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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Event Spotlight

"A Model Church"

Text: Acts 2:42-47

I. Describes the early church in Jerusalem.
A. This church serves us as a model church, although it was not perfect as we can read a little later on in this same book.
B. It had hypocrites, doctrinal errors, sinful human beings of all types, yet it serves us as a model church in many important respects as we will examine tonight.
C. These verses tell what developed in the church and how it functioned in those days following Pentecost.
D. It was an inner-city church; large; and it had multiple ministries.
E. On the day of Pentecost, 3,000 new members were added to its membership, making a total of 3,120 members.
F. It had begun with 12 apostles, but when its membership was expanded, they asked the church to select an additional 7 men to serve as deacons (Acts 6), making a total of 19 officers.
G. The success of the church was not because these 19 officers alone, but because of the Faithfulness of ALL the Members.
J. Our text reveals 4 Characteristics of this Model Church:
1. It Was a Church That Studied the Bible
2. It Was a Church of Christian Fellowship
3. It Was a Church That Worshipped Corporately
4. It Was a Church That Evangelized

II. A Learning, Studying Church
A. "They devoted themselves to the "apostles’ teachings".
B. They were a learning, studying church - This is the first thing that Luke mentions about the church in Jerusalem!
C. Yes, it was a joyful, growing, and vibrant church - But the most important thing to be mentioned was that it was a Bible Studying Church!!!
D. The church could have been tempted to "Look Back to Pentecost" and to "Focus on Past Accomplishments".
E. They might have been tempted to dwell on the miracles witnessed on that great day when the Holy Spirit descended and every man heard the Gospel in his/her own language.
F. They might have been tempted to pray, "Lord, do something miraculous again!"
G. But instead, we find them not revelling on the past, but rather revelling in the Word of God!
H. I submit to you that this is always the first mark of a Spirit-filled church!
I. The "Apostles’ Doctrine (Teachings)" refers to those men that had been "specifically chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ".
J. vs. 43 gives an evidence of the selection of these apostles - They performed "many wonders and signs".
K. Paul stated in 2 Cor. 12:12 that the things that "mark an apostle were the signs and wonders and mighty deeds."
L. Today, believers are exhorted to "Study the Word of God" which was written during the apostolic age of these same men.
M. 2 Peter 1:21 clearly states, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
N. Being a Spirit-Filled Church and Studying the Word of God go hand in hand!
O. What is true of the church is also true for individuals as well.
P. We must provide ways for people to get to know the Word of God.
Q. Preaching, Teaching, Bible Classes, Bible School, Home Bible Studies, etc. are all ways that we can provide opportunity for people to know the Bible.

III. Christian Fellowship
A. Not only did they devote themselves to the "apostles’ doctrine", but they also devoted themselves to "Fellowship".
B. "Fellowship" literally means to "have common participation in God" - Read 1 John 1:3
C. The fellowship that these early saints enjoyed involved the Lord Jesus Christ and their spiritual experiences.
D. It was something that they enjoyed to do - discussing victories in the Lord, praying for one another, discussing strategies to win the lost, etc.
E. Fellowship with God and Fellowship with one another go together.
F. Whenever we are out of fellowship with God, we will not desire to fellowship with others - and the opposite is true as well.
G. This is why John stated in 1 John 1:3 that fellowship with God and one another is vitally linked.
H. Along with the fellowship of spiritual experiences comes the desire to give to those in need.
I. When one member of the church is in pain, all should feel the pain.

IV. A Worshiping Church
A. There was the "breaking of bread" and "prayer".
B. The breaking of bread refers to communion service; prayer was done corporately in services.
C. Forsaking the assembling of ourselves will hinder the church in regards to being all that it should be.
D. When one member is absent, all are affected.
E. Not only did they break bread in assembly, but vs. 46 states that they also did so informally in their homes.
F. Why not have worship in our homes??? Why not have both???
V. Evangelizing Church
A. vs. 47 reveals that they were a people who took their faith seriously enough to share it with others.
B. Notice that they were "Praising God" and "Having Favor with all the people".
C. The mark of a Spirit-Filled Believer is that there will be "gladness and singleness of heart".
D. Notice too that God richly blessed their efforts of evangelism - "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
E. May God help us to be such a church in the community in which we minister.
F. United Prayer


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