Sunday Morning 2-24-2013

Posted by Sherry


GOD’S EXPECTATION FOR THE CHURCH 
Acts 2:40-47 (NKJV)
CBC 2/24/13 SM

What are your expectations for CBC?
What is the expectations from our sister associational churches?
What is the community expectations?
None of those are important as what GOD’S EXPECTATIONS for us are!

As a church, God has expectations from us too. 
He is interested on how we conduct our lives and express our potentials in doing His will. 
But what does God expect from churches? 
What does God expect from Central Baptist Church, Prescott as we exist? 
TEXT:Acts 2:40-47 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly[a] received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 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[b] daily those who were being saved.

A. GOD EXPECTS US TO BE A LEARNING CONGREGATION (v. 42a) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine

  • “devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching.” 
  • “devote” as to set apart for a special use or service or to dedicate. 
  • also means to give up oneself or one’s time, energy to some purpose, activity or person. 
  • early believers gave up themselves to the study of God’s Word through the apostles.
  • A growing church is a church where members are willing to give up a portion of their time and energy for the study of God’s word.
  • the study of God’s Word and being a Christian cannot be separated. 
  • May it be public or private, personal or corporate, Christians will and should study the Word of God. 
  • The Spirit of God who lives within us is the Spirit of Truth. 
  • He will initiate the study of God’s Word and help us understand the truth. 
  • Why is it essential that we become a learning congregation? 

These statements reveal two major reasons for becoming a learning congregation:

1. MATURITY (1 Peter 2:2) as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

  • One reason why we never make or choose the right decision is due to lack of knowledge or understanding. 
  • The Bible says that the inability to distinguish right from wrong is a sign of immaturity.
  • As the believer understands the truth and practices them, then it will lead to personal growth. 
  • Changes will take place and character will be strengthened. 
  • If the church is filled with illiterate believers, then, they will easily stumble and give up.
  • Immature behavior will destroy us. 

ILL. Maturity is the ability to do a job whether supervised or not; finish it once started; carry money without spending it; and … bear an injustice without wanting to get even. —Fred Cook, quoted in Lloyd Cory, Quote Unquote


2. MINISTRY (2 Timothy 3:16-17) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

  • The study of God’s Word will help us understand the work of God 
  • – how it is done and what are the resources available to us. 

  • Equipped – to complete, fully furnished. 
  • Implies the provision of all the things requisite for a particular service, action (e.g. to furnish a house, a car equipped with overdrive).

• Teaching – concerning the things of God and the duties of man.
• Rebuking – reprove; to express disapproval of something done or said; in other words the Scriptures is our basis for approving or disapproving something done or said.
• Correcting – restoration to an upright or right state; correction, improvement of life or character. (E.g. straightening a deformed hand)
• Training – conveys the idea of the whole training and education of children, which relates to the cultivation of minds and morals.

If you have the Spirit without the Word of God, you blow up.
If you have the Word of God without the Spirit, you dry up.
If you have both the Spirit and the Word of God, you grow up.


B. GOD EXPECTS US TO BE A CARING CONGREGATION (v. 42, 46)

“They devoted themselves to the fellowship.”

  • Koinonia or fellowship connotes the idea of being partner, sharer, associate and participant. 
  • Because believers share in something or someone in this context God and blessings, we should be committed to each other. 
  • Despite our differences and difficulties, our common bond should be the basis for staying together and overcoming barriers. (
  • I John 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

  • The early believers devoted themselves to fellowship.
  • “devotes” literally means to continue steadfastly and wait on.
  • Applying to fellowship, it means to adhere to one another, to be steadfastly attentive to one another, to persevere and not to faint in relating to each other.

  • Commitment to the Messiah implied commitment to the Messianic community, that is, the church. 
  • This commitment to the Messianic community includes commitment to overcome difficulties and differences with one another. 
  • Whose responsibility is this? 
  • In verse 44, it says, “all the believers were together and had everything in common.
  • Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” 
  • Here we can see that it is everyone’s business to address difficulties and differences and to meet a particular need. 
  • Why is this necessary? 
  • A strong partnership, association or fellowship attracts other participants to become investors. 
  • Why do people join fraternities and social clubs? 
  • What attracts them to participate? 
  • It is the strong bond that those groups demonstrate. 
  • People do not want to be identified with weak and unstable associations. 
  • How can we demonstrate that kind of quality? 
  • Philippians 2:1-4 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
  • 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

  • The strength of our fellowship is not our personal ideas, opinions, nationality but our common relationship with God through Jesus Christ. 
  • Our common relationship with God should cause us to be humble toward one another.
  • Each must be willing to set aside his personal interest and uphold the interest of the community. 
  • Every time we come for fellowship, let look after our community interest. 


