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They Built A Close Family Relationship

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5 Reasons The Early Church Grew

They Built A Close Family Relationship.

 

A.        INTRODUCTION

a.   Welcome visitors and good morning. We here at the Tualatin Valley Church are striving to follow the bible and be the church that we read about in our New Testaments.  If you have any questions about what we have done today, or what I am about to preach, please ask me, or any other member here.

b.  This morning we are continuing a series of lessons designed to get us to focus on the success of the Early Church.  We started by looking at reason #1- They Believed in the Empty Tomb.  Last week we looked at reason #2- They Understood the Consequences of Their Sins.

                                                            i.      We saw that:

1.   They knew what sin was.

2.   They knew the cost of remaining in sin.

3.   They knew the cure for sin.

                                                        ii.      Remember the basis of our looking at the early church:  The early NT Church experienced explosive growth.

1.   Acts 2:41- 3000 souls respond.

2.   Acts 4:4- 5000 grows to souls.

3.   Acts 5:14- more and more are added

                                                      iii.      So we continue to ask the questions:  “What were they doing to experience this kind of growth?” and “Are we willing to do the same things?

c.  I have identified 5 reasons that I see in the bible that they grew and I want to continue with reason #3 this morning.  It is:  THEY BUILT A CLOSE FAMILY RELATIONSHIP.

 

B.        THEY GATHERED TOGETHER IN BAD TIMES.

a.   After the crucifixion of Jesus, they gathered together.  Jesus had died.  They were alone.  They didn’t know what was going to happen.  Hope came when Jesus appeared to them while gathered together.

                                                            i.      John 20:19-23

                                                         ii.      John 20:26-30

b.   After the ascension of Jesus, they gathered together.  Now they had hope, but the physical kingdom was not established as they had understood. 

                                                            i.      Acts 1:13-15

                                                         ii.      Acts 2:1

c.   After Peter’s arrests, they gathered together.  2 times when Peter is arrested, the church is together, praying for him in his times of trial.

                                                            i.      Acts 4:23

                                                         ii.      Acts 12:1-5, 12:12

d.   The early church was bound and strengthened together during times of hardship and pain.  They were together.  That developed a close, family relationship.

C.        THEY GATHERED TOGETHER IN GOOD TIMES.

a.   After the first Gospel sermon, they all stayed together.

                                                            i.      They found times to eat together.

                                                         ii.      Acts 2:44-47

b.   During the beginning when the gospel was spreading rapidly, they stayed together.

                                                            i.      Acts 4:32-35

                                                         ii.      Acts 5:12-14

c.   When Paul was in town visiting the new church, they wanted to stay together.

                                                            i.      Acts 20:7-12

d.   They early church was bound and strengthened together during times of joy and excitement.

D.        THEY DEPENDED UPON EACH OTHER FOR SUPPORT.

a.   They were building the church TOGETHER.

                                                            i.      Ephesians 2:21-22

b.   Meeting TOGETHER was crucial for the church to grow.

                                                            i.      Hebrews 10:25

c.   Doing good for the family brings the body TOGETHER.

                                                            i.      Galatians 6:9-10

E.         CONCLUSION

a.   The early church grew because they were a close family that depended upon each other.

                                                            i.      Once again this message is counter to the world we live in.

                                                         ii.      Many try to push a message of independence and self reliance. 

                                                      iii.      Yet God put a desire in all of us to belong.  And that is the message that we must take to the world.  Come be part of this family!!!

b.   As we said last week, the early Church experienced rapid growth for many reasons. 

c.   Some we cannot experience again, but others are waiting for us to follow the example.

                                                            i.      They came together in bad times, so should we.

                                                         ii.      They came together in good times, so should we.

                                                      iii.      They depended upon each other, so should we. 

d.  Next week:  THEY WERE PERSECUTED FOR THEIR FAITH.

e.   Invitation

                                                            i.      Our lesson tells us that the early church felt a close family relationship with God as their Father and Jesus Christ as their redeemer.  

1.   Acts 2:38-Repent and be baptized

2.   Be raised to a new life today!

                                                         ii.      Confession & Prayers of the family of God are also part of the invitation today.

1.  James 5:16- Confess to one another.

2.  Stand and sing.

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