Summary: Now, here in chapter 2:42-47, Luke shows us activities practiced by the early church. This is shows us the traits that characterized the lives of Christian.
WHAT CHARACTERIZE THE CHURCH?
Good News Christian Fellowship
BUCAS, Daraga Albay
February 4, 2007
In Acts 2:1-13, Luke recorded the coming of the Holy Spirit. This is one of the most phenomenal and important events in all history. This is the event of glorious celebration, a day when people were to heap praise and thanksgiving upon God.
Also Luke recorded the preaching of the gospel by Peter to a great multitude on the day of Pentecost. Peter simply told them the wondrous story of redemption and grace by Christ, and proclaimed the glorious exaltation of Christ as Lord and King of the universe.
And three thousand people were converted and added to the church.
Now, here in chapter 2:42-47, Luke shows us activities practiced by the early church. This is shows us the traits that characterized the lives of Christian.
In this sermon, based on our text, I will preach to you traits that characterized the church:
• A worshiping community
• A learning congregation
• A caring flock
• A reaching body
These are things which should be of great interest and concern to every believer. They are matters about which every local church needs to be informed and well established.
I. A WORSHIPING COMMUNITY
After being baptized (v. 41) the first task for these new members of the body of Christ was learning how to worship.
Notice the words “continually devoting.” It means to be constantly diligent; to persevere constantly. A person does not quit, back off, fade away, and slip back. He continues on steadfastly.
When they gathered, their meeting beamed with intense devotion. As they assembled for prayer and fellowship, the Lord God remained the focus. The early church come together to worship on a regular schedule, a practice commanded and commended by the Apostles.
In Hebrew, the writer exhorts us not to neglect of assembling ourselves together, as it was the habit of some (Hebrew 10:25)
What is worship then?
Authors Ronald Allen and Gordon Borror shine a light on what worship is: “Worship is an active response to God whereby we declare His worth. . Worship is not simply mood; it is a response. Worship is not just a feeling; it is a declaration… “
So, worship is a human response to divine revelation. Worship begins with our eyes fixed on the holy Lord of heaven. When we come to church for worships, we should be looking for God. Our hearts should attuned to His heart, our souls open to drink in His glory. And when it happens, God is pleased, for He seeks genuine worshippers (John 4:23).
Worshiping God in His holiness and majesty helps us to see ourselves as we truly are – sinful and in need of a Savior. We praise God, confess our sins, and evaluate our lives as He speaks to our hearts. So we must listen to the message of God through the sermons.
II A LEARNING CONGREGATION
Observe verse 2 again. The early Christian devoted themselves not only worshiping God, they also learned His word. They continually devote themselves to the apostles’ teaching. The new believers mentioned gained knowledge and maturity as they sat under the apostles’ teaching. They received a solid diet of healthy spiritual food.
It is the obligation of the church to nurture those who are believers and build them up to maturity in the faith. Paul said, “Present every man mature in Christ.” (Col. 1:28)
Lord Jesus Christ commanded to teach new believers “to observe all I had commanded you” (Matt. 28:20)
The apostles considered the ministry of God’s word so important that they delegated other duties to ensure unobstructed teaching (Acts 6:1-6)
We can’t stay strong without this spiritual sustenance. If there’s no teaching, we’re simply having a picnic or a party. Without solid instruction, we’re fellowship gathering, not a church!
God gave the church a gifted persons “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the fullness of Christ” (Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem )
We read in 2timothy 4:1-4,”I charge you in the presence of god and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort , be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers who suit in own likings, and they will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.’
That’s how important the ministry of the word. Starving sheep lack spiritual strength for daily living, and they are easy prey for cults.