Edified and Multiplied
31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
The Churches: God’s tool is the church, not the conference, not the seminar, not the super star following groups. THE CHURCH!
BUT! God created the family before he created the church. The failure of the family unit has caused us to have a wrong understanding of the Church and all other organizations. The state the club the Bar buddies are all repalcements for the families we have not had.
We have to have something that functions at the lowest level. Person to person, house to house! Something that can be replicated by all. The goal is not excitement! What good is large and sick? What good is large and no unity or fear of the Lord?
The church uses the tool of the house group, care group, personal contact groups, cell groups, what ever name is used the principle is the same.
· The church helps us as a body to fulfill the first commandment!
· Here in the church, we have tried to fulfill all the needs of the body and we have distracted from the purpose of worshiping the Lord and ministering to him and instruction of the whole body, direction, guidance, etc..
· It’s the place we “KNOW”
· The Pastor gets loaded with the care of all the people and the Pastor burns out or stops at a certain point of growth.
· It’s the place we “BECOME”
· The personal contact groups to fulfill the second commandment!
· Care must be taken that we do not put more emphasis on the structure than the goal, edification of the individual. Sharing, love, care, help, prayer, teaching, study,etc..
Edified and Multiplied
· every pastor wants these two things. I want the people edified (built like a house) and multiplied (Increased in number). The question is how!
· Here in these scriptures it says that they were walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Ghost!
· The fear of the LORD is simply a “recognition and respect of the presence of the Lord”
· how many things would be so much easier with our constant attention on the Lord?
· I remember what Smith Wiggelsworth said about prayer. “I have never prayed an hour, but I have never gone an hour without praying.”
· But the fear of the Lord also brings a fearlessness. Story about Lester Sumerall and the demon that moved his bed. To know him and the power of his resurrection.
· The comfort of the Holy Ghost
paraklesis- paraphrase by me: there is someone available to help (paraklete)
1) a calling near, summons, (especially for help)
2) importation, supplication, entreaty
3) exhortation, admonition, encouragement
4) consolation, comfort, solace; what affords comfort or refreshment, thus of the Messianic salvation (so the rabbis call the Messiah the Consoler, the Comforter)
5) persuasive discourse, stirring address; instructive, admonitory, conciliatory, powerful hortatory discourse
2 Cor 1:3-10
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. 8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; (KJV)
· So how does the multiplication happen? We are comforted by the Holy Spirit and then we know how to comfort others with the comfort that we have received. Which causes the body to grow.
· What form can this take? How are we comforted?
1. Directly from God John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
2. Through his word Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (KJV)
3. Through the gifts of the spirit 1 Cor 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
4. from God’s people 2 Cor 7:4 I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. 5 For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn-- conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.
*****Let’s receive the first so that we can give the second. PRAYER!
*****Break up into couples and ask personally what you can pray for! And pray!!!