6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Learning how to be the church in today's world through learning from the book of Acts.

[Basket experiment: slips of paper, Describe yourself, good and bad, no names.]

Basically, [2] this is our church. Who we are as people is who we are as a church. The church isn’t just a name or a building or even a worship service. The church is God’s people together trying to accomplish His will on earth. We the people are we the church.

The good things and the bad things that make us who we are as individuals also make our church who she is corporately. So who is our church? Well let’s find out.

[Pretend to read slips: faithful, prayer warrior, shy, hungry,

likes to steal the pens out of the welcome folders, etc.]

Who we are as individuals also make our church who she is corporately. So what I want to do this morning is take a look at who the first church was and see how we match up. [3] Let’s go to Acts 2 and take a look at the first church ever. The first church began right after Peter preached to the crowds that had gathered there in Jerusalem.

[Read Acts 2:40-47.]

It’s as if Luke is giving us a bottom line biography of what the first church was like. We see a church that was a pure, vibrant and effective organization of people that were committed to Jesus Christ. But just like our church and any church, they were together as they were individually. So as we take a closer look at the first church, may it draw attention to who you are as an individual. Forget our church for a moment and let’s focus on ourselves.

The first thing we notice about the people in the first church was that they were [4] devoted people.

[Read Acts 2:42.]

Four things typified their devotion. They were devoted to the Apostles teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. These are the four things that kept the people focused on Jesus Christ and His will for them. This is what held that church together!

They were devoted to the Apostles teaching or the Word of God. They had come to know God in a personal way and they wanted to know as much as they could about Him. They weren’t going to create God in their image. They wanted to find out the Truth!

They were devoted to fellowship or each other. The Greek word used for fellowship here is “koinonia” which means “partnership”. It wasn’t that they just enjoyed hanging out together, they were committed to helping and partnering through life together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

They were devoted to the breaking of bread or worship. The breaking of bread refers to the practicing of the Lord’s Supper or communion as we call it. That shows us that they deliberately came together for times of worship.

They were devoted to prayer. You know, prayer is where we access the power of God. Prayer is where we access the heart of God. Prayer is where we access answers from God. These people didn’t just prayer when needs arose. These people were continually devoted to prayer.

The first church was made up of devoted people. People devoted to God’s Word; People devoted to each other; people devoted to worship; And people devoted to prayer.

[5] The first church was also made up of people who were awestruck by what God was doing in their midst.

[Read Acts 2:43.]

Through the hands of the apostles God was confirming His Word and their authority to teach it through miracles and signs and wonders. Just like He did through Jesus Christ Himself. The people needed to see that this was an act of God and not just of men. So when a healing would happen or when tongues would come forth the people would stand back awestruck by the power and person of God.

When’s the last time you were awestruck by something you saw?

[Grand Canyon, Lisette coming down the aisle, first altar call stories.]

I tell you what, when God does something for me to see, I want to be more awestruck. I don’t want to be like, “been there, done that”. I want to be more like a little kid who walks into Disney World for the first time. I want to be like I was when my kids were born. I want to be awestruck when witnessing God active in this world. The people of the first church never got over seeing God in their midst.

[6] Along with that, the people of the first church were selfless.

[Read Acts 2:44-45.]

They were so committed to each other that when needs arose they would sell of the extra stuff they had to provide for one another.

Now remember, there’s a good chance that the majority of the 3,000 people who were saved were people from other countries who had journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate on the day of Pentecost. It doesn’t look like they went back home to their jobs. Also, persecution of Christians was common in these days. If you were known as a believer in Jesus you might not be able to get a job or even stay out of prison for that matter. So there were very real needs amongst the people of the first church.

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