Summary: The Church at Pine Level must identify itself with the Church at Antioch. We must have a clear purpose and do whatever it takes to serve Christ. With God's leadership, our new purpose will be: "Connecting people with Jesus and each other."

What’s our Purpose?

Acts 13:1-13


When this series first started we discussed the imp of being a biblical church

-- The church of Acts is a tremendous road model for us to examine / follow

-- When it comes to following Christ, there is really NO more perfect example

The Book of Acts really is a mirror for us to see how we measure up

-- Consider the differences of the church then and the church now

-- 2000 years has brought lots of challenges to the church; but Christ is the same

Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

If we could be so bold, let’s compare and contrast quickly:

- 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

For us here – WE MUST take the reins and CHANGE this

So today’s challenge for the church (again) is to answer one question:

What does a biblical church look like?

Read Acts 13:1-13 / Pray

Point 1 - A biblical church practices spiritual disciplines (v. 1-2a)

Spiritual disciplines are actions that we do for cultivating our relationship

-- Looking at Acts 13, we see that the early church was STRONG in this

The early church practiced at least three different disciplines we see here

First, they lived the Word of God (v1)

-- The church was dedicated to practicing what they had been taught

-- Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

-- This practice allows them to continue to be trained and grow in God

APP: It’s the same application for us today; we MUST join together to study

Second, they were worshippers (v2a)

-- They spent time in church, worshiping only God; devotion was critical

-- Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Third, they desired to experience God in their lives (v2b: fasting)

-- If we are to see the power of God in our lives; we’ve got to return to Him

-- Joel 2:12-13, “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”

IMP: There is NO other source of power we need more than God’s

TRANS: If we live spiritual disciplines, we will fulfill our mission

Point 2 – A biblical church fulfills its mission (v. 2b-5)

As a church, our on-going mission is to do one thing: Share the Gospel

-- The early church understood and practiced this repeatedly

The story we are examining today is Paul’s first missionary journey

-- He and Barnabas were called by God (v2b) and sent out by the church (v3)

-- Because of their obedience, the Gospel is spread to Cyprus and beyond

As TCAPL grows, our ties to the church at Antioch MUST be clear:

1. Our biblical mission is directed by the Holy Spirit (v. 2, 4)

-- God directs us to go and bring people to Christ; but it’s not about numbers

-- APP: The focus of ours today must be to connect people with JESUS

2. We have been sent on this mission by God

-- We must be willing to admit that this mission is NOT ours; it is God’s

-- Jesus said in John 12:32, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

-- APP: Jesus is lifted up and He does the drawing – So? WE must lift Him up!!

3. Sharing the Gospel is critical; but we are also to bring others into fellowship

-- We are here to bring people into the fold; God loves His entire creation

-- The Bible is clear that others need to hear, see, and experience Christ

If I could, I’d like to exercise a little pastoral license here

-- Our church has held to the phrase: “Greater things are yet to come”

-- Personally, I think it’s a great verse and a great song – but what’s it mean?

-- How do we do that? How do we share that with others? How do we reach?

I’d like to recommend a NEW purpose for us to pray about:

“Connecting people to Jesus and each other.”

As a church, we are to draw people to Jesus; as well as to each other

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