C. GOD EXPECTS US TO BE A WORSHIPING CONGREGATION (v. 42, 46-47)

“They devoted themselves to the breaking of bread and to prayer… Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.”

  • Their fellowship was expressed not only in caring for each other, but in corporate worship too. 
  • Moreover, the definite article in both expressions suggests a reference to the Lord’s Supper on the one hand and prayer services or meetings on the other. 
  • There are two aspects of the early church’s worship, which exemplify its balance.

  1. It was both formal and informal
  • it took place both in the temple courts and in their homes (v. 46), which is an interesting combination. 
  • These are necessary to cause personal and corporal growth. 
  • The church is the visible spiritual image of Christ. 
  • He is the head and we are his body. 
  • Every time we congregate ourselves, we are letting the world know that Christ is indeed alive through this people.

  1. It was both joyful and reverent
  • There can be no doubt they have their joy, for they are described as having glad and sincere hearts (v. 46). 
  • Worship is our response to God’s graciousness and love. 
  • Because it is their response to God’s graciousness and love, they do it regularly, voluntarily, promptly, gladly, and sincerely.
  • “The world can be influenced to salvation by our sincere worship. 
  • To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, 
  • to feed the mind with the truth of God, 
  • to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, 
  • to open the heart to the love of God, 
  • to devote the will to the purpose of God”.—William Temple

  • Has today’s worship become a duty more than a response to God’s graciousness?
  • Some of his people are struggling to get up every Sunday, and give their best in worshiping God. 
  • Every time we come to this place to worship God, 
  • worship Him through our singing, praying, giving, listening and meditating on His word.


D. GOD EXPECTS US TO BE A WITNESSING CONGREGATION (v. 43,46)

“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:31-33)

  • The first Jerusalem Christians were not so preoccupied with learning, sharing and worshiping, that they forgot about witnessing. 
  • For the Holy Spirit is a missionary Spirit who created a missionary church. 

  • Many people take the letter “C” out of the “Great Commission,” ending with the “Great Omission.” 
  • A very slight change in spelling, but a very serious change in meaning.

  • The book of Acts is governed by one dominant, overriding and all controlling motif.
  • This motif is the expansion of the faith through missionary witness in the power of the Spirit. 
  • From these earliest believers in Jerusalem, we can learn vital lessons about local church evangelism.

  1. They were filled with Holy Spirit. 
  • The Holy Spirit empowered them and gave them boldness in testifying about our Lord Jesus Christ. 
  • Let us ask God to filled us with His Holy Spirit. 

  1. They preached the Word of God. 
* They learned the Word of God and share it to others. 

  1. They continued to testify about Christ. 
  • How long are we going to witness to others about Jesus? 
  • As long as there are unbelievers and Christ has not return yet, we must share the word of God. 
  • The church that stops sowing the seed which is the Word of God will stop growing. 

  1. The Lord added people daily. 
  • They did not organize a yearly mission emphasis. 
  • No, just as their worship was daily, so was their witness. 
  • Praise and proclamation were both the natural overflow of hearts full of the Holy Spirit.
  • And as their outreach was continuous, so continuously converts were being added. 
  • It is a way of life for the early believers.

Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, then leaving the results to God.—Bill Bright

CONCLUSION

the key toward healthy living aside from exercise is having a balanced diet. 

God expects us to have a balanced church life. 
Some of us are only interested in worship and ignore fellowship. 
Others enjoy too much fellowship and weak in learning God’s Word. 
While some are too knowledgeable about the Word of God but fails in relating to fellow believers. 
We must have a balance church life to meet God’s Expectations

1. Be a learning congregation
2. Be a worshipping congregation
3. Be a caring congregation
4. Be a witnessing congregation

0 comments:

Post a Comment