Are We There Yet? – Part 3
Pastor Stephen Hayes
Sunday June 25, 2017
Main Idea – The daily activities of the early church, described in Acts 2, provide a model for how we should function as a church body. It also gives direction for what we, individually, should be responsible.
We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close
- Acts 2: 41-47 provides the recipe for successful churches of any era. “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 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, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
The importance of the word “daily”
- The church began almost spontaneously, without a grand plan from any of the disciples. They were simply obedient to what the Holy Spirit was doing on a day-to-day basis.
- The Acts 2 church did daily worship and fellowship. Individuals in the church lived their faith on a continuous, daily basis. These were activities that happened every day in their lives, not just on the Sabbath.
- Members of the Acts 2 church followed the leading of the Holy Spirit every day, stayed true to correct teaching, pursued spiritual maturity, and shared the love of God with those whom they came in contact.
The Holy Spirit guided the whole process
- God was leading the entire process described in Acts 2. The people in the church were sensitive to follow where He was leading, and to pay attention to His directions.
- Churches that are serious about following the Holy Spirit’s lead will have an inside track on where He is going.
The church stayed true to correct teaching
- Verse 42 says the followers continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.
- The word “doctrine” means God’s Word was being used appropriately; not being changed to fit their current circumstances.
- The word “doctrine” also has lifestyle attributes. The disciples continued to live according to how Jesus had taught them.
Members of the church pursued spiritual maturity
- Jesus’ disciples transitioned from being disciples to being apostles.
- Disciples follow a leader because they are in pursuit of spiritual maturity.
- Apostles reproduce themselves – and what they know – in someone else. This reproductive activity is sometimes called “ministry.”
Members of the church shared the love of God with those whom they came in contact
- Verses 46-47 say, “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, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
- The followers accepted personal responsibility for “The Great Commission.” Likewise, each of us today should share what we know with those in our immediate circle: with those “right in front of us.” Being a member of a church prepares us to do this sharing.
- We are God’s Plan A. He doesn’t have a Plan B. Each of the individuals in Luke 15 (the shepherd with the lost sheep, the woman with the lost coin, and the father of the prodigal son) were focused on reaching someone who was lost. God reaches the lost through each of us.
- When we interact with those who have been put in our path, we should do as Jesus did. Our objective should be to love and serve, and to accept people as they are; not being judgmental.
Big things happen when we each do our part
- If we each do our part – to share what we know, and to love and serve those put in our path – God will accomplish great things through us as a group.
- If we do this we will “find favor” with people and will thereby be used by God to bring many others to salvation.
- Being members of a church prepares us for this great work.
Reflective Questions for Are We There Yet? – Part 3
- The Scripture uses the word “daily” in verses 46 and 47. The first reference is to something the followers did, the second reference is what God did. Why is it important to do the right things every day? Does this speak to the importance of adopting a type of lifestyle?
- Members of the early church were led by the Holy Spirit, followed correct doctrine (what they had been taught), and pursued spiritual maturity. How does this inspire and motivate you?
- What do you feel when you think about the fact we are God’s Plan A, and that He doesn’t have a Plan B? What resources offered by the church can help prepare you for your responsibility to tell others what you know about God?