Summary: This sermon is about the 5 practical purposes of the local church.

„« One day while studying the passage we are looking at this morning, I was praying for help me to come up with a simple way to help people remember the purpose of the church. It was soon after that I was reading in Matt 5:16 where Jesus said ...let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

„« As I read that verse, the word SHINE jumped out at me and I instantly knew I had the word I was looking for.

„« God created man to glorify Him. Sin disrupted His original plan and now God has left us on this earth as His ambassadors to represent Him and to share the gospel with the unsaved, but even in that it is to fulfill His objective of having a people who will worship Him and praise Him by their own choice.

„« (Rev 4:11 NIV) "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

„« (Rev 5:12 NIV) In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"

„« And isn’t that exactly what Jesus is saying in Matt 5:16?

„« So how do we do that? We do that when we SHINE.

„« Now as we look at the PRACTICAL PURPOSE of the church in Acts 2, we will use the word SHINE as an acronym to shoe the purpose of the church.

„« (Read Acts 2:41-47)

PROPOSITION: Let’s look at the 5 practical purposes of the church

I.SEEK (V 47B)

A. (read v) Evangelize

B. I think many people think they are a part of God’s family but in reality, they are not because they never have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. They have a false sense of security. They think that just because they know who Jesus is and what He did, that they will go to heaven when they die. But simply knowing is not enough.

C. (James 2:19 NIV) You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.

D. Someone asked Ed Young, "Are you so narrow-minded to think that only Baptist are going to heaven?" He said, "I’m even more narrow minded than that, I don’t even think all Baptist are going to heaven.

E. Billy Graham once said he believed as many as half of all the members of our Baptist churches sitting on the pews were lost.

F. What about you? Have you genuinely been saved? Are you in danger of missing heaven by 18 inches? Here is how you can be saved...

T.S.: The 1st PRACTICAL PURPOSE of the church is to SEEK (evangelism). The 2nd practical purpose is...

II. HELP (V 44,45)

A. We must care for one another.

B. Because of the fellowship the early church had with each other, when someone had a need the church stepped in to meet that need.

C. (read vv 44,45)

D. Notice in these verses, they didn’t give a part of what was left. Their approach to ministry was not one of, "I’ll give my time and my energy if I’ve got any left after I’ve done all the things I need to do for myself."

E. Their ministry of giving was not one of, "I’ll pay all my bills and buy all the things I want to buy and then if I have any money left I’ll give it to the church." They didn’t give what was left of their time, energy and money. They gave up what they would like to have used for themselves; so they could have a part in the ministry of the church.

F. Must remember the churches primary purpose is not to be a welfare agency. 2 Thes. 3:10-12; you don¡¦t work, you don¡¦t eat

T.S.: Not only must we SEEK and HELP but we must also...

III. INCLUDE (V 41,42,44-46)

A. (read vv) Fellowship

B. (read p.84 of McArthur’s Commentary on Acts 1-12; 1st 2 paragraphs) "Fellowship is the spiritual duty of believers to stimulate each other to holiness and faithfulness. It is most specifically expressed through the ¡§one anothers¡¨ of the New Testament (cf. Rom. 12:10, 16; 13:8; 14:19; 15:5, 7, 14; 16:16; Gal. 5:13; Eph. 4:2, 25, 32; 5:21; Phil. 2:3; Col. 3:9, 13, 16; 1 Thess. 4:9, 18, 5:11, 13; Heb. 3:13; 1 Peter 1:22; 4:9, 10; 5:5, etc.). The basic meaning of koinōnia (fellowship) is ¡§partnership,¡¨ or ¡§sharing.¡¨ Those who receive Jesus Christ become partners with Him and with all other believers (1 John 1:3). That fellowship is permanent, because our shared eternal life is forever. The joy associated with it, however, may be lost through sinful neglect of its duties."

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