2016-06-12
Matt Willmington

“Following Christ” means that we let go of our idols, come to Jesus for salvation, and let Him lead our lives. But what if we all did that TOGETHER? That is what a church is to be – a group of Christ followers carrying out His mission. So, what does a “Christ following” church look like in a community?
Last week Following Christ. WHAT IF we follow TOGETHER?
Church =
FAMILY of God
AUTHORITY of God
WORD of God
MISSION of God

ROME
Tacitus – “Rome is where all things hideous & shameful from every part of the world find their center & become popular”
Government Division
Rampant Immorality
Government Bankruptcies
Government Dependence
Gladiatorial Games
Slavery

CHURCH
– 200,000 end of Acts [annual 22% increase 30 yrs]
– 500,000 by AD100
– 10 million by 300ad [10% of Empire]

“The early church was strikingly different from the culture around it in this way – the pagan society was stingy with its money and promiscuous with its body. A pagan gave nobody their money and practically gave everybody their body. And the Christians came along and gave practically nobody their body and they gave practically everybody their money.” ― Timothy Keller

Tour the Early Church…
2:37 Convicting
2:47 Favored
4:13 Amazing
4:13, 31 Bold
4:21 Glorifying
4:32 Generous
4:33 Grace
4:33 Power
4:32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
5:11 Fear
7:54 Hated

The Epistle to Diognetes, AD130 – “They display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life… They marry, as do all others; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death and restored to life. They are poor yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things and yet abound in all; they are dishonored and yet in their very dishonor are glorified. They are evil spoken of and yet are justified; they are reviled and bless; they are insulted and repay the insult with honor; they do good yet are punished as evildoers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred. To sum it all up in one word — what the soul is to the body, that are Christians in the world.”

UNITED [Together] in…
Witness [1:22, 4:13, 33]
1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Spirit
2:1 “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Prayer – 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

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