Summary: The church in Antioch was filled with "real" Christians and shows us what a biblical church looks like.
* The book of Acts holds up a mirror to our church today so we can get an accurate picture of how well we are functioning as a biblical church.
* Many outward things about the church has changed in 2000 years, but what the church is and what we are to do has not...nor will it ever.
* Yet a difference seems to exist between the church then and the church now...
- Acts: completely selfless // Now: Completely selfish
- Acts: Strong outward focus // Now: Weak outward focus
- Acts: Undeniable presence of God // Now: Absence of God's presence
- Acts: Power of God was the norm // Now: Power of God is rare
* Our assignment is not to redefine the church, but to follow the example of the church in Acts.
* What does a biblical church look like?
1. A biblical church practices spiritual disciplines (v. 1-2a)
* Spiritual disciplines: practices and habits that cause us to grow in our relationship with God in spiritual maturity
* The spiritual disciplines they practiced...
A. They lived the Word of God (v. 1: prophets and teachers)
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 = teaching; reproof; correction; training
B. They were worshipers (v. 2)
- Rom. 12:1
C. They desired to experience God (v. 2: fasting)
2. A biblical church fulfills its biblical mission (v. 2b-5)
* The perpetual mission of the church to share the Gospel
* What the church at Antioch reminds us about this mission...
A. Our biblical mission is directed by the Holy Spirit (v. 2, 4)
B. We must fulfill our biblical mission because God has set us apart for it (2 Cor. 5:20)
C. We have been sent on this mission by God (John 20:21)
D. The Gospel is the focus of our mission
3. A biblical church is faithful in spite of opposition (v. 6-12)
* Notice how Paul faced the opposition...
A. He faced opposition with courage = 1 John 4:4
B. He faced opposition with conviction (he really believed God had called him to this task)
C. He faced opposition with confidence: he knew that God would deliver
* Gal. 6:9