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The Church is Devoted

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Today's message - lots of introduction to set up where we are going with the teaching over the coming weeks and why?
One of the qualities of the Bible that the Bible claims about itself is clarity…the Bible is clear about the things that are of utmost importance…so where there is confusion or division or disagreement about something that seemingly should be clear…we need to take a step back…and ask…what does God’s Word about…
One of those topics is the Church. What (or more accurately) who is the Church? What does the church look like? Believe? Do? Not do?
What are the essential doctrines the Church must believe in order to truly be a church? What is the point of or more accurately…the power of the Church and what is its mission? And on a local and personal level..are we the Church that God commands His Church be?
According to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there exist roughly 43,000 Christian denominations worldwide in 2012. That is up from 500 in 1800 and 39,000 in 2008 and this number is expected to grow to 55,000 by 2025.
If you are wondering what I mean when I say there has been a loss of clarity on what the Church is and what the Church believes…let me give you a few details to ponder.
According to a study by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there were roughly 43,000 Christian denominations worldwide in 2012.
In 1800 there were 500.
Currently, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary estimates that a new Christian denomination is formed every 10.5 hours, or 2.3 denominations a day.
That is a new Christian denomination is every 10.5 hours, or 2.3 new denominations a day.
There are denominations just in this little town that disagree on major Christian doctrines such as salvation, the cross, the resurrection, the sovereignty of God, the reality of the Holy Spirit, the existence of hell, the meaning of central Christian beliefs such as baptism, communion and marriage, and even whether Jesus is the only way to be saved…that is just in Fall Creek.
On top of that there are non-Christian groups who have “churches”…and call them Chrurches just wthin 2 hours of here…for example:
The Church of Scientology
Christian Science
Johovas Witness
Church of Later Day Saints
Churhc of Later Day Saints
Wiccan Church - witches
And many more...
So there may be no more important of a topic for us to be clear on as a Church as:
What (or Who) is the Church?
The Church that Jesus promises:
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Matthew 16:18 ESV
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Why the confusion?
Why?
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1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
When God really opened my eyes to the truth of His word and the beauty of Christ and salvation and God’s sovereignty over all of creation... something else started happening…I would read His Word and just get the feeling that something was off with what I had experienced and was experiencing…
When God really opened my eyes to the truth of His word and the beauty of Christ and salvation and God’s sovereignty over all of creation... something else started happening…I would read His word and just get the feeling that something was off…there had to be more to this “Church” thing than what I had experienced.
When God really opened my eyes to the truth of His word and the beauty of Christ and salvation and God’s sovereignty over all of creation... something else started happening…I would read His word and just get the feeling that something was off…there had to be more to this “Church” thing than what I had experienced.
There had to be more to this “Church” thing than what I was witnessing.
When God really opened my eyes to the truth of His word and the beauty of Christ and salvation and God’s sovereignty over all of creation... something else started happening…I would read His word and just get the feeling that something was off…there had to be more to this “Church” thing than what I had experienced.
There are three cultural components that I want to first address before we look at our text for this morning.
What causes things to slowly drift away from what they were meant to be.
Definitions change.
We live in an interesting time…dictionaries and textbooks are being rewritten. The definitions of words change over time…and this is happening rapidly in our day.
Over time the dictionary definition of words actually changes. This causes issues between generations...older people hear words and think different things than the younger people are hearing . This can cause misunderstanding and even division or and overtime causes foundational things to change…unless truth and definition is built on a foundational text to go back to. Something that is unchanging.
Overtime the dictionary definition of words changes. This causes issues generations older people hear words and think different things than the younger people were hearing them. Can even cause division or misunderstanding. and overtime causes change.
Let me give you an example of some words that have changed in their meaning.
Let me give you an example of some words that have changed in there meaning and white it might mean four structures conversations things.
1. The word awful - original meaning of the word awful meant something filled you with awe...much like the word awesome is now defined to mean. Originally awful was awesome. But nowadays awful means extraordinarily bad or terrible...but it previosly meant marvelous, great, stunning, mind-boggling.
The word awful the original meaning of the word awful meant something that you full of all much like the word awesome is now supposed to mean. Originally awful and awesome to clean the same word. But nowadays awful means extraordinary bad or terrible but it must marvelous, great, stunning, mind-boggling. you can see how using the word awful it's now to someone who had the original definition might cause confusion. Or if someone but the original definition came up to you and said god causes this  awful feeling in my heart. You might think that was bad when they met something very different.
You can see how using the word awful today the way we use it to someone who had the original definition might cause confusion. Or if someone with original definition in mind came up to you and said God causes an awful feeling in my heart. You might think that was bad when they met something very different.
