The Wonderful, Impactful and Amazing Church of Christ (Part 2)

The Wonderful, Impactful and Amazing Church of Christ (Part 2)

June 16, 2024

Book: Acts 2:42-46

HANDOUT FOR SERMON: Part 2 THE WONDERFUL, IMPACTFUL AND AMAZING CHURCH OF CHRIST. June 16th, 2024  Manchester, TN

INTRODUCTION: Today’s lesson is a continuation of what we started last Sunday. We started our lesson by asking the question, what does Jesus means to you?  We considered who Jesus is and noticed that humanity should “fall in love” with Jesus because of who He is and for what He does for humanity.

Let us briefly review the points of last week’s lesson:

  1. THE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE CHURCH IS. We learn from scripture that the church is the people who have answered the call to follow Jesus and continue to follow His will. Those who are saved the Lord adds to His Church. Scripture: Revelation 7:9-10, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:9-12 The people of God are called a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation or the people of God. There are other descriptions of the Church in the New Testament such as a gathering, the body of Christ, the family of God, the temple of God and the kingdom of Christ.
  2. THE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH. The purpose of the church is to carry on the work that Jesus, our savior began. Jesus came to seek and save the lost and we are to do the same, Scripture: Luke 19:10, Matthew 5:14-16, Matthew 22:37-30, Matthew 28:18-20, I Peter 2:9-12, Titus 2:14. Another vital function of followers of Christ is to proclaim the glory of God and be zealous of good works.
  3. THE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF THE CHURCH. The church, (followers of Christ), is very valuable to God, Jesus paid the cost for all of our sin. This sacrifice and gift declares our value.  However, do we see the great value we are to one another? Scripture:    1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Philippians 2:1-4, Ephesians 4:23-32, Hebrews 10:18-25                If we belong to the family of God, then we are greatly blessed.  We have a family that focuses on my welfare and the welfare of others. Others will always love me, they forgive me over and over again, and they are a people that even sacrifices for each other.

LESSON:

PART 2-THE WONDERFUL, IMPACTFUL AND AMAZING CHURCH OF CHRIST.

Let us take time to  recall the definitions of these descriptive words of the Church.

  • Wonderful: exciting, marvelous, astonishing, admirable, a sight to behold.
  • Impactful: having a powerful effect or making a strong impression
  • Amazing: causing astonishment, great wonder or surprise

Scripture: Matthew 17:10, Acts 2, Acts 4, Acts 6:7, Philippians 4:22

4.LEARNING TO BE MORE LIKE THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH.                                                                            Do we have the willingness to revisit the Church of the New Testament and challenge our current views, ideas and conclusions about what the Lord’s Church is and is to be busy doing? It may not be “unbiblical” but there may be a way that better benefits God’s intention.  We know we are to be steadfast, immoveable and always abounding in the work of the Lord but are we? 1 Corinthians 15:58

Read: Acts 2:38-47                                                                                                                                                                  Consider the Unique features in  the time of Acts 2: They were under Roman rule and oppression. Many of those who were there were from far away places (away from home). Supernatural Spiritual gifts were being done by the Apostles by the Holy Spirits power.  These factors were the current situation of the world then.

There are Timeless Fundamentals found here in Acts 2 that should apply to us today.                   The Gospel message of Jesus Christ is central, (Acts 2:22-26). This must be the same for all time periods. This is God’s will! The Response to the Gospel call, (Acts 2:37-41.)   It is the will of Christ that we respond the same way to His sacrifice and call. The early Church prioritized certain actions in their lives, (Acts 2:42-47.) God gives us a description of these actions for a “pattern” for us.

The Pattern of What Was Important to the Church is found in Acts 2:42-47. What did the Church continue in? What did they devote themselves to? What was important to the Church that Jesus built? Dare we look critically at ourselves?  No need to look at others!

THEY CONTINUED IN:

  • The Apostles teaching or doctrine. (The teaching about Jesus, the teachings of Jesus & His kingdom.
  • Fellowship (Fellowship means sharing and they shared in worship, but was that all they shared?)
  • Breaking of bread (Sharing of the Lord’s Supper yet they also shared their food later in verse 46).
  • Prayer (The uniting of their hearts and minds in appeals to God the Father.)

Most followers of Jesus all agree on the first and last one of these four items, the Apostles doctrine and prayer. However, the middle two, fellowship and breaking of bread, we may encounter that there are differences of views, perceptions and beliefs about these.

Define “fellowship.” The word simply means sharing. So in the context, what did followers of Christ share in?  They shared spiritual worship, 1 John 1. They shared in communion or Lord’s Supper, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17. They also shared their possessions, (Acts 2:44) and they shared in their lives together in going from house to house (verse 46).

Breaking of Bread. This term is used in two senses in the New testament. It means partaking of the Lord’s Supper. But in truth it is used in reference to a meal in Acts 2:46. Among many of our brethren their view of “breaking of bread” is always used to reference the Lord’s Supper in memory of Jesus Christ.

What I find very interesting is that all of these things were being done by the New Testament Church and none of it was done in a Church building because no one owned a building in those times!  All of these were done, no matter what your view may be on these four items, without Church owned property.

Consider the 2 LOCATIONS God reveals to us about the 1st Century Church: 

  • There are two locations mentioned in Acts 2: in the temple and house to house.
  • Read Acts 2:46-47
  • Followers of Jesus met where the scrolls were and where there was space for a large crowd.
  • A place where all could come together.
  • A place where a large crowd could meet to read scripture, study together and pray together.
  • The expression “day by day” is most likely situation related and not a requirement for us.
  • What does this sound like, our Sunday service or services maybe????
  • Breaking bread from house to house, v.46-47. What does that sound like?
  • Why did they meet from house to house? What did they do when they met?
  • Acts 5:42
  • Sounds like personal hospitality! Jesus will be the center of our lives in worship and outside of the worship location, such as our homes.
  • Personal interaction happens when we meet house to house.

HOSPITALITY.

The word “hospitality” in the Bible is used a lot. Hospitality is basically opening hearts and home to others.  Hospitality is “love of strangers” and “fond of guest.” Entertain guests, visitors or strangers. Warm reception, helpfulness and friendliness. The result of being spiritually focused in worship activities.   House to house involvement in caring and hospitality results in God blessing the Church. The Church ends up growing and having favor in the community! Acts 2:47, Acts 5:12-14 & 42. Do we not understand the power of God’s teaching about this topic? Do we not see the value this is in the work of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Scripture about hospitality:                                                                                                                                           Instruction: Matthew 25:34-46, Luke 14:1-14, Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:1-2, 1 Peter 4:8-9,         I Timothy 5:10, Titus 1:8, 3 John 5-8

Gospel: Mark 2:1-2, 13-17, Luke 7:36-50, Luke 10:38-42, Luke 24:28-35

Acts: Acts 2:43-47, Acts 16:14-15 & 31-34, Acts 20:7-12, Acts 28:1-7

Romans 12:5                                                                                                                                                                               We are one body all the time, not just at the assembly. The gifts mention can be used at the worship assembly but they are also to be used all the time, daily. ‘

Romans 12:9-13

  • The idea of “Crock-pot Sunday!”
  • Learn more about a person in 2 hours in your home than 10 years in a vestibule.
  • Let us grow stronger together.
  • Let us know each other better.
  • Let us see how important and valuable we are to one another!

Conclusion:

Matthew 22:37 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all you mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”