Powerful work zone
Spirit Filled Church
Spirit Filled Church
There was no denying the fact there was something different about the times there in Jerusalem. What the Lord said was going to happen, well, it was happening!
The when, how and why (Act1:8, 2:1-2)
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
So the promise is made, the job description was given, and even the job location was noted.
1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Promise delivered, the power that was needed to accomplish the job given so they could go to the job location, starting local, and that is where we still are, local.
As we have journeyed in the early church we have seen and today we will continue to see:
Church was unified (Act2:44-46; Act5:12)
Church was magnified (Act5:13)
Church multiplied (Act2:47; Act5:14)
So, having said what the church is, unified, magnified, multiplied we can also know that Satan wants to:
Divide, disgrace and decrease the church by any means he can.
The early church under the leadership of the Apostles as commissioned by the Lord had triumphed under adversity and because of their devotion and example many were coming to faith, today we will see the many change to multitudes!
(Transition) - in our passage today, a short passage as it is, we can see three groups of people.
The church (body of believers)
The unbelieving Jews
Others; who came to believe
You will also see a few other things about the church
It was a supernatural church
It was a respected and growing church
It was a healing church.
The Supernatural Church
The Supernatural Church
God gave the apostles the power to perform with a purpose. A way to prove, to authenticate their ministry and their message (Act5:12-16; Rom15:18-19; 2Cor12:12 and also Heb2:4; OK and Jn17:20)
12 At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. 13 But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.
14 And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, 15 to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them.
16 Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.
The early church was Jewish in nature, well, in origin, in heritage overall so it should not be surprising that they were in Solomon’s portico at the temple. Though being there, as well as at the gate beautiful had created problems before.
Jewish leadership, Sadducees especially were disturbed with Peter and John preaching the resurrection (Act4:1-2)
They were told to stop preaching in Jesus name (Act4:17-18)
Stop preaching or else . . . . (Act4:21) well that lead to more people be added to the numbers of those who believe from 3000 to 5000 and in our passage today we see “multitudes”
Can the church stop preaching? You may have heard the say “preach the gospel and when necessary use words.” But that is not true is it? The gospel has words, God words which is the power of God unto salvation. The signs, the wonders are the works of the Spirit in the Apostles to prove what they were preaching was true.
18 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
It was the power of the Spirit, in the Spirit filled church, the Spirit filled apostles that did the signs, the wonders resulting in belief in the local church in Jerusalem, and that went out from there as Paul said as far as Illyricum.
The signs and wonders were proof of apostleship and authority of the message carried.
12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.
They were proof of apostleship, to prove the word they preached was true, and they preached Jesus and Him crucified and resurrected! The Spirit worked in them and through them look at what the Hebrew writer said
4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
God was bearing witness through the signs, wonders and miracles, as well as the gifts ,according to His will. What was His will?
20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;
That is the people then who believed the word that was confirmed by the signs, wonders and miracles. That is you today that believes because of their words.
God had done signs before with Moses (Exo4); God had performed miracles before with Elijah/Elisha showing they were sent by God with a message and with authority. but now it comes a new era, a new time,
A new time, era, of greater works (Jn14:12-14)
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
(Greater works picture inserted here)
Now John 14 is about the apostles this was special time given to the apostles prior to Jesus being handed over. And the new time, new era was the time of the apostolic age, the birth of the church that was local, and it was impacting!
Now I want to take a minute and further develop something, a comparison of Jesus, His works, the apostles their works and the works we do today.
(signs wonders miracles picture inserted here)
Jesus performed works for basically three reasons.
To show compassion and meet a human need (Lk14)
Jesus feed the 5000; the apostles healed a lame man
In our passage tonight we see continued signs and wonders, miracles being done by their hand.
To present His credentials as Son of God (Jn20:30-31)
Jesus said these things had been done to prove who HE was and that there was eternal life if believing in Him
The apostles signs proved the authority given in the name of Jesus (Act3) to prove what they were preaching was true and was from God.
To convey a spiritual truth
Jesus had compassion, saw a need, met the need and it led to the teaching of spiritual truth
Apostles saw needs, met needs and lead to the preaching of the gospel message that lead to conviction and to conversion and numbers were added daily to those being saved.
