Date: 18th January 2009 (Sunday PM) Ref: A0421
Place: Kambah P.S.
Title: It’s Supernatural
Text: & Acts 5:12-16
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I. Church Growth
A. Nickels, Numbers, Noise
i. Since the Great Commission with its call to go and preach, and the day of Pentecost with the birth of the Church, Christians have a single mandated task to partner with Jesus Christ through preaching the Word of God to see the Church grow.
ii. This means that we should be growing numerically, number of people being saved, not just answering an altar call but actually saved & part of the church of Jesus Christ.
iii. However important that we understand that numbers alone do not make a church. It is possible to grow numerically but not have Christians become followers of Jesus Christ
Last year the successful preacher Bill Hybels, pastor of the Willow Creek Community Church, reported that he had failed the twelve thousand members of his mega-church. He acknowledged that he made a mistake in not producing spiritually mature Christians. He reached people by the thousands, but he did not make them disciples.
i. The Great Commission as given in Matthew is more than just preach, it comes to the core of what we are to do & that is to make disciples, men & women who will become daily more like Jesus.
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (NKJV)
ii. Therefore we need to continue to uphold righteousness, to preach the Word of God, not the pseudo gospel, prosperity message of the modern age and to challenge people to live a consecrated life. – Part of the process of us becoming more Christlike.
iii. We also do though need numbers, people coming in the door, being convicted of their sin, getting saved & not just answering an altar call, but actually getting saved & coming to church.
II. It’s Supernatural
A. Jesus Building His Church
i. How does this come to pass? – Not through clever marketing, flashy programs, top class facilities, child care, coffee stands etc. – Not through applying the latest in promotional marketing methodologies – May bring a crowd, won’t build a church
ii. No this PM we have to understand that what we are involved in here is a Supernatural endeavour. – Jesus said
Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (NKJV)
It is His Church, & He is building it.
iii. You cannot truly be converted / saved until you come to the complete realisation of your lost state. Convicted that you are a sinner destined for eternity in hell. Yet the conviction of sin does not come about because we can spin a story to get people to go on a guilt trip, or that I can somehow paint a vivid word picture of hell – No it is a specific ministry of the Holy Spirit
John 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (NKJV)
B. Supernatural Birth
i. The Story of the birth and youth of the Church is one of the uncompromising preaching of the W.o.G & Acts 2:36-38 & the demonstration of the power of God. ~ & Text
ii. This is constant throughout the growth of the church as recorded in the book of Acts: Listen:
Acts 6:8 8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. (NKJV)
Acts 8:4-8 4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. (NKJV)
Acts 19:11-12 11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. (NKJV)
Acts 28:8-9 8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. (NKJV)
iii. The tight integration of preaching the W.o.G & seeing the supernatural power of God evident – This is how the church should grow numerically and spiritually ~ & vs.14
III. Seeing the Supernatural
i. What we are involved in is Supernatural, therefore we need the supernatural. Paul made it very clear that the supernatural is a necessity, is to be the normal
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (NKJV)
1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. (NKJV)
ii. What are some of the supernatural signs that we should see:
The gifts of the Spirit as set out by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians: Prophecy, Tongues, Interpretation, Word of Knowledge / Wisdom, Discerning of Spirits, Faith, Healings, Miracles
Demons cast out
The sick healed
Most amazing supernatural miracle of all – A human soul convicted of sin & judgement converted.
iii. This is what we should be looking to see, it is what we should see regularly in our services
i. The big question is how? – Need to desire it, need to give the Holy Spirit access to your life, invite Him into your church, petition Him
1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts,. (NKJV)
ii. We as a church need to contend corporately for the Supernatural presence, power & working of the Holy Spirit to be in our services. Importance of prayer before the service. You need to be in the prayer room. – We are there from 9:30am Sunday morning & 5:00pm – When you don’t come or you turn up to pray for 10 / 15 minutes, what are you saying to God? I don’t need you, I don’t need the Supernatural
I will be honest it distresses me, when conversations are happening in the prayer room, when people pray for 10 minutes, don’t you need God, don’t you want God
iii. You personally need to contend for the Supernatural. – In your personal prayer life. Pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life to move through you supernaturally – The Gifts of the Spirit
1 Corinthians 12:31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. (NKJV)
iv. This PM, the church will not grow because I obtain a copy of the “Double Your Church Attendance Deluxe Edition, including the Bonus Companion Files with it’s letters, lists, and resource files, plus a full year of access to our exclusive, members-only Church Growth website, all for a mere $37” – Jesus builds His church, His way; Men & Women who will be His disciples and will preach His word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
IV. Altar Call