Summary: six things we need to be doing as the Church of Jesus Christ
The value of the church of Jesus Christ
In chemistry, He turned water to wine. In biology, He was born without the normal conception. In physics, He disproved the law of gravity when He ascended into heaven. In economics, He disproved the law of diminishing return by feeding 5,000 men with two fishes and five loaves of bread. In medicine, He cured the sick and the blind, without administering a single dose of drugs. In history, He is the beginning and the end. In government, He said that He shall be called wonderful counselor, prince of peace. In religion, He said no one comes to the Father except through him. Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him master; He had no degree, yet they called Him teacher; He had no medicines, yet they called Him healer. He had no armies, yet rulers feared Him. He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world. He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him. He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today. I feel honored to serve such a leader who loves us! Join us and let’s celebrate Him for He is worthy.
The question I pose before you today is what did the early church value that brought the blessings of God and what do we need to do to be like them?
1. They eagerly live in expectation of the word of God to bring life. JN 5:39 "You search the Scriptures because you believe they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Rom 10:9-10 For if you confess, with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. PS 119:11 "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. They were grounded in the Christian faith. Acts 2:42 “They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, sharing in the Lord’s Supper and in prayer.” They were eager to receive the Word of God Acts 8:4, 8 “the believers went everywhere preaching the Good News about Jesus. So there was great joy in that city.”
2. When sins were brought before them, they repented with a godly sorrow. Luke 1:76-77
"And you, my little son will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. 13:3-5 “you will also perish unless you turn from your evil ways and turn to God. And what about the eighteen men who died when the Tower of Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will also perish." It is pretty clear here that sin is not to be taken lightly but must be dealt with. I believe we would all agree that there will be no sin in heaven and that means we must get rid of it here in this life. There will not be a second chance after we die to repent. These disciples knew what sin would do to their witness and fellowship and did not want it to destroy the blessing of God. Adam and Eve had fellowship with God until sin then they wanted to hide.
We have already given one verse in Rom 10:10 I would also add 1 JN 1:9. How is your fellowship with God? How is your fellowship with other believers? Only true repentance brings us the fellowship that is right. If you have sin in your life, you will have trouble coming to church and in seeing others who know Jesus because sin divides.
3. They gave themselves to be baptized after they were saved. This was sign that they had changed lives. My wife and I were baptized at the same time when we were I college. We did not know each other yet. God knew that it would happen and later as I reflect back to that experience God was putting us together before we would become co-workers together as a married couple. Acts 16:30-33 He brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with your entire household." Then they shared the word of the Lord with him and all who lived in his household. That same hour the jailer washed their wounds, and he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. Gal 3:26 So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. 1 Cor 12:13For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Acts 19: 4-5Paul said, "John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. It is pretty clear wit these and other scriptures that could be given that we need to follow our repentance in baptism. Have you been baptized since you believed? This a beautiful sign to others that you have had a life change.