Summary: We value commitment because it is what motivated the New Testament Church.
True Values: Commitment
Text: Acts 2:42
1. What does it mean to be committed to something?
2. Webster’s Dictionary says that commitment is "the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled."
3. Perhaps we can look at it another way. There is a major difference between involvement and commitment? The best way to explain this is analogy between bacon and eggs. In bacon and eggs, the hen is involved but the pig is committed.
4. The Bohemian reformer John Hus was a man who believed the Scriptures to be the infallible and supreme authority in all matters. He died at the stake for that belief in Constance, Germany, on his forty-second birthday. As he refused a final plea to renounce his faith, Hus’s last words were, "What I taught with my lips, I seal with my blood."
5. The real question is how do we define commitment?
6. We need to ask the question today:
a. What is commitment?
b. To what should we commit ourselves?
7. Read Act 2:42
Proposition: We value commitment because it is what motivated the New Testament Church.
Transition: The first question we need to ask is...
I. What Is Commitment?
A. Devoted Themselves
1. To understand commitment, we must begin with a biblical definition of the term.
2. No one was more committed than the early church. Luke tells us that in the early church "All the believers devoted themselves..."
a. I would like to focus on the word "devoted."
b. The Greek word being translated here means "to continue to do something with intense effort, with the possible implication of despite difficulty (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).
c. This doesn’t sound to me like they took their relationship with the Lord casually.
d. Their relationship with the Lord was something that they continued to do with "an intense effort."
e. That means that no matter what they did for the Lord they poured all of their hearts into it.
3. Their devotion to the Lord and His church was not something that was second or even third place in their lives. It was the most important thing in their lives.
a. Exodus 20:2-6 (NLT)
“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. “You must not have any other god but me. “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.
b. To make something more important than our relationship to God and our devotion to His church is nothing short of idolatry.
c. God will not accept second place in anything, and he must have first place in our lives.
d. If Jesus isn’t Lord of all, then he isn’t Lord at all!
4. Notice something else; it says that "all the believers" were devoted.
a. Typically, in most churches, 20% of the people do 80% of the work.
b. This is wrong! What it should say is that everyone in the church finds their place in the church and does their part.
c. 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NLT)
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
d. If one part of the body decides that I am not going to do my part, or I’m not going to show up today, then the whole body suffers.
B. Are You Committed?
1. Illustration: Twice in my ministry I have had people describe the church to me with alarming illustrations. One alluded to the church as a doctor’s care. "If you don’t like your doctor, you go to another one." The second compared the church to a fast food restaurant. "If you don’t like McDonald’s, you go to Burger King." Isn’t it said that we have reduced the church to convenience and cliché’s.
2. The biggest problem with the Church today is lack of commitment.
a. Recent surveys indicate that 80% of those who attend evangelical Christian churches say that the purpose of the church is for Christians to have a place to fellowship.
b. In other words, "Church is about me!"
c. No wonder we have Christians jumping from church to church.
d. No wonder we have reduced the church of Jesus Christ to cheap illustrations.
e. No wonder the church is shallow, unhealthy, and ineffective.
f. The church isn’t about me; it’s not about you; the church is about Jesus!
3. The reason that the Church struggles so much today is because of lack of commitment.