(Transition) We have seen the supernatural power of the Spirit can attract (Act2, 3, 5) but we have also see that it can bring judgment (Act5 - Ananias/Saphira) and some fear (implied in Act5:13)
Respected and growing church
Respected and growing church
None of the rest, so, who are the rest? Why not associate with them? So how does highly esteemed come into place here (Act5:13)?
13 But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.
Wonder who the rest are? Could it be the unbelieving Jews? How about those who witnessed what happened to Ananias and Sapphira and were concerned that could happen to them? Is it the Jewish leadership that took in Peter and John and threatened them to stop preaching the gospel? Maybe it was those who were concerned about what it meant to be a disciple and were they committed enough so it did not end up like Ananias and Sapphira so they wanted to stay away, but still held them in high regard.
May we remember the powerful work was the Spirit.
The Spirit would convict, convince and convert
The Spirit was confirming the authority given by the Lord to the Apostles and the results was multitude being added.
The people, they were behind the preaching of the Word of God for it was
Being preached boldly
Being preached often
It was the word being preached coupled with the Spirit was able to convict,convince and convert.
God’s Spirit filled word was changing things, it was converting people, it was not the signs, wonders or miracles, it was the Word and the Spirit!
We are blessed today for we have the “Full counsel of God” (Act20:27) in our hands and signs and wonders have been done away with (1Cor13:10). We have everything we need to take us to heaven! God is still a miracle worker and does miracle, look in the mirror you are one, and maybe you have seen God’s hand do one, but it is not man, or the Spirit on a man, it is God!
We as the church today should know, need to know, need to remember. When it comes to the powerful work zone today and the work zone then.
Let the preaching be authoritative not authoritarian
Let the preaching be the word of God; not someone talking about the word of God.
May we be living the Word and not trying to use the word to legislate living
May we be Spirit led and gracious; not grim or grievous
Teach the word so to be loyal and committed to one another
The work of the apostles under the power and direction of the Holy Spirit by the authority given by the Lord laid the groundwork for the church. Laid the foundation (Eph2:20)
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
(Transition) The apostles, through the inspired word gave us what we hold in our hands what we can share that is powerful and convicting, as well as converting, transforming and the church bring healing.
Now the early church was a healing church, there were miracles performed, signs and wonders done to prove the claim of the gospel. Today the church may not have the same signs, wonders, miracles we are still to be a healing church.
15 to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. 16 Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.
Healing place - (Act5:15-16)
Take a look at these verses, look at the places the healings were taking place
Streets, vicinity of Jerusalem
Healing does not have to take place in a building, it can take place wherever you are for you are the church!
The people were coming for healing was evident, today may people come for the healing from sin, a changed, a transformed life, a new life should be evident in us.
Healing touch (Act5:15)
In the days before Christ people, like Gideon (see Jud6:37-39) wanted proof of God’s existence. Today people still want proof. They want God’s touch, some from a person they think as anointed, others even reaching out and touching a T.V. because they are told by someone to do it. People want a personal touch, a physical touch, spiritual touch from God.
what if the touch is you?
We can touch people with our compassion
We can touch people with our prayers
We can touch people with our heart
But, the healing touch comes through the gospel
Healing power (Rom1:16)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
It is from the gospel that people were added to the numbers (Act2:47) that became the multitude as we have seen tonight in our passage (Act5:16)
In that day they wanted even the shadow of Peter to fall on them. Today people want more than a shadow, they want, they need a personal touch.
It takes committment
It takes effort
It takes humility
It takes YOU!
Healing command (Jm5:14)
Look what James says, not me, the other James
14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
It is not just elders who touch, it is not elders who heal, it is the Spirit, in the powerful work zone the Church that does it. It is our, your personal touch to help bring people to the eternal healing that is found only in the name of Jesus. Healing of a lost sinner that is reconciled to God when sins are forgiven.
(encouragement slide- Personal touch)
While there were signs, wonders, miracles in the day, the supernatural church by the touch of the apostles and apostolic fathers was respected and growing
It was growing because of it’s personal touch
A touch of compassion
a touch of sympathy
A touch of assurance
A touch of faith
A touch from your heart to theirs to lead them to the personal touch of the Father through the blood of the Son
What kind of church do we want to be? What kind of work zone are we? - I believe we are a powerful work zone in which the Lord is adding to the numbers because of our personal touch