THE ACTS KIND OF CHURCH?
These people were in such a condition that their homes were holy places.
Second, UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS MAY WE EXPECT ADDITIONS TO THE CHURCH ON ALARGE SCALE?
Can we expect additions to the church on a daily basis?. Or every Sunday in the services?
- Every Sunday at FBC in Hammond people were added to the church, I would say every day some were added to the church. While at Gideon Baptist Church in Fort Worth, for forty two weeks we saw Christ adding to the Church.
I fear that many churches would not be content with a ministry whose power would lie solely in the Holy Spirit. I hear a lot of churches who say they want to be an Acts kind of Church. They say they want to have that Holy Spirit power of that early church. What then would be the result of that kind of church?
A Holy Spirit ministry, if Peter is the model, is one which is bold, clear, telling, and persuasive.
- One which tells men that Jesus is the Christ, and that they have crucified Him, and calls on them to repent and turn to the Lord.
- The truly sent preacher speaks out straight and plain, and home to the conscience, whether men will hear or whether they will refrain.
- The Holy Spirit minister chooses Jesus for his main theme, as Peter did. He did not speak to them about modern science and the ways of twisting Scripture into agreement with it.
He cared nothing for the rumblings of the philosophies of the Greeks; but he went right on preaching Christ crucified and Christ risen from the dead.
- When he had preached Christ, he made a pointed personal appeal to them and said, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you." He was not afraid to give such an exhortation; he was not like some who say, "We must warn sinners and then leave them; we may preach Christ to them, but may not request them to repent;" but he boldly preached the gospel and left it to his Master to send it home by the power of the Holy Spirit. That was the sort of sermon which God blesses.
- The man was full of God, and God shone through the man, and worked with him, and forgiveness of sins was sought and was found through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by a vast number of souls. May God send to all his churches a Holy Spirit ministry!
- But if there are to be many additions to the church it must next be a Holy Spirit church.
A Holy Spirit filled church, as most churches desire, will have additions to the church.
What is a Holy Spirit church? Well, it is a church baptized into His power, and this will be known first by its being devoted.
- Read the 42nd verse: "They devoted themselves." He will not bless a church which is excited and then relapses, is carried away by every novelty, and does not know what it believes, but a church which lives in Jesus and in his truth.
THEY WERE A DEVOTED CHURCH: FOUR POINTS.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
- In the apostle's teaching. They were a doctrinal church, they believed in being devoted to the unmovable truth; they did not belong to the shifty generation of men who plead that their views are progressive, and that they cannot hold themselves bound by a ordinary creed.. If God does not save men by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival; we will keep to the old truth, anyhow, come what may! Our flag is nailed to the pole.
- Next they were devoted in fellowship. They loved each other, and they continued doing so. They conversed with one another about the things of God, and they did not give up the conversation. They helped each other when they were in need, and they continued in such kindness. They were true brethren, and their fellowship was not broken.
Have you noticed the conversation in most church fellowships is not doctrine, or the cross, or Christ; but it’s farming, baseball, and apple pie. First century Acts believers had Christ on their lips daily in the Temple and in their homes.
- Next they continued in the breaking of bread, which is a delightful ordinance, and never to be despised or underestimated. As often as they could they celebrated the death of Christ, until he would come again. They delighted the dear memorials of his sacred passion, both in the church. I will mention later what they did in their homes.
- They also remained devoted in prayer. Mark that! God cannot bless a church which does not pray, and churches must increase in supplication if they would increase in strength. Sacred insistent requests must surround the throne of God, and then the blessing will be given. Oh, children of the heavenly King, you hamper the Spirit and hinder the blessing if you restrain prayer. Their prayer would say, "Lord add to your church, my mother, dad, and family, and friends." Their prayer was directed to the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of others.