Presentation on theme: "Acts 2:42-47 (NKJV) 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear."— Presentation transcript:
Acts 2:42-47 (NKJV) 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.
Acts 2:42-47 (NKJV) 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 daily those who were being saved.
THE CHARACTER OF THE CHURCH Acts 2:42-47
Character of the Church Over the first 3 months of the year, we have been looking at the church of the NT Our goal and our aim is to emulate that church We want to be sure that we are the same church that Jesus died for and built, the church that belongs to Him
Character of the Church There are many important aspects of that church, including being sure that we have met the entrance requirements This morning, we close out by looking at the early church in the book of Acts What we want to see is the character of that church
Character of the Church What kind of church was the NT church? What kind of deeds do we see those who were a part of that early church participating in? What were their attitudes like towards God, each other, and those outside the body?
A Studious Church One of the first things we notice about the early church was how much time they spent in the word “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…” (Acts 2:42) They understood the importance of growth following their conversion
A Studious Church “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (Jn. 8:31) They understood the power that God’s word possessed (Rom. 1:16) They also understood that abiding by that word was very important to their souls (Gal. 1:6-9)
A Unified Church The early church was certainly a group of Christians that were united Acts 2:44-46 The early church was a tight knit family They spent time together because they realized the need to lean on one another
A Unified Church The Bible says they “were of one heart and one soul” (Acts 4:32) One of the reasons we are to have the mind of Christ is to be unified as one (Phil. 2:5-11) Think of what can be accomplished when we are unified (Gen. 11)
A Unified Church The Bible speaks of the need to “exhort one another daily” and to “stir one another up” (Heb. 3:13; 10:24-25) That is why we are told not to forsake when the body assembles together We have a need to be there with other Christians
A Prayerful Church We also see a church that was prayerful (Acts 2:42) We see the commands to be prayerful all through our lives (I Thess. 5:17) James speaks of the power of prayer and how we ought to pray for one another (Js. 5:16)
A Prayerful Church There is a specific example of the church coming together to pray in Acts 12:5ff Peter was thrown in jail, and the church offered “constant prayer” for him (v. 5) The first century church saw the need for prayer and certainly believed in the power of it
A Generous Church The book of Acts points to the original church as being one known for it’s generosity Acts 2:44 tells us that they were willing to share as they “had all things in common” Many sold possessions and goods, and then gave to those who had need (v. 45)
A Generous Church This is certainly an example of sacrificial giving No one lacked anything because of the willingness of others to give (Acts 4:32-37) They understood the words of Jesus on giving (Acts 20:35)
A Happy/Thankful Church Christians are supposed to be joyful people, so it is no surprise that the early church was that way “they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart” (v. 46) They were happy because they were thankful
A Happy/Thankful Church Paul mentioned coming to God with thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6) We must recognize that all good gifts come from God (Js. 1:17) God also supplies our daily needs, as He did theirs as well (Matt. 6:11)
A Respected Church Through all the church went through, the Bible tells us that they were respected “having favor with all the people” (v. 47) God has always called for his people to conduct themselves in a way that they would be blameless before others (Titus 2:7-8)
An Evangelistic Church The Lord was adding to the church on a daily basis (v. 47) That shows us that this was an evangelistic church and therefore growing We see it’s continued growth in Acts 4:4; 5:14; & 6:7
An Evangelistic Church The secret to that growth was evangelism Everyone got in on the act (Acts 8:4) Jesus has given us the same command in Matthew 28:19-20 & Mark 16:15-16 The power is contained in God’s word, we only need to tell it (Rom. 1:16; Heb. 4:12)