Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Acts of God

Here's the outline of my notes from this morning's
sermon (The Believing Life) based on
Acts 2:42-47 . . .

Text

"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and
to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and
miraculous signs done by the apostles. All the believers
were together and had everything in common. They
sold property and possessions to give to anyone who
had need. Every day they continued to meet together
in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes
and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising
God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the
Lord added to their number daily those who were
being saved." (Acts 2:42-47 TNIV)

Thesis

Here in Acts 2, the single most obvious indicator that a
person is a true believer in Jesus as Christ and Lord is
a deep, consistent, growing involvement with other
Christians, the church.

Thoughts

Following the record of the great harvest on Pentecost
of 3,000 additions to the 120 believers, we're allowed
a look into the inner lives of these believers. We're
given the chance to see what they “devoted” *
themselves to as they lived believing lives.

1. What goes into a true believer?

a. the apostles teaching - 2:42
God’s word

b. fellowship - 2:42
God’s people

c. the breaking of bread - 2:42
oneness/solidarity with God

d. prayer - 2:42
talking with God

2. What comes out of a true believer?

a. awe / praise

“Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders
and miraculous signs done by the apostles . . . they
[were] praising God . . .” (2:43,47)

b. togetherness

“All the believers were together . . . Every day they
continued to meet together in the temple courts. They
broke bread in their homes and ate together . . .”
(2:44,46)

c. generosity

“All the believers . . . had everything in common. They
sold property and possessions to give to anyone who
had need.” (2:44-45)

d. joy

“. . . with glad and sincere hearts . . .” (2:46)

e. influence / impact

“. . . enjoying the favor of all the people . . .” (2:47)

3. What’s happening here with these believers?

a. The death of self by the Spirit.
b. The impact of Christ on others.
c. The power of God at work in people's lives.
Here in Acts 2, the single most obvious indicator that a
person is a true believer in Jesus as Christ as Lord is a
deep, consistent, growing involvement with other
Christians, the church.
Is this what is happening with you?


* cf. 1:14; 2:46; 6:4; 8:13; 10:7 for other uses in Acts of
the word translated "devoted" here in Acts 2:42a.