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August 19, 2020 12:00 am
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42).
Some towns, this city is. So this share Bradley Junior welcoming it to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible, our.
As the. Aye, aye, aye, well.
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Today, we will continue with the message, the first church, when we want to find out what a church ought to be like. Where do we go? We go to the New Testament that we may pattern ourselves after that first example and indeed be a functioning New Testament church. I would mention again that in this current issue of our publication, The Baptist Witness, that all of the articles pertained to the function of the church and a few were requests that when writing us, we'll be glad to send you a copy. The address is the Baptist Bible, our box 17 old 37, Cincinnati, Ohio, four five two one seven.
We must encourage one another, be willing to make sacrifices. Willing to serve? Not with a selfish attitude of seeking recognition or even satisfaction or appreciation.
I learned a long time ago that if you're only going to serve when you're adequately appreciated, you shouldn't give it up and you might as well not start because the motive is not right. The reason for serving is because we love Jesus Christ. So if nobody appreciates it and everybody criticizes you, you're participating to some degree in the fellowship of his suffering.
Romans Chapter fifteen, first five.
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus that he made with one mind and mouth glorify God, even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So how is it that you want to be like man? Because you're like minded through your fellowship that you have with Jesus Christ, where for? It says we see one another as Christ also received us to the glory of God. How did Christ receive you? Did he pick you out because you were just somebody special? You had such a wonderful personality and you didn't have a lot of flaws and problems, other people didn't. You know better than that. He received you by his grace and mercy, in spite of the fact that you're a sinner.
He received you not to ignore your sand, but to pay the penalty for your sand, that you could have communion and fellowship with him.
But he received you with all your warts and blemishes. So he says you are to receive one another in the same manner. You see somebody that. It's just not the most pleasant person to talk to. Something about them irritates you a little bit. Well, received them anyway. We save them as you receive, but Jesus Christ.
Philippians, chapter two, verse three says, Let nothing be done through strife are vain Loarie but in loneliness of mind, let each just deem other better than themselves.
Human nature is to think highly of our self.
And the philosophers of the world have been claiming for years that the thing that's most lacking among young people and children is self-esteem. They've got to have their self-esteem built. And the fact is, most of them have got self-esteem going out the roof. They already are centered on themselves, focused on themselves, think that they're superior and better and ought to have the best attention.
So here we're told we're not to have that kind of a spirit, but rather in loneliness, a mind let eat steam other better than themselves.
Christian is indeed to participate in a local church, not to isolate themselves.
Now, Peter had preached in his message to turn save yourselves from this untoward generation here, to move away from the world, to move away from godliness. But that doesn't mean you to be in isolation. Why did you're not a part of the world. You still interact with it because you're going to be a witness to others.
They had fellowship with one another and they gave witness to the word. Well, there have been misunderstandings, deep hurts. You can feel like giving up. I just don't know how I can go on in view of this disappointment and how deeply I've been hurt, and so watch the process of the thought that's going on.
It's Scheff focus. I'm thinking about me. I'm thinking about my heart. I'm thinking about my disappointment. I'm thinking about my frustration. What are we told to do? Hebrews chapter can verse 24. And let us consider one another. We're not just to think about ourself. We're to consider others. Consider one another to provoke on the love. Another word provoke. With us is generally used in a negative sense, but which means to stir person on. To encourage them in the matter of love and good works. So you have a responsibility not just for your own wall.
Not just only to be an example and a testimony, but the way that you live. But also, by the way, you interact with other people and you're to be thinking about them, not for shaking. The assembling of ourselves together is the matter of some, but exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the day approaching.
So you may wake up some Sunday morning. You know, I'm just not 100 percent today. That's draining cold day. I think it'd be a good day just to stay in bed. I think I'll just stay home today. I go most of the time. It will hurt for me to miss one time.
Well, first of all, that thinking is not what it ought to be as far as what your attitude ought to be with the desire to be in God's house and worship him. But the second thing is you're thinking about yourself and how groggy you feel on that given morning when you also need to think about others, because your presence is a testimony to your presence as an encouragement.
Your presence means something to other people.
For sake, not the assembling of yourself to consider one another. And then it says there was the breaking of bread. This is an important observance at this time.
And so they were breaking bread from house to house. No doubt with 3000 people just being converted, they didn't have a building that all 3000 of them could meet eventually went from house to house. But when you look at the rest of the New Testament, particularly the Corinthian letter, you believe that it's not an ordinance to be observed just by individuals in a home. It's a church ordinance. It's something to be observed by the church and should be done often.
The next thing we say in this description of the church was giving it said they sold their possessions at great compassion for those that were in need. A giving spirit is necessary for a healthy church.