The word naughty. The word naughty originally meant someone who had nothing. Been brought to not. What's commonly used to describe the poor or needy. It now means mischievous or disobedient even bad or Wicked. So as you can see if I was talking about helping the homeless you should help the naughty trinity it would give you a very different opinion of who I was saying we should help when I meant we should help the poor you would think we should help
2. The word naughty. The word naughty originally meant someone who had nothing. Been brought to naught. We would now say poor or needy.
The word naughty now means mischievous or disobedient even bad or wicked. So as you can see if I was talking about helping the homeless and told you that you should help the naughty and give them some money...it would give you a very different idea of who I was saying we should help when I meant we should help the poor you would think we should help the evil or bad people.
The word pretty. the word pretty originally meant cunning or deceptive. It now memes feminine or good looking. So now when I call my wife pretty it is compliment but originally it would have been me calling my wife deceptive
3. The word pretty. The word pretty originally meant cunning or deceptive. It now memes feminine or good looking. So now when I call my wife pretty it is compliment but originally it would have been me calling my wife deceptive.
So the definition of words changes.
So the definition of words changes over time and this happens because there is no foundational text to go back to.
In this Church this has happened most obviously with the Words…Christian…little Christ.
Or the Word Hell…and the Word Church.
Traditions change. And we tend as people to think do things is the right way to do them. But these Traditions change over time. We tend to fall into the ways we have seen things done and then assume that is the way we're meant to be done.
Reason #2 Traditions change.
And we tend as people to think that the way we do things is the right way to do them. We tend to build on those and tend not to look back.
So we may stick with something or emphasize something that is off or has drifted the way it was meant to be…simply because it is our tradition or a tradition of a group of people....and these traditions change over time. We tend to fall into the ways we have seen things done and then assume that is the way we're meant to be done. And rarely ask…or don’t like to ask…what is the foundation of this tradition…and is it right?
And finally over time Things become less sacred probably be most obvious example of this I can think of is the word God. We live in a Strange World. In the Old Testament they would not even say the name of God. They would say that name or the name, but would not say God's name at all.
We have made Sunday gathering in a building or place the primary when it was not meant to be the primary.
The primary was the people who were on mission together in the place they lived…and the gathering on Sunday was part of that…but not what they thought of when they heard the word church…but our tradition.
And finally reason # 3...
Over time things become less sacred…we fall into a rut…and forget why we even do the things we do but continue to do them....
Probably the most obvious example of this I can think of is the word God. Let me make this clear...We live in a Strange World a different time.
In the Old Testament they would not even say the name of God or the Word God. They would say that name or the name, but would not say God's name at all.
And the prophet Isaiah when you recognizes the glory of God standing in front of the throne he says woe is me for I am lost for I am a man of unclean lips. I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. This isn't a time when they would not even say the name of God. We now live in a time where using in Vein or flippantly is commonplace.
In the prophet Isaiah when he recognizes that He is in the presence of the glory of God...standing in front of the throne he says.
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Isaiah 6:5 ESV
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
So we have gone from a time when people would not even say the name of God. We now live in a time where using His name in vain or flippantly is commonplace.
Woe is me for I am lost for I am a man of unclean lips. I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. This isn't a time when they would not even say the name of God. We now live in a time where using in Vein or flippantly is commonplace.
When we say the name of Jesus in our day we should recognize that his name is above every name and one day every knee will bow sound of his name.
When we say the name of Jesus in our day we should recognize that his name is above every name and one day every knee will bow at just the sound of his name.
Other things that are sacred that have lost their sacredness overtime would be the thought of being in God's presence oh God, the communion table and breaking bread together emma singing to God the fact that God would send his son speaking of Eternal things, about the power of the spirit, the sacredness of Prayer
These factors and the division of the Christian Church into denominations....together has caused a confusion…a drift…even a change in the definition of the word church, our Traditions added on to or reemphasized what church is, and the loss of the sacredness of being part of the body of Christ…the Church.
And I think these three factors together the slow drift in the change the definition of the word church, our Traditions added on to what church, and the loss of all in the things of God, warrant taking a look at what the Bible says Church is what the Bible emphasizes about church
This warrants us taking a look at what the Bible says Church is…and is supposed to be…and what it believes and therefore does.
For the next 4-6-10 weeks we will be asking a question that starts with something like this:
If you were born on a semi-deserted island with no Christian tradition or knowledge of the word Church…then became a born again Christian, filled with the Spirit, then converted a community of people on your island to Christ by the gospel…and then God said…be the Church just based on what the Bible says a Church is.
What would you come up with? What would it have? Not have?
What would that look like?
I am not talking about how to best “to the Romans be a Roman” or how to express Church in specific cultures or communities…
What we are going to look at first is…what is obvious? What is necessary?
