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What is God's Vision for His Church?

Vision 2020  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  52:48
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What is God’s Vision for His Church?
Christina and I moved this weekend, into an apartment. We are leasing our home to our son and his family, they need the space more than we do. And we need our sanity…hehehe
During the move I found something that I wrote several years ago and just misplaced it. It was an amazing find because it was timely.
Read the Note you wrote yourself:
Vision will come as we abide in Jesus Christ...
Intimacy with Christ = Vision
Motive - “Why do we do what we do?”
Mission - “What are we suppose to do?”
Vision - “How do we accomplish the mission?”
The Motive should be to Glorify God
The Mission - Great Commission - Sharing the Gospel
Must Come from God
Must be personally implemented
Simply Articulated - Presented Clearly
Must be Continually Communicated
Regularly Celebrated
That was want I wrote on this small piece of a paper years ago, just jotting down my thoughts and my heart at the time. I don't ever remember if preached these points or not. But I find it very interesting they I found these notes this weekend.
For I had planned weeks ago to preach this topic today, the title for today's message is
What is God’s Vision for His Church?
1. To be a Learning Church
2. To be a Caring Church
3. To be a Worshiping Church
4. To be an Evangelizing Church
READ Acts 2:42-47
Acts 2:42–47 NKJV
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

1. A Learning Church

(v. 42) “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching ...”
Truth matters - What you are teaching matters?
Church needs to be learning, learning the truth.
How do we discern truth? – Everyone promotes what they believe to be true.
The early church adopted the notion of Apostolic Succession
Links to those who witnessed Jesus in action
Upheld Church Doctrines – Teaching concerning Jesus
In particular: The Gospel
i.e. centred around – Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus
Signs and wonders – (v. 43), “Everyone was in awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
However there are many among us today who claim to be of Christ but are not of Christ. They are false teachers and self promoted apostles.
footnote: if anyone today makes the claim that they are an apostle…do not believe anything they say to you… Apostleship is linked to having been a physical eye witness of Jesus in the flesh. And guess what, Jesus only appointed 12 men to be apostles and apostleship is no more. Listen to what Paul says to Timothy,
2 Timothy 4:1–5 NKJV
1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
How do you know if someone is of God or not?
Matthew 7:15–20 NKJV
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
In a learning church ...
I. The people submit to the teaching authority of the scriptures.
II. The pastors expound (explain) Scripture from the pulpit.
III. The parents teach their children out the scriptures at home
IV. Its members read and reflect on the Scriptures everyday
V. The Spirit of God leads the people of God to honour the word of God.

2. A Caring Church

(v. 42) “They devoted themselves to ... fellowship ...”
Word fellowship from GK koinōnía
Common bond, a closeness is involved in this kind of fellowship.
A caring church is a church that shares their life together as one in spirit and in material sharing among all.
Jesus, in fact, called some of his disciples to total voluntary poverty
i.e. Rich young ruler (Mark 10) sell everything – give to poor
This is not for all – (v. 46)
“ ... They broke bread in their homes ...”
Some still had homes, which they met in
Still – it is apparent they cared for their poor brothers and sisters in the church
A living church is a caring church. Generosity has always been a characteristic of the people of God. Our God is a generous God; His church must be generous too.

3. A Worshiping Church

(v. 42) “They devoted themselves to ... the breaking of bread and to prayer ... (v. 46) “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.”
John 4:24 NKJV
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
True worship, says Jesus, is in spirit and truth. The “truth” part is plain enough — with the coming of Jesus, that truth centers on his person and work, the one who is himself “the Truth” (John 14:6) and the message about his saving accomplishments for us, which is “the word of the truth, the gospel” (Colossians 1:5).
But what about “spirit”? Is this our spirit or God’s Spirit? Jesus’s memorable statement in John 3:6 helps: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
It’s not either-or, but both-and. For those who are new creatures in Christ, our spirit owes its existence and vibrancy to the Spirit of God. As John Piper writes, “True worship comes only from spirits made alive and sensitive by the quickening of the Spirit of God” (Desiring God, 82). God’s Spirit ignites and energizes our spirit.

4. An Evangelizing Church

First three characteristics of the early church focus on the interior life of the church – all about the members – does not say anything about their mission beyond the church walls
This is the great imbalance we find in too many churches – why they struggle and eventually die – when focused on themselves
we then come to (v. 47) – “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved”
This suggests that they were engaged in mission
Three truths that we can learn from in regards to evangelism in early church

I. The Lord himself (Jesus) did it

Through preaching of the gospel
Everyday witness of church members
Their common love of others
Jesus did it!
He delegates responsibility to us – his church – but was and remains to this day HIS ministry – he is responsible for admitting people into the church
Only the Lord Jesus through the witness of his Holy Spirit can open people’s eyes to give life to dead souls, and so to add people to his church.
Acts 2:47 NKJV
47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
The Second truth that we can learn from in regards to evangelism in early church

II. The Lord did two things together

a. Add to their number
b. Saved them
Goes hand in hand
Didn’t add them to church without saving them – didn’t save them without adding them to the church
Salvation and church membership went together – Still does!
The Third truth that we can learn from in regards to evangelism in early church

III. The Lord did both of these things DAILY

Early Christians did not regard evangelism ‘faith sharing’ as an occasional activity – if they were so inclined
Their witness was as continuous as their worship
The Lord honoured this – by adding converts daily
Balance between NURTURE and EVANGELISM.


I know the Lord has placed in many of your hearts a desire to see GROWTH here at The Ridge… And if you are truly sincere about this let me encourage you to do as the NT church did...
Be devote to the Word of God
Be caring to others especially the Body of Christ. (Church)
Be worshiping God continually. (Worship is a life style both in Spirit and in Truth)
Be a Witness - share the gospel of Jesus Christ to all you have been giving the opportunity to share it with.
Then, God will add to our numbers daily those who will be saved.
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