Faithlife Sermons

Empowered Part 04 (better audio)

Russell Jeffares
Empowered  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  46:12
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In Acts chapter 2, we see that when God's people are filled with the Holy Spirit and transformed by the gospel; it creates an extraordinary community of worship, love, and mission.

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 Introduction Series Introduction: How do we see lasting change in our lives? How are we going to plant this church? ​ Illustration: Signs of life: heart beat, breath, pupils dilate, etc. — Story: Med students play a prank on fellow by sending electricity into a cadaver. ​ ​ Main Idea: WHEN PEOPLE ARE TRANSFORMED BY THE GOSPEL & FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT, THE NATURAL RESULT IS THAT THEY BEGIN TO LIVE VERY DIFFERENTLY. They will live in a 1) community of true worship, 2) a community of extraordinary love, and a 3) community of infectious mission. People that have been filled with God’s Spirit will naturally begin to be devoted to new things. We saw last week that first result is that they were “devoted” to God’s word & the preaching of God’s word. They were also devoted to other things as well. As a matter of fact, the first Christians began to live and act very strangely. ​ A Community of True Worship () ​ Acts 2:42 ESV 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. ​ Acts 2:42–43 ESV 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. -- (ESV) Acts 2:42–43 ESV 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. The Fellowship of the Believers Acts 2:42 ESV And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42-43 Devoted to God’s Word--”apostles teaching” “the fellowship” — the gathering of believers “the breaking of bread” — Holy communion (cf. Luke ... “the prayers” — likely common prayers used during worship “Awe came upon every soul” — what is “awe”? Illustration: Richie Session: “we say tacos are awesome. No they’re not. They are delicious. Jesus is awesome!” So they were full of awe — are we? ​ A Community of Extraordinary Love (vv. 44-47a) ​ (ESV) Acts 2:44–47 ESV 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. First of all, they had “all things in common”. Wait a minute Russell. This is not a new thing. People have things in common all the time. A Community of Infectious Mission (v. 47b) But not in the way that this new community did. People normally gather with people that are like themselves. Think about it. We naturally gather with people that have our interests, that look like us, that have the same culture, etc. But notice who makes up this new community. Look in verse 9 of this chapter. Luke describes those gathered in Jerusalem at that time: So what it extraordinary here is that the normal social, political, racial categories go out the window because these people have a new commonality. They now share a commonality that transcends these natural barriers. Here's why: the gospel declares that we have a new identity and a new reputation, we are freed from the barriers of the world-status, culture, etc. Secondly, they exhibited a lavish generosity True grace experienced always leads to generosity. Its a natural reaction to the extreme lavish generosity of the God who gave away everything so we could have life. They also wanted to always be together - there were going to the temple together, going to each other’s homes, eating together. They can’t get enough of each other. A Community of Infectious Mission (v. 47b) The initial, natural reaction of those transformed by the Gospel is to desire to worship and experience constant fellowship, but over time this can fade. Sin and disfunction can also cause this to happen. Illustration: Girl upset with younger sister runs away … mom offers to get rid of her at the orphanage. It’s easy to look at these early Christians and say … “that was the honeymoon period” It’s hard to be in real community with others. Look at the rest the NT — Corinthians, Galatians A Community of Infectious Mission (v. 47b) When the people of God are living out true community, evangelism naturally happens. READ VERSE Evangelism: I have to confess that for the longest time I really didn’t like the idea of evangelism. Bad experiences in college (guy who believed we were unsuccessful because of some sin in our lives) Conclusion Unbelievers: Believers:
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