Faithlife Sermons

THE Church

To the Ends of the Earth  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Churches should be devoted to instruction, worship, fellowship, and service.

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This is one of my favorite passages in Scripture because I think it is the clearest pictures of what the church should look like, what the expectation for a church is. It tells us what is expected of Christians.
It’s important to know what is expected of you when you’re a part of a group. As I thought about that I was reminded of the oath of one of the most prestigious groups I know about. It very clearly states the purpose of the club and expectations for the members.
Show the oath of the Heman Womun Haters Club from Little Rascals.
We’re going to see as we look at the passage tonight that Christ’s church is a little different. It tells us what the church was about in its earliest days.
read Acts 3:42-47 and PRAY

Churches should be devoted to instruction, worship, fellowship, and service.

vs 42
apostles’ teaching
2 Peter 1:2–3 ESV
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
The more you find out about God, the more you will love Him and be able to tell others about Him!
fellowship
There are 100 “one anothers” in the NT. Christians are meant to live in fellowship with one another.
Four of them are to kiss one another, but not like that!
This means partnership, sharing, participation together.
This is more than seeing people once or twice a week at church. This is letting your connection through Jesus spill over into your whole relationship …
breaking of bread
This probably refers to sharing a meal and at those meals they likely took the Lord’s Supper together.
prayers
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
pray without ceasing,
In a few chapters we’re going to see the church praying together for Peter who has been put in jail and all the sudden he knocks on the door of the house they’re in!
v 43
v 44-45
They were wildly generous with each other because they loved one another with the love that was shown to them in Christ.
Acts 4:32 ESV
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.
They weren’t giving in small ways, like a stick of gum or ten bucks for a meal. They were giving in sacrificial, significant ways. Selling their stuff to give to the church so the church could care for others.
They would see a need and ask how they could meet a need.
That doesn’t mean you can be lazy! Paul addressed that…
v 46
They gathered.
They worshipped as a full gathered body.
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.
They got together in homes, which would be in smaller groups.
These are both important aspects of discipleship, both important for growing in your faith! Do them!
They were grateful to be together.
I’m a little more introverted than extroverted. If I’m honest, my natural bent is to walk away from an interaction with people I’m not close with, not towards it. So a lot of times when I see a group of people together I’m steering the other way. If they’re being loud and having fun, I’m grumpy… But every now and then I’ll run across a group of people who seem to be so joyous and having such a good time together that it makes me wish I could hang with them. That’s what this passage makes me think of. I want to be in with this early church.
v47
They worshipped God constantly.
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
They had a good reputation.
Matthew 5:16 ESV
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
They were witnesses.
In all this, we see an example of a church that was devoted to
instruction
fellowship
worship
service
We should be devoted to this things as individual Christians and as a church.
This is a perfect time to make a plug for our Membership Matters class coming up. Christians are called to be committed to a local body of believers, faith family, whatever you’d like to call it. I think ours is great! If you want to find out more or join us, come on!
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