Church must be giving church. God loves a cheerful giver. Now, the fact that they sold their goods and gave to the poor was not a requirement. It was not command. It was something they just did voluntarily. They were just overwhelmed at that point with such love for the Lord and love for the needy that they show their possessions.
Now, some of our goods artists was communism, but this is a drastic contrast to communism.
Communism says all of yours is mine. That's getting Christianity says all of mine is yours. That's giving.
That's what was going on here. That was giving.
So after they were selling their goods, obviously some of them did sell their houses. Remember that? And an arson.
Sapphira sold their land and then came up and lied about the fact that saying we're giving it all when they weren't and because they lied, God struck them dead.
That would cause a person to sober up a little bit about what they want to be a member of that church. They don't have things right to get struck dead on the spot, but people who are continually added to the church. And that was just a demonstration that God doesn't tolerate iniquity.
Well, they had a giving spirit and they continued.
Obviously, many of them to own houses because they met in their houses and they had to maintain financial stability so they could support the ministry, which they were commanded to do and to continue to minister to those that were in need.
Next thing we see here that they were Joyful says there was joy and gladness in their service. They had joy because it says they had singleness of heart. Now, what's that mean? Singers of heart, literally.
The word is simplicity, meaning free from rocks. It's not something that is smooth. So there were no stones of selfishness in their heart. They had a singleness of heart. They were glad and joy in the Lord and in his service. They had joy in praising God. Joy, come from your call, the greatness of God. So many things in scripture reveal his marvelous power.
What he's done to deliver liberties people through all the years and ages, and they rejoiced in praising God. Joy comes then from praising him and giving thanks for what he has done. And Joy came even in persecution.
Next, chapter five, verse 40.
And when they call the apostles and had beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus and let them go. And they departed from the presence at the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple and in every house, they seek not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
It's hard on the flash, is it not?
If you would be whipped, beaten, and then you got away, just rejoicing doesn't mean that you're happy to have the physical pain that comes from having flashes across your back. But you're rejoicing because you're identified with Jesus Christ. They rejoice even in the midst of persecution. And Jesus said in Matthew five, 10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. So if a church is going to be following the pattern of this first church as New Testament church age, be a church where there's joy, joy in the Lord, it's not something that's superficial.
It's not something that's worked up. It's genuine, deep joy. Even when there are circumstances that would make you unhappy, you can still have this joy, because this joy is in the Lord.
And then next we see the church was evangelistic. The possums were teaching. The people were praying. The Lord is heading to the church. Back to next chapter one, verse 11. It said that you shall be witnesses. And so it's not just those that are called to ministry, but every Christian is to be a witness.
What kind of a witness are you? What kind of a witness is given to the life you live? What kind of witness is it when you try to speak to others?
Oh, it's easier to be intimidated. Have struggled with that many times myself, thinking, here's here's somebody out to speak to and being a little reluctant. But I pray frequently, Lord, lead me to people I can help. Save me from those that can't. I was talking to a man sitting beside me on the plane going down to Jackson the other day and he was from Cincinnati.
So we began to talk about different things relating to our city that we could discuss. I forget just how we let into it, but I was praying while we were talking. Lord. Open up the door or some way where I can just get down to the nitty gritty and talk to him about the gospel.
And I can't remember exactly what he said. But whatever it was, I decided that's the open door. So I said, let me ask you a question.
And I ask people a lot of times, if you died today and came into the presence of God, on what basis would you hope that God would let you live in heaven? You have never thought about that. That's quite a question I have. Let me think about it for me. OK. So I said, well, I had tried to pray at least three times a week.
I feel like prayer is good. And I pray and I know how to pray more often than that. But I do. I do pray. I show low prayer is good.
But I say, let me tell you, a prayer is not going to be the basis of getting you to heaven. There's only one way. You're a sinner. I'm a sinner. We violated the law of God.
We deserve nothing. We can't save ourselves. Our best efforts, our prayers, our good works, whatever we might try to do is unacceptable. Shop of works of righteousness. We have done bookbinding, merciful saviors. It's only because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, his redemptive work at the cross. He believe with the sun hath everlasting life. He, they believe is not is condemned already because he is not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And we continue with a pleasant conversation. He wasn't offended. I understand there are people that might be offended when you talk to them about such matters.
But there may be people that you work with. Maybe people in your extended family.
There might be neighbors that you could talk to about the things with God. Sharing the gospel. Yes, we ought to be evangelistic just as this early church was. We have interest in evangelism overseas. I'm thankful for the works that we helped to support there.
But evangelism ought to start at home. Somebody might give money to help or work overseas and never do anything themselves in spreading the gospel. So the people.
