common interest and a mutual, active participation in that interest and in each other. The word answers to the Latin communio, from communis, common. Hence, sometimes rendered communion, as 1 Cor. 10:16; 2 Cor. 13:14. Fellowship is the most common rendering.

• The word fellowship means much more than “being together.” It means “having in common” and probably refers to the sharing of material goods that was practiced in the early church.

III. Devotion to Remembering Christ’s Sacrifice (Hence used to designate the celebration of the Lord’s Supper ) & Prayer(s) – This is what their fellowship extended to.

_______________

138 Harrison, Acts, 73, suggests that it may also have included instruction in ethics, interpersonal relationships, facing persecution, and the other types of material covered in the paraenetic portion of the NT epistles.


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