SERIES: The Book of Acts

TEXT: Acts 2:40-47

MESSAGE: “A Healthy Church”

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Q: What are the marks of a healthy church? We see three in today’s text. (1. Common Conviction 2. Authentic Community 3. Radical Unselfishness)

  1. Common Conviction (v. 40-42) 

And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…” 

“…Peter’s concise reply concerning how to respond to the gospel: repent and show this response by participating in a rite that symbolizes forgiveness and cleansing into life through Jesus Christ.” – Darrell Bock 

“The expression ‘devoting themselves’ has the idea of persistence or persevering in something. The…construction speaks of an ongoing devotion that they have.” – Darrell Bock

Isaiah 40:8 — “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”

“Instruction is an important part of the new community. The centrality of Jesus and the preparation of the members to share in the new life and witness are key community concerns.” — Darrell Bock

  1. Authentic Community (v.42b-44) 

“…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.” 

  1. Radical Unselfishness (v. 45-47)

“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.”

“…ordinary believers devoted themselves to sacrificial acts of kindness. They loved their enemies and forgave their persecutors. They cared for the poor and fed the hungry. In the brutality of life under Roman rule, they were the most stunningly different people anyone had ever seen. Indeed, their influence was so surprising that the fourth-century emperor Julian (AD 331-363) feared they might take over the empire.” — Michael Frost

TAKEAWAYS:

What are your deepest convictions? (God’s word or your gut)

Who are your closest relationships? (Are they taking you closer to Jesus or further away?)

What are you willingly sacrificing for? (Is it for God’s Kingdom or your castle?) 

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” — Galatians 2:20