And just as important...What is emphasized? By God in His Word…to us.
What are the things that after reading the Bible without any preconceived notions you would say…that is a mark of a true Christian Church…that is a necessity. You can do all of these other things and put the word church on it…but if you are not x,y,z…that just seems off.
Start with how does the Bible define a church:
Church of Wicca -
I was recently meeting with a pastor in EC and was talking about church growth and he said something like this,
I
I could grow my church tomorrow…do you want to know how? Make it more like the world. Soften the gospel, change controversial doctrines, don’t talk about sin or hell, give people what they want to hear, ask nothing of them, and put on a really good show.
Here is the rub…we want church growth…we pray for revival…we strongly desire more to be saved...so shouldn't we do those things?
I think it depends on how you define church.
How does the Bible define a church:
The term appears only twice in the Gospels (; ) but frequently in the Book of Acts, the letters of Paul, as well as most of the remaining NT writings, especially the Revelation.
Let’s start simple and build on it.
SLIDE
ekklesia - the gathering ones or the set apart ones.
So what is the first thing we can say? The Church is the people (the ones) who have been set apart to gather together.
So biblically when they heard or said the word Church…the first thing that came to mind was not a building…event…place…but a specific gathered and set apart people.
Church Universal - All of God’s chosen, set apart…or all of the truly saved…who will one day gather before the throne together singing Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.
Most of the time however when the Bible uses the word church it is not referring to this…it is referring to the local church.
A group or assembly of God’s people called together by God for a particular purpose of God in a particular place.
SLIDE
Church - God’s people set apart to gather and live out God’s purpose for them in the place God has put them.
A group or assembly of people called together by God for a particular purpose of God in a particular place.
So from this we can begin to ask questions...
Who are God’s people?
How do they relate to one another as the Church?
Is there a structure or leadership model that God prescrbes?
How are the set apart?
How often and why do they gather?
What do they do when they gather?
What does it look like to live the rest of life as part of a church?
What is God’s purpose for the Church?
Where has God put them and why?
A people on mission together in a local place…for God.
But we need to ask those questions with the foundational understanding that the Church is…a people on mission together in a local place…for God.
People who have been called out of something , saved to be set apart by God, and gather together for something.
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Church. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 458). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
First thing we can say about a church…it is people.
People who have been called out of something , saved to be set apart by God, and gather together for something.
Primarily for the purpose of God - to glorify Him by the way they live and are on mission together as His church.
For the purpose of God - to glorify Him by the way they live and be on mission for Him to make disciples.
In the place they live.
For the purpose of God.
In the place that we live…which the book of Acts says is not random…God has put us in this place for a specific purpose.
Temple of God
Body of Christ
Body of Christ
Community of the Spirit
What are the parts we need to get right to be honoring to Jesus, faithful to the Word, and glorifying to God.
The born again people of God, living by the power of the Spirit of God, because of their love for Jesus and one another , lead by Biblically qualified elders on Gods mission to make disciples with the gospel for the glory of God.
Gather together often
As the family of God
The born again people of God, living by the power of the Spirit of God, because of their love for Jesus and one another, lead by Biblically qualified elders on Gods mission to make disciples with the gospel for the glory of God.
So in the simplest terms that is what a Church is.
So in that context how do you have Growth:
God’s glory.
Gather as God’s people
God’s glory.
God’s glory.
So there is an upward…inward…and then outwardness to the Church
Power of the Spirit.
Church - We God’s people set apart to gather together and live out God’s purpose for us in the particular place God has put us.
Love of Jesus.
Gospel
Disciples who make diciples.
The way we will be looking at this is through some of the foundational musts…then some of the structural commands on the church.
False churches are not a new thing for our time.
.
Corinthians
Revelation.
Jesus even says it will increase until He retuens
So with that as our definition of the Biblical church...
Here is how we will spend our time together over the weeks to come as we dig deeper into the Biblical Church and what it means for us here in FC.
This morning we will look at to see how the Church is devoted.
The Church is United…and Loves One Another...
The Church Loves One Another...
The Church is on Mission...
The Church is Lead by Followers of Jesus... and
Then we will teach through other aspects of the Biblical Church including the importance of how the church handles and upholds:
Then I was planning on some foundation belief sermons...
God's Word
God's Word
The Gospel
The Gospel
Jesus
Our love for and devotion to Jesus
The role and power of the Holy Spirit
Baptism and Communion
Communion
Christian Living - Obedience
God's Glory - Our Joy
Evangelism
What are the parts we need to get right to be honoring to Jesus, faithful to the Word, and glorifying to God.
What are the parts we need to get right to be honoring to Jesus, faithful to the Word, and glorifying to God.
