Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Key Verse: Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers
We’ve discussed over the past few weeks the importance of the local church. We’ve talked about what we believe as a church, why it’s important to be a part of a local church, the purpose of the church and today, we talk about the promise of the church. This is not a discussion of what we “get” from a church but rather what being part of a church does for our overall joy and experience in life. The church is not only the institution Jesus builds to reach the world, it is also the institution Jesus builds to give us the “abundant life” that John 10:10 promises.
Definition of the church: A church is an assembly of believers in whom Christ dwells, under the discipline of the Word of God, organized for evangelism, education, fellowship, and worship, administering the ordinances and reflecting the spiritual gifts. – Elmer Towns
Acts 2:42-47 (NLT) All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
The Promise of the Church
vs 42a …to the apostles’ teaching
– through the study of God’s Word, we are reminded of the faithfulness of God in the midst of every problem
– through the study of God’s Word, we are reminded of the forgiveness given through the gift of God’s Son
2. Fellowship (never alone)
vs 42b …to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper)…
vs 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.
– beyond the admonishment to serve within the context of the church, we are also given the great opportunity of enjoying the fellowship of other believers, God doesn’t expect us to be alone
vs 42c …and to prayer
– this is not referring to the Lord’s Supper (an ordinance of the church)
– this is referring to the opportunity we have to be in communion with our Holy God through a personal relationship that affords us an “open door”
– In the beginning of Acts 2, the believers (the early church) were gathered together in prayer and the power of God changed them forever
vs 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
– impact on the individual
– impact on the world