On Sunday, August 25, 2019, Evident Grace looked at Acts 2.42-47:

 

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.   44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

 

Before we jumped into the sermon, we looked at 5 truths we believe about church community:

 

Truths We Believe about Church Communities

 

Church Communities are Called Away from Earthly Communities

 

Genesis 12: Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

 

Church Communities are God’s Possession

 

Exodus 6:7 I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God

 

Church Communities are Blessed as They are Led by Their Earthly Shepherds

 

Jeremiah 23: Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.

 

Church Communities are Known by Their Shepherd Jesus

 

John 10: I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

 

Church Communities Constantly Face Challenges

 

Acts 6. Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

 

From Acts 2, we pursued this Big Idea and these three points:

 

Big Idea: Lies We believe About Community

 

Healthy Communities are Stronger Apart from God’s Word

Healthy Communities are Bound Together by Something Other than Jesus

Healthy Communities Sacrifice Intimacy When They Grow

 

Healthy Communities are Stronger Apart from God’s Word

 

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  

 

We are tempted when we look at strong communities (political groups, sports teams, coffee brands, etc.) to think that these communities are stronger than the church. And while their allegiances are strong, the word of God is the in fallible expression of God’s character. Look what happened to the early church when they devoted themselves to God’s word (apostle’s teaching): the foundations of the church itself were established.

 

Healthy Communities are Bound Together by Something Other than Jesus.

 

44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

 

Everyone who believed in Jesus were together. They had all things in common and gave to all who had a need. Think about all the people of God share. They share the divinity of Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection, and so much more. That unity in Christ gives the church so much in common. It moves us toward depth and charity in community.

 

Healthy Communities Sacrifice Intimacy When They Grow

 

46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

 

This appears contrary. How can a group grow in number and still be intimate? The early church did it. They grew by being hospitable. They met in each other’s homes, enjoyed meals together, and were generous. This type of community was attractive to out side world, and as a result, the church grew.

 

 

 

Big Idea: Lies We believe About Community

 

Healthy Communities are Stronger Apart from God’s Word

Healthy Communities are Bound Together by Something Other than Jesus

Healthy Communities Sacrifice Intimacy When They Grow

 

Truth: Communities based on God’s word are ever-intimate and bound together by the work of Jesus.

 

Application: Live knowing that the church is an ever-striving biblical community. We strive to be like Jesus, love one another, work through struggles, and offer the gospel to those who so desperately need Him.

 

Action: 2 Thessalonians 3. 13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

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