Summary: For the church to move foward there must be proper attitudes in the church.
March 18, 2012
Subject: The Early Church
Title: Three Attitudes in the Church
I want to begin this morning by sharing what the Lord spoke to me on Friday. Here is how His word came to me. It wasn’t when I was at prayer Friday morning (though He did give me the sermon then), didn’t come while I was preparing my sermon. It came to me when I wasn’t even thinking about anything. The Lord just spoke. Here is what He said to me. “I am going to send revival to the church. There are many who have prayed and hungered for revival, yet there are many who just want to play church. Those who are hungry I will satisfy and take them and the church to new heights. Those who are satisfied with the status quo will have to make up their minds which direction they will go. Some will oppose the sovereign move of the Spirit I am about to send. Do not fear them and do not back away from where I am taking you. Those who oppose Me will be left behind. To those who are for Me – I will require something in return. It is time to decide which church you will commit to – the church that satisfies your own will, or a church that obeys my word.”
Now when I was at prayer Friday the Lord gave me this scripture. Philippians 2:5, Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus… I’m really beginning where we are going to end up this morning. Let me share with you what the scriptures say about Christ’s attitude. 1) Luke 19:10, For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.
2) Matthew 20:28… just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,”
So as we see what the attitudes of Christ is I want to look at three attitudes of those who are in the church as we see in the story in Acts 5:1-11.
Read Acts 5:1-16
I believe this is God’s word…
I believe it is for me…
I accept it as mine…
I appropriate it to my life today
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
I. THERE ARE THOSE IN THE CHURCH WHO WANT TO LOOK GOOD TO OTHERS WITHOUT MAKING THE SACRIFICE… verses1-11. The story about Ananias and Saphira. In order to understand this story we have to look at how chapter 4 ends. Barnabas has sold a piece of property and placed the money at the feet of the apostles. He did it out of love for God and His people. His motives were pure. The name “Barnabas” means “Son of encouragement”. What he was called he was… He lived out what Paul wrote in Romans 12:3, For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. There are two common misconceptions that people in the church have about themselves. 1) Too many think that the church couldn’t exist without them. I have seen people leave churches thinking, “I’ll leave and take as many people with me that I can. That will show them…” And every time someone has left with that attitude (which by the way is NOT as Christ like attitude) the Lord brought someone else into the church to replace them. Sometimes God moves people out of the way so there is no roadblock to what God wants to do in that church. 2) At the same time, too often people use their own natural abilities or their lack of abilities, as an excuse to do nothing in the church. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus… In the story today Ananias and his wife Saphira were apparently well known in the church. They were probably even highly thought of. But they became jealous of the recognition that Barnabas received by giving money to the cause of Christ. I’m not going to try to explain why God saw fit to put them to death. It is probably because the church was young and He wanted everyone to understand how important it was to live a Spirit lead life and not a flesh led life. Here is the problem. They had purposed in their hearts to lie to the apostles about their giving. They weren’t just lying to the apostles, or to the church, but they were making it look like they were being led by the Spirit when in fact they were being led by their own selfish desires – pride and greed. God is not impressed with our works. We will be rewarded according to our works, but we will not gain entrance into heaven by our works. If Ananias and Saphira had just sold their ground and taken 10% to the apostles and said, "Here is my tithe on the ground we sold", would they not have been blessed? Malachi 3:10, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test Me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have enough room for it.” What does God expect from you? He wants you to be who you are; no pretenses; nothing fake. Just know who you are in Him and live it out without expecting recognition from anyone. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.