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THE CHURCH GOD FOUNDED
Intro: Ill. The events of the Day of Pentecost. On that day the church of God was born. The modern church is, in many cases, far removed from what that church was.
In our day, there are more kinds of churches than you can comprehend. They run the gamut from those that hold to the fundamental doctrines of the faith to every kind of unorthodox teaching you can imagine, along with come you can’t! (Ill. Some of the varying styles and beliefs out there today.)
I am interested in being in the right kind of church. I am interested in going to a church that is as close as possible to the kind of church God founded 2,000 years ago. To understand what kind of church that church was, we need to look at the chapter before us today. It reveals the marks of The Church God Founded. Let me point out those marks today. Let’s see if our church is the kind of church it should be.
I. HAS THE RIGHT MESSAGE
· v. 22-37 About The Savior This message affirms that Jesus is God in the flesh, Ill. Nazareth, v. 22; John 1:1; 14. It affirms His crucifixion and His resurrections, v. 23-32. The church God founded preaches a message that exalts Jesus, proclaims His death and resurrection and points lost people to Him alone!
· v. 23, 36 About Sin This message is crystal clear regarding sin. It exposes the terrible nature of sin, Eze. 18:4; Rom. 6:23. It warns the sinner to turn his sins, v. 40. It is a plain message that confronts sinners where they live, v. 23, 26. (Ill. Isa. 58:1)
· v. 38-40 About Salvation This church points a lost world to Jesus Christ and to Him alone. It does not preach salvation through religion or ritual, Eph. 2:8-9. It holds Jesus up as the final and only solution to the problem of sin, John 14:6; Acts 16:31. They preached a transcendent message that spoke to all social classes, all races and all sinners, 5-12; Ill. Acts 1:8.
· v. 39 About Sovereignty This church understands and proclaims that God is sovereign in salvation. He saved whom He will, when He will and where He will. God is the Author and Finisher of salvation. He chooses His elect, Eph. 1:4. He calls His elect, John 6:44. He redeems His elect, John 6:37-40. “Salvation is of the Lord, Jonah 2:9.
II. HAS THE RIGHT MEMBERSHIP
· v. 37, 40-41 A Saved Membership This church is made up of people who have had a new birth experience with Jesus Christ, John 3:3, 7. (Ill. The tendency in the modern church to fill it up with tares at whatever the cost. Ill. The problems that arise out of that philosophy. Ill. The early church and the fear that rested on the community – Acts 2:43; 5:1-14) (Ill. Some will slip in. It can’t be helped! We should strive for a saved membership only!)
· v. 42 A Separated Membership This church walked in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship. They broke off ties with the old life. They came to Jesus and they were changed, 2 Cor. 5:17. No truly redeemed child of God will have a problem with biblical standards of separation and holiness, John 14:15. He wants His people to be different, 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1.
· v. 42 A Steadfast Membership They were faithful! They could be counted on to be in their place, doing their part for the common good and for the glory of God! God expects His people to be faithful, 1 Cor. 4:2.
· v. 44-45 A Serving Membership This church was marked by selflessness. The members cared about the needs of others and they did all they could to meet those needs. They displayed their love, not is words, but in action, 1 John 3:17-19; Phil. 2:4.
III. HAS THE RIGHT METHODOLOGY
· v. 42, 46-47 They Worshiped Together This church met together for prayer, for instruction in the Word of God and for worship. Their common goal was to grow in their faith and to praise the Lord Who redeemed them from their sins. (Ill. Psa. 107:2; Psa. 113; Heb. 13:15)
· v. 44-45 They Worked Together This church had as their common goal the common good. They worked to benefit the group. God has not called us to sit by and do nothing, but He has called us to go to work, and to work together, for the glory of God Eph. 2:10; James 2:18.
· v. 42, 46 They Walked Together This church enjoyed fellowship, breaking of bread, and singleness of heart. A church is not a social club, but few things create a bond like good, Christian fellowship. Few things contribute to the unity of a church like the members coming together to serve the Lord as a family. We are on the same team! We are serving the same Master! We are headed to the same Heaven! Surely we can walk together as we make the trip there! (Ill. Phil. 1:27.)
· v. 47 They Witnessed Together This church was not ashamed of their message, but they all worked to spread it to a lost world. The Lord still desires that His people share His message with the lost, Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20.
IV. HAS THE RIGHT MASTER
· v. 41, 43, 47 He Is Powerful This church was the right kind of people carrying out the right kind of ministry. Thus, they enjoyed the power of God in their midst. He added to their number daily. He manifested His power through wonders and signs. He caused the community to take notice of the work of the church, v. 43, 47 Ill. They feared and respected this church! His power is still available to the right kind of church!
· v. 47 He Is Personal this church didnt worship and abstract God Who was unknowable. They worshiped a Lord Who had personally redeemed them from their sins. They were in a personal relationship with Him. They knew Him and they were consumed with love for Him, and that love permeated all they did. Everything else they did was a result of their love for their Master. It should be the same today, Ill. Rev. 2:1-7; John 13:35.
Conc: Well? Are we the kind of church God founded? From my perspective, yes we are, for the most part. I challenge you to pray for your church and to work together as a family to make this church the kind of church God wants it to be!