Expositional Preaching and Teaching of Biblical Theology
Biblical Theology
Evangelism
Conversion
Evangelism
Discipleship
Membership
Membership
and
Prayer
Prayer
IF there is any other aspect of the Church we should teach on let me know...
Prayer
Prayer
Let’s read
According to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there exist roughly 43,000 Christian denominations worldwide in 2012. That is up from 500 in 1800 and 39,000 in 2008 and this number is expected to grow to 55,000 by 2025.
Currently, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary estimates that a new Christian denomination is formed every 10.5 hours, or 2.3 denominations a day.
There are denominations just in this little town that disagree on major Christian donctirines suchas salvation, the resurrection, and the existance of hell, and whether JEsus is the only way to be saved.
Why?
We live in an interesting time…dictionaries and textbooks are being rewritten. The definitions of words change over time…and this is happening rapidly in our day.
When God really opened my eyes to the truth of His word and the beaty of Christ something else started happening…I would read His word and just get the feeling that something was off…there had to be more to this “Church” thing than what I had experienced.
There are three cultural components that I want to first address before we look at our text for this morning.
What causes things to slowly drift away from what they were meant to be.
Definitions change.
Overtime the dictionary definition of words changes. This causes issues generations older people hear words and think different things than the younger people were hearing them. Can even cause division or misunderstanding. and overtime causes change.
Let me give you an example of some words that have changed in there meaning and white it might mean four structures conversations things.
The word awful the original meaning of the word awful meant something that you full of all much like the word awesome is now supposed to mean. Originally awful and awesome to clean the same word. But nowadays awful means extraordinary bad or terrible but it must marvelous, great, stunning, mind-boggling. you can see how using the word awful it's now to someone who had the original definition might cause confusion. Or if someone but the original definition came up to you and said god causes this  awful feeling in my heart. You might think that was bad when they met something very different.
The word naughty. The word naughty originally meant someone who had nothing. Been brought to not. What's commonly used to describe the poor or needy. It now means mischievous or disobedient even bad or Wicked. So as you can see if I was talking about helping the homeless you should help the naughty trinity it would give you a very different opinion of who I was saying we should help when I meant we should help the poor you would think we should help
And see how The Church is Devoted.
The word pretty. the word pretty originally meant cunning or deceptive. It now memes feminine or good looking. So now when I call my wife pretty it is compliment but originally it would have been me calling my wife deceptive
So the definition of words changes.
Traditions change. And we tend as people to think do things is the right way to do them. But these Traditions change over time. We tend to fall into the ways we have seen things done and then assume that is the way we're meant to be done.
Acts 2:42–47 ESV
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
And finally over time Things become less sacred probably be most obvious example of this I can think of is the word God. We live in a Strange World. In the Old Testament they would not even say the name of God. They would say that name or the name, but would not say God's name at all.
42-4
And Isaiah 6 the prophet Isaiah when you recognizes the glory of God standing in front of the throne he says woe is me for I am lost for I am a man of unclean lips. I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. This isn't a time when they would not even say the name of God. We now live in a time where using in Vein or flippantly is commonplace.
When we say the name of Jesus in our day we should recognize that his name is above every name and one day every knee will bow sound of his name.
Does that excite you? I am so energized and excited by that because I am seeing that before my eyes and I desire more of that!
Reread:
Other things that are sacred that have lost their sacredness overtime would be the thought of being in God's presence oh God, the communion table and breaking bread together emma singing to God the fact that God would send his son speaking of Eternal things, about the power of the spirit, the sacredness of Prayer
Acts 2:42 ESV
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
And I think these three factors together the slow drift in the change the definition of the word church, our Traditions added on to what church, and the loss of all in the things of God, warrant taking a look at what the Bible says Church is what the Bible emphasizes about church
So we live in a time where we say things like did you go to church today? or how was church?
We live in a time where we say things like did you go to church today? or how was church? In because of the traditions or the change in the definition of the word church or are loss of the sacredness part of the body of Christ, we think of church as something separate from us a building or a club or a service we attend but that is not biblical
We live in a time where we say things like did you go to church today? or how was church? In because of the traditions or the change in the definition of the word church or are loss of the sacredness part of the body of Christ, we think of church as something separate from us a building or a club or a service we attend but that is not biblical
In our day sometimes I think we (and I am guilty of this) talk about church kind of like we talk about going to a movie.
Sometimes I think we talked about church kind of like we talked about going to a movie we go time and we observe and then we leave and sometimes the event critique and then we move on to the other parts of our life we have separated it do this event or thing
We go for a time and we observe and then we leave and sometimes we even critique what we just observed and then we move on to the other parts of our life we have separated from the part of our life we call church.
