Summary: God has placed within each of us some basic needs that are met when we make church a priority in our lives.
Why Is Church So Important?
Text: Acts 2:42-47
1. Illustration: A little old lady was amazed at how nice the young man was next door. Everyday he would help her gather things from her car or help her in her yard. One day the old lady finally ask the young man, "son, how did you become such a fine young man". The young man replied, "well, when I was a boy, I had a drug problem". The old lady was shocked, "I can’t believe that". The young man replied, "it’s true, my parents drug me to church on Sunday morning, drug me to church on Sunday night and drug me to church on Wednesday night"
2. There are many good reasons to make church a regular part of your life. However, the three most important are because we all have:
a. Spiritual Needs
b. Physical Needs
c. Social Needs
3. Read Acts 2:42-47
Proposition: God has placed within each of us some basic needs that are met when we make church a priority in our lives.
Transition: First, church is important...
I. Because We Have Spiritual Needs (42)
A. Devoted Themselves
1. If we want to understand the importance of attending church the best place to look is from the ones who started it all - the very first Christian church in Jerusalem.
2. The first thing we learn about them is "All the believers devoted themselves..."
a. The verb translated "devoted" (proskartereo) is a common one that connotes a steadfast and single-minded fidelity to a certain course of action.
b. The meaning is that they continued in faithful adherence to the newly formed community." The word is used often with the idea of "persisting obstinately in" something (Fernando, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: Acts, 119).
c. The early church was completely sold out to these principles.
d. This was not a pastime, hobby, or something that they did when they had nothing better to do. Rather it was something that was priority in their lives.
3. So what did they devote themselves to? Luke tells us that "All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching..."
a. Considering that Jesus spent so much time teaching the crowds and his inner band of followers, it is not surprising that teaching had an important place in the early church (Fernando, 120).
b. Not only did they take a firm stand for Christ with the apostles, they also had a persistent desire for instruction.
c. It was not enough for them to merely have their foot in the door or to be a part of a community. They had a continual, insatiable hunger to learn more about their faith.
d. They knew what we often forget, that the rule and standard of faith begins and ends with the Word of God.
e. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
4. The next thing that Luke tells us they were devoted to was "to fellowship..."
a. Fellowship was experienced in the process of teaching.
b. Koinonia: an association involving close mutual relations and involvement -—Louw & Nida: NT Greek-English Lexicon
c. It also carried with it the idea of partnership.
d. Philippians 1:5 (NLT)
for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.
e. But the nineteen occurrences of koinonia in the New Testament suggest that the church used this word for the unique sharing that Christians have with God and with other Christians (Fernando, 120).
f. It was more than getting together. It was a partnership in the purposes of the Church and a sharing in its message and work (Horton, Acts: A Logion Press Commentary).
5. Another thing that they were devoted to was "to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper)..."
a. You knew I’d get to the eating part eventually didn’t you?
b. This phrase literally means "the breaking of bread."
c. This phrase "was a technical expression for the Jewish custom of pronouncing the blessing and breaking and distributing the bread at the beginning of a meal (Fernando, 121).
d. The "breaking of bread" (Gk. tou artou, "of the bread") some writers take to mean only the Lord’s Supper, but it also includes table fellowship.
e. Believers could not observe the Lord’s Supper in the temple, so this was done in their homes, at first in connection with a meal (since Jesus instituted it at the close of the Passover meal) (Horton, Acts: A Logion Press Commentary).