6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Dealing with a number of issues at EBC led me to a series by Pastor Jerry Shirley which God has graciously allowed me to revise and use to speak to our congregation.

The Price of Pentecost, pt. 2 Acts 1:12-14

The early church had none of the things we seem to think are so essential for success today like: Buildings…money…staff…internet and programs.

So why were they so successful?

The reason is that they had the ONE thing many churches today do not have:

They had the power of God in their ministry.

Pastor Jerry Shirley said; “The glory days, (of the church) are in the past, because the glory of God is departed (not His presence, but His power [glory])” ( ) added

I want EBC to be a place that’s more than just another church. I want us to be a place where people get the help they need, where lives are truly touched and people are eternally changed!

We’ve been talking about paying the price to be the kind of church God wants us to be and I cannot say it enough; Great churches don’t happen by accident.

Churches that become great do so because the members were willing to pay the price.

Acts 1 shows us 4 principles which will lead to the soul-saving…community-changing power that we find in Acts 2:

We talked about obedience last time, and today I want to share with you, the second price of Pentecost which is:

2. The price of Unity or as verse 14 puts it: being in one accord…

One thing we have learned is that God doesn’t bless fussing and fighting.

Now I would be crazy if I didn’t believe that there will always be some Christians who seem to thrive on problems… Those who try to pull their church down...who live to be disagreeable or live for power struggles. But we MUST be about protecting the unity of the church, even if it means they cannot stay.

This issue is not something new…It’s been going on for centuries and every church will deal with it at some point.

We know that we can’t get everyone on board and we shouldn’t expect to, but if every church could get all their leaders on board, in unity, with the ability to recognize when there are problems or that the glory of God is departing and we react immediately to the situation, there’s just no limit to what God can do…

When WE, EBC, get to that place, I believe God will allow us to move from Ch. 1 to Ch. 2!

I want to show you just how important unity is. Look how many times the word is used in the book of Acts.

1: 14—one accord...2:1—one accord...2:46—one accord...4:24—one accord...5:12—one accord

Unity among these early believers came ONLY because they had the same goals… the same vision… the same purpose and the same mind.

They sensed that they were on the threshold of something great…it was about to happen, and it would change their world forever…and so they agreed there was no time for arguing… no time for petty squabbles… no time for hurt feelings.

There was no time for power struggles.

Each member was living and working for something bigger than themselves!

That’s the kind of church God blesses.

Some may think it was easier for the first church than for us…wrong!

They were just like us, and I could show you scriptures which prove these same people did not always get along.

I imagine that during this 10 day prayer meeting there was probably a good bit of apologizing being done!

I wonder if Martha went to Mary and apologized for being critical of Mary’s worship while she was working in the kitchen. Maybe Mary admits she never helped out as much as she should have at home. Maybe they hug and make up and are now in one accord (unity)

Maybe James and John approached the other disciples and apologized for sending their mother to try to get special treatment from Jesus. Maybe they realized it was arrogant, prideful, and egotistical and they asked for forgiveness, got it, and the disciples were, once again in unity!

Maybe Thomas stood up to confess his unbelief, and apologized for calling the disciples liars and the wall that had separated them came tumbling down and the disciples reached yet another level of unity!

God loves to bless churches like that… churches where members are quick to forgive, where they allow for human weakness and frailty. God blesses churches that put the best for the church ahead of their own personal feelings… churches filled with peacemakers instead of troublemakers.

Prov. 6 gives us God’s hate list. Yes I know that is a word we teach our children not to use BUT the Bible tells us there are 6 things that God hates BUT the 7th is absolutely detestable or disgusting to God. A proud look…a lying tongue...hands that shed innocent blood…a heart that devises wicked imaginations...feet swift in running to mischief…a false witness speaking lies… and #7 he that sows discord among the brethren. Or the one who stirs up conflict among the church.

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