As though Church is an event or something separate from who we are or are created to be.
On a culture where everything is not relative it becomes like a box we click or Club We join. Democrat. White black Indian Hispanic. Student occupation. Dad brother sister. Christian Muslim. Do you go to church what denomination are you? It becomes part of a list qualities or decisions we've made about Who We Are.
In some ways, it becomes like a box we click or club we join.
Republican or Democrat.
White black Indian Hispanic.
When I was in California her to story and met and hung out with a former gang member berkeley changed for Christ. The most Evangelical sold out gospel believe in person I've ever been around. He had joined after reading the New Testament and being born again and said he was confused and even disappointed. Disillusioned.
Student or occupation.
Dad brother sister. mom.
Christian Muslim Jewish Hindu.
Catholic or Protestant.
Do you go to church? Where do you go?
What denomination are you?
It becomes part of a list qualities or decisions we've made about Who We Are…instead of who we are.
However when you read scripture about the Church...it is kind of like a mix of family, and military, with even more commitment...deep commitment to one another and to Jesus and to the mission.
He said he was confused and disappointed and disillusioned. He felt
Because of his previous experience and because way he came to Christ he expected the church be this life-changing powerful thing that you and go on Mission with other people who have your back and are all in for Jesus and the gospel together in all things.
Because of his previous life experience and because of the way he came to Christ and in a raw way read the NT without preconceived notions about what a church was...
A Devotion. The Church is Devoted.
He expected the church be this life-changing powerful thing where you are on Mission with other people who are fully devoted to Jesus…and each other…who have your back and are all in for Jesus and the gospel together in all things.
And you walked in and realize for most people it was a place they went we're going to be entertained at. Then afterwards they decide if they liked it or not commented on if they liked the message or the music and then went off to lunch to their normal lives.
Is that what He should have
He said It felt they had just gone to a play or movie any expected it to be like joining.
So as we bgin this series…lets end todays message by focusion on one aspect of the Church...
any expected it to be like joining.
When you read scripture it was kind of like a mix of family military, with even more commitment. A deep commitment to one another and to Jesus and to Mission.
When you read scripture it was kind of like a mix of family military, with even more commitment. A deep commitment to one another and to Jesus and to Mission.
The Church is Devoted
Acts 2:42 ESV
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Let’s put this verse in context.
That is the part I want to talk about this morning. Let's turn to act 1 and 2 in act 1 you get these people who have joined together they've just been given I Jesus and tells them to wait and to pray the Holy Spirit falls upon them peter goes on preaches the gospel there is this reference and Devotion to Jesus in the mission he has put them on. And many are convicted his sermon message convince them in their heart. They ask what shall we do?
Let's turn to act 1 and 2 in act 1 you get these people who have joined together they've just been given I Jesus and tells them to wait and to pray the Holy Spirit falls upon them peter goes on preaches the gospel there is this reference and Devotion to Jesus in the mission he has put them on. And many are convicted his sermon message convince them in their heart. They ask what shall we do?
In you get these people who have gathered together in Jerusalem with the risen, glorified Jesus.
Let's turn to act 1 and 2 in act 1 you get these people who have joined together they've just been given I Jesus and tells them to wait and to pray the Holy Spirit falls upon them peter goes on preaches the gospel there is this reference and Devotion to Jesus in the mission he has put them on. And many are convicted his sermon message convince them in their heart. They ask what shall we do?
Before His ascention He He Gives them a mission…He had already given them the great commision (which we will talk about in a couple of weeks).
No SLIE
Matthew 28:18–20 ESV
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matt
But now before He ascends He has them gathered together to strengthen them to be able to accomplish the seemingly impossible task…bring the gospel to the ends of the earth…or for that matter…for this small group of people to bring the gospel outside of the walls of the place they were gathered…into Jerusalem…into the streets of the people who had just crucified Christ.
This has not Changed…we gather together to be strengthen to bring the gospel into the place we are…to live out the mission.
So in order to empower them for that mission…He starts the process of .
He starts the process of building the kind of Church that the gates of hell will not stand against.
So he tells them to stay gathered together and wait.
NO SLIDE
Acts 1:5 ESV
for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
and
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Acts 1:8 ESV
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
acts 1 8
So they are gathered together to pray and receive power…the Spirit.
Jesus and tells them to wait and to pray the Holy Spirit falls upon them peter goes on preaches the gospel there is this reference and Devotion to Jesus in the mission he has put them on. And many are convicted his sermon message convince them in their heart. They ask what shall we do?
esus and tells them to wait and to pray the Holy Spirit falls upon them peter goes on preaches the gospel there is this reference and Devotion to Jesus in the mission he has put them on. And many are convicted his sermon message convince them in their heart. They ask what shall we do?