It says, I admire them, even though the priest and those in charge of the temple were seeking ways to persecute him, the people were impressed by what they saw in these Christians. And so for a time, they were able to still meet in the temple. At the time came that they were driven out and suffered nothing but persecution. But because of their spirit and attitude, they were allowed for a time to meet there.
And then we can see this on going ministry in circulating the gospel. I just I just want you to yet I can't go to all of it, certainly.
But I'm going I'm just going to give you a few in rapid succession here that you get the picture of just how evangelistic the church was, how much was going on in that day relative to the circulation of the gospel acts. Chapter four, verse three.
How many of them which heard believed and the number of the man was about 5000 and three thousand converted on Pentecost and now 5000 man.
Which indicates that probably there were women, children that were also converted acts chapter five, verse 14 and believers were the more added to the Lord multitudes, both of men and women.
What a day that was. Conversions happening in every direction.
Multitudes. Chapter five. Verse 42. And daily in the temple and in every house. They ceased not to teach it. Preach Jesus Christ. So they met in the temple. They preached there as that was still allowed for a period of time.
But also it says in every house, chapter six, verse seven, and the word of God increased and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly. And a great company, the priest world beat into the faith of and even some of the priest who have been so antagonistic and in such fierce opposition to it were themselves converted. They were obedient to the faith.
Chapter eight, verse six.
And the people with one accord gave heed under those things, which Philipps make hearing and seeing the miracles.
What you did, they gave heed to the things that they heard. Chapter eight. You have the story of Philip going to visit the Ethiopian unit. He sees this man sitting in a chair reading, say, here's a way to introduce. Do you understand what you're reading?
As a matter of fact, I don't. I wish I did. I wish I had a man to guide me. He gets up in the chair and takes the various scripture, which the man read from the book of Isaiah and preach the gospel to him. And so they're going along their way. And obviously, he had something presented about baptism because it here's water. What to me to be baptized.
And Philip baptized you and went on his way rejoicing. Oh, how blessed as the gospel was presented to somebody who has an open heart. You receive it. And then we say the marvelous conversion in Chapter eight conversion of Saul of Tarsus.
Here he is, the chief adversary of the church is doing everything in his power to put Christians to death. He wants to wipe out the church. He has no interest in it at all from a positive standpoint.
The Lord speaks to Saul Saul. Why persecute his family and his sons who are now law? He said, I'm Jesus, whom that persecutes this proud, self-righteous Pharisee has been struck to the ground and the Lord tells us to go speak to him.
And I is a little reluctant.
I've heard about this man, Saul. I've heard about how he's persecuted Christian.
And the Lord says the whole he pray if something's happened to a made heart, a big change.
You go and talk to him and tell him about baptism. How wonderful to see this ardent Jew converted. The lady was telling me on this trip about a man who's dead now, but I was acquainted with him. He was a Jew, but he'd been confirmed. And there's a firm believer in Jesus Christ. And she said one night it was in one of those services where the Lord just blessed so abundantly.
And during the handshake and the singing was just uplifting and said this brother just stretched out his arms. This man, who was born Jews at a high speed chase at such St. Jesus has said, oh, what a blessing. When someone who by nature had not incline but by grace comes to see and believe in Jesus Christ.
And then you go to Chapter 10 and you find the experience of Cornelius. And Peter goes to his house and preaches the gospel to the Gentiles.
And then in chapter 11, verse 21, it says, in the hands of the Lord was with them in a great number, believed and turned to the Lord. Chapter 13, verse 48. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
I mean, I believe everyone that was ordained to eternal life believed Chapter 16.
And a certain woman named Lydia as seller of Purple of the City of Fat Tira, which worship God heard us, whose heart the Lord opened that she attended under the things which were spoken to Paul.
And we know that has to happen anytime there's going to be positive response. It must be that the Lord has opened their heart. How wonderful that she responded to the Gospel. And then one part, Paul went to Mars Hill and preach. God commands all men everywhere to repent.
Some of them scoffed. Some of us said, we may come back and hear you another time. But verse 34 of back 17 says that certain men claim on him, I believe.
So there were those that believed when Paul delivered that powerful message.
Someone describes it like this when the spirit reigns within a church. Believers relate to the word that's teaching. When the spirit reigns, believers relate to each other. That's fellowship. When the spirit reigns, believers relate to God, each worship.
When the spirit rain. Believers relate to the world. That's evangelism. Here we have a brief description of what the first church was all about. What they did. How they serve God. What they practice. How they continually preach. How they circulated the gospel. Yes, we want to pattern our church. Not after.
The speculations and ideas and promotions that might be popular in our day, but to go to God's word as our guide and Packer.
I hope that the message has been a blessing to you. And as always, I want to emphasize the importance of this hearing from you, our listeