Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Church as it was Meant to be...

The infant church as described in Acts 2:41-47 totally shames the "mature" church as found in most of our communities today. What's the difference? The biggest difference is the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. We can debate the presence and power of the Holy Spirit all day long but the result of the Spirit's infilling of the early church cannot be questioned. Please note that what is revealed in Acts 2 is not the result of working harder. It is not the result of better doctrine or stronger leadership. It is ONLY the result of God's Holy Spirit saturating His church. We need to be begging God for the fullness of His Spirit so that the church might be empowered for Gospel effectiveness.
The Holy Spirit empowered the church to be . . .

  1. Adding--" . . . That day there were added about 3000 souls" (v41).

  2. Learning--"They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching" (v42).

  3. Uniting--"They were continually devoting themselves . . . to fellowship" (v42).

  4. Remembering--"They were continually devoting themselves . . . to the breaking of bread" (v42).

  5. Praying--"They were continually devoting themselves . . . to prayer" (v42).

  6. Feeling--"Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe" (v43).

  7. Seeing--" . . . Many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles" (v43).

  8. Sharing--"And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common" (v44-45).

  9. Worshipping--"Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple . . . " (v46).

  10. Eating--" . . . and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart" (v46).

  11. Praising--"Day by day . . . they were . . . praising God" (v47).

  12. Influencing--"and having favor with all the people" (v47).

  13. Growing--"And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved" (v47).

Each and everyone of us needs to take a good hard look at the churches to which we belong, compared with the church of Acts 2. If deficiencies are found (and they will be), then let us return to the upper room and pray for power. It appears that we may be filled with many things and yet lacking the Holy Spirit.

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