The great Commission will be accomplished…through the church Jesus is building...God’s people together to be Church.
Jesus tells them to wait and to pray. The Holy Spirit falls upon them.
Peter goes on preaches the gospel to those who had killed Christ…criucify him cricify him crucify him...
And now Peter preaches the Gospel and says to them what He could say to us…your sin has put the Savior on the cross.
There is this obvious radical devotion to Jesus in this first Church.
Through Peter’s preaching thousands are convicted of their sin…his message cuts them to the heart.
And in response to this they ask the most important question anyone can ask...what shall we do?
He says repent and believe receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. You get this conviction and they're so convicted that they are willing to do anything for Jesus and he says repent the direction of your life. Follow him. Love him. Live for him. And be baptized show the world ralph and will raise with Jesus and then receive the gift of the holy spirit. This is the New Covenant promise talk about in the weeks to come.
He says repent and believe and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Repent and believe…so you get this conviction...they are so convicted and changed that they are willing to do anything for Jesus.
Fully devoted to Jesus!
So Peter he says repent - change the direction of your life.
Follow him. Love him. Live for him. Be fully devoted in faith to Jesus...And be baptized to show the world…declare to the world of your repentance and new life of devotion to Christ.
Then they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
But it is clear these people don't think of themselves as normal human beings anymore. The old them is dead this new them devoted to Jesus. they also think of themselves as being built into the very temple of God. And then there is this new wenis. The church temple. So this church has unity next week and this devotion. This commitment. They're fully devoted to Jesus Christ. They are fully devoted to living their entire lives for the gospel in the glory of God. They're unified in love with one another. And they are passionately devoted to the mission Jesus gave them which will talk about in 3 weeks.
And one thing immediately becomes clear...these people don't think of themselves as the same human beings anymore. The old living for self version of them is dead...this new version of them has one clear and obvious devotion…an undeniable characteristic…radical devotion to Jesus.
had just happened.
Acts 2:41 ESV
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
Acts 2:41 had just happened.3000 Souls were saved. Do you believe this can still happen? If God wanted to he could feel this Auditorium overnight with new Believers born again with new Hart's new Spirits new devotion. this happens in other countries could that happen here? Students could this happen at your school?
Notice it doesn’t say 3000 people showed up…or 3000 people made a decision....3000 souls were saved.
3000 Souls were saved. Do you believe this can still happen? If God wanted to he could feel this Auditorium overnight with new Believers born again with new Hart's new Spirits new devotion. this happens in other countries could that happen here? Students could this happen at your school?
3000 Souls were saved…and since that number may have just been the count of the men…it was probably many more...
Do you believe this can still happen?
Do you believe that if God wanted to he could feel this auditorium overnight with new believers, born again with new hearts, new spirits, new devotion…saved souls?
Souls saved before our eyes...this happens in large numbers in other countries. Could that happen here?
Students could this happen at your school?
This devotion. Undying Devotion to Jesus Christ. But what I want to look at today is biblically what happened after thousands of people are born again through a miraculous in feeling of the Holy Spirit. Imagine you had just seen this happen. Thousands of souls it says are changed and saved
This devotion. Undying Devotion to Jesus Christ.
That is awesome…but look what happened after thousands of people are born again, through a miraculous infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Imagine you had just seen this happen. Thousands of souls changed and saved.
What happened next. Look at this and we think that is awesome. Jesus tells them to wait. They pray. Fire comes down from heaven. Pours out on them filled with the Holy Spirit they're speaking all different languages. Peter preaches as passionate convicts Hearts. There are tears. People are cut to their heart. They are begging what can we do to be saved. Peter tells them repent and be baptized and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thousands of baptisms happen right there.
What happened next?
We tend to look at this and we think that is awesome. Jesus tells them to wait. They pray. Fire comes down from heaven. Pours out on them...fills with the Holy Spirit...they're speaking all different languages.
That is an amazing thing. We should pray for those miracles to happen. Look at what happens next.
Peter preaches a passionate gospel…hearts are convicted. People are cut to their heart. They are begging...what can we do to be saved.
Peter tells them repent and be baptized and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thousands of baptisms happen.
That is an amazing thing.
We should pray for those miracles to happen. But look at what happens next. The very next line.
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.
Acts 2:42.
Those same thousands who had just seen miracles...what was their natural...almost automatic next step…new hearts…new devotion to Jesus...
Those three thousand who I just seen those Miracles what was their natural Next Step. Did they focus on producing more miracles. Did they focus on adding more numbers.
The very next thing they do...
Those things are important. I believe they can and will happen. I believe they are supposed to happen. I believe we should be wondering why they are not happening if they are not and by the way I think they are. But is that what they focused on. No
Those things are important. I believe they can and will happen. I believe they are supposed to happen. I believe we should be wondering why they are not happening if they are not and by the way I think they are. But is that what they focused on. No
They devoted themselves. Noticed devoted themselves. They did not make a checklist. Read your Bible. Have some fellowship check.
They devoted themselves. Noticed a devoted themselves. They did not make a checklist. Read your Bible. have some fellowship check. We just had Fellowship for like 3 minutes gathering so we fulfilled the fellowship requirement check. Pray check take communion check.
Pray check.
Take communion check.
Not a checklist…a devotion…from the center of their heart and soul…devotion to Jesus and devotion to each other.
Or are we devoted to this? That was the result of the sending of the Holy Spirit in the building first Church. Baptized after receiving the word devoting Our Lives first to Christ they 2nd exline. Voted themselves weather.
That was the result of the sending of the Holy Spirit…it resulted in Jesus building the first Church.
That was the result of the sending of the Holy Spirit in the building first Church. Baptized after receiving the word devoting Our Lives first to Christ they 2nd exline. Voted themselves weather.
Baptized after receiving the word…devoted to Christ…then almost immediately they look at each other and devote themselves together.
I first read that and thought am I doing that. Where do I go with people I don't know honestly barely care about I live life with.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead…the same Spirit and Glory that was there at creation…is in us and unleashed through the Body of Christ…when we are living life…devoted to Him and to one another.
Am I honestly devoted to live out this mission…the mission of the Church…with the people I live life with.
And now I've seen that I am living that each other. In the next few weeks we'll talk about John 17 and Matthew 28 how they devoted themselves in love for one another in unity with one another 28 they devoted themselves outreach to gospel king disciples who make disciples them to obey everything Jesus commanded
And as most of you know and on some level have experienced…this is powerful. To live this and see this is powerful…you can easily argue from the Bible…a church fully devoted to Jesus and fully devoted to His mission…and His ways…and fully devoted to each otehr…is the most powerful force in the universe...
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead…the same Spirit and Glory that was there at creation…is in us and unleashed through the Body of Christ living life…devoted to one another.
In the next few weeks we'll talk about and .
How in Jesus prays for us…to be devoted in love for one another...in perfect unity with one another.
And in how He tells us to be devoted together to make disciples in our neighborhoods and to the ends of the earth by speaking the Gospel message of our King....and making disciples and teaching them to obey everything He commanded.
But this morning I want to talk about how they're natural stop was devoting themselves to each other. not just attending not even showing up. Devotion. We are going to be a church that is devoted first to Jesus Christ and then to his body
What I want us to see and pray about this morning and this week is this...
I want us to see how the miraculous Spirit filled gathering together of the first Church…their natural next step...was devoting themselves to each other.
A church that is devoted first to the Glory of God…to Jesus Christ…to live for the glory of God...and then devoted to his body....the Church.
When you read this you have the same experience I do. I will tell you it starts with the elders and leaders but this is not just for elders or leaders are pastors the church devoted another. This bond is created.
Acts 2:42–47 ESV
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 2:
The Church is Devoted.
When you read this you have the same experience I do. I will tell you it starts with the elders and leaders but this is not just for elders or leaders are pastors the church devoted another. This bond is created.
Here is what happens in my heart…thank you Jesus for showing us this…for doingthis in us…I want more…I want more people to experience this .
I will tell you it starts with the elders and leaders but this is not just for elders or leaders are pastors the church devoted another. This bond is created.
As you see when you read , they were devoted to one another financially, spiritually, emotionally, with their time, with their prayer.
This kindof devotion requresWe need to be praying for this kind of super natural church that was powered by the Spirit with something much bigger than himan effort...
The Church is Devoted.
There are four primary things they first devoted to each other in…and most everything else will be the overflow of our devotion to these.
We will look at these in more depth in the weeks to come…but let’s end by seeing what they are.
Let's look at the four things verse 42 says they devoted themselves to each other in will end by looking at the response of that.
What were the first 4 things verse 42 says they devoted themselves to each other in...what was ultimate and emphasized in their devotion to one another…these will also be the applications for today.
And we will end by looking at the response of that.
And then we will pray.
First thing it says they devoted themselves to was the apostles teaching…the reading, loving devotion to God’s Word.
We will just ask the question? Are we devoted to these or how can we make sure we are devoted to one another in these things?
Acts 2:42 ESV
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
First thing it says they devoted themselves to was the apostles teaching
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First thing it says they devoted themselves to was the apostles teaching…the reading of and loving devotion to God’s Word. And in particular…to the teaching of Scripture. Devoted to each other in the teaching of the Word.
May we be devoted to the teaching of God’s word and say with the Psalmist is .
Psalm 119:10–19 ESV
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!
PSalm 119
We are devoted to God’s Word.
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They Devoted themselves to fellowship. To being together…livinglife together…there is greatpower in this…as we move into the community may God continue to be devoted to meeting together.
They Devoted themselves to fellowship. To being together…living life together…it is such a blessing to us that God has placed an emphasis on this and there is great power in this…as we move into the community may God continue to remind us and build us into being devoted to meeting and being together.
as we move into the community may God continue to be devoted to meeting together.
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Hebrews 10:25 ESV
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
We are devoted to fellowship.
ellowship
Fellowship
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They devoted themselves together to the breaking of bread…to meals together and to the communion. There is something powerful about God’s people at a table together over food and conversation…and of course as we will do in a few minutes…to being devoted to communion atthe Lord’s together.
They devoted themselves together to the breakingof bread…to meals together and to the communion. There is something powerful about God’s people at a table together over food and conversasion…and also to the Lord’s table together.
We need to be devoted to this. Hospitality and meals together…and devotion..to taking the body and blood together in communion.
Communion
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And they devoted themselves together to prayer…they had seen the power of prayer as they waited and prayed together beforebeing filled with the Spirit…and agter the miracles and thousands being saved…they went right back to prayer. And prayer together as the body filled with the Spirit is powerfule…maywe be devoted to it.
And they devoted themselves together to prayer…they had seen the power of prayer as they waited and prayed together before being filled with the Spirit…and after the miracles and thousands of souls being saved…they went right back to prayer.
And prayer together as the body...filled with the Spirit.
James 5:16 ESV
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
The prayers of a devoted Church are of undenyable and underestimated power.
We are devoted to prayer.
Remember these were the things they were devoted to....not a checklist…devotion.
Remember these werethe things they were devoted to....not a checklist…devotion.
It was the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in them.
It was the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in them.
This is not a guilt trip it happened to them. It was the supernatural work of the holy spirit in them. And think of instead of a checklist think of a baby being born. I don't know how many of you were at the birth but after the miracle of the birth happens and the baby is given to the mother. There is this natural that happens. Is born and it craves milk. Softest moves around like this it Longs for it is what these verses are talking about. It is this desire it is not a have to it's a want to have to
Think of instead of a checklist...think of a baby being born. I don't know how many of you were at the birth of a baby...but after the miracle of the birth happens and the baby is given to the mother. There is this natural that happens. The baby is devoted…he finds his life…he craves milk.
Ahhhh…I need it. I need it.
Acts 2:42 ESV
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
There is great power in this as we will see next week as it is this kind of devotion unbeliever see it after they've heard the gospel causes them to believe.
There is great power in our devotion to one another.
There is great power in this as we will see next week as it is this kind of devotion unbeliever see it after they've heard the gospel causes them to believe.
For our Church…for our families…for us individually…and for this community…
The Church is devoted.
…and as we will see next week it is this kind of devotion to one another and love for one another…that an unbeliever will see…and after they've heard the gospel…seeing our love for one another is what Jesus says causes them to believe.
And we will see next week in ...this kind of devotion to one another…builds our love for one another…and our unity....
And it is that which that an unbeliever will see…and after they've heard the gospel…Jesus says it is the seeing our love for one another that Jesus says causes them to believe the gospel we preach.
And noticed this was not for themselves. They devoted themselves.2 the church. To each other. The Miracles and people being born again and added to their number came devotion to the teaching and learning of the word, to fellowship with one another, breaking bread together, abundant prayer for one another.
And that love and unity starts with our devotion.
They devoted themselves (the church) to each other.
The Miracles and people being born again and added to their number came…came because of their devotion to the teaching and learning of the Word, to fellowship with one another, to breaking bread together, and abundant prayer for one another.
The Church is devoted.
We will end with this. I'm going to read to see what flowed from their devotion...and then we will going to go into a time of prayer and then we will sing...before we break bread together.
Devoted Church not one that shows up preacher, a Children's Program, music, how long the service last, a place, king,
Acts 2:42–47 ESV
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
A devoted Church devoted to Jesus Christ and then to one another through the teaching of the word the breaking bread together and prayer they just love to get together to study the word and speak the gospel fellowship with one another and speak of the glories of God, to break bread through meals and the enjoy in remembrance of the body of Christ and his blood, and prayer for one another and together. This leads to next week which we will talk about love and unity for one another.
Pray.
But let me in with this I'm going to read Acts 21 and then I'm going to go into a time of prayer and then we will sing pray opening up for anyone before we broken bread together.
Amen!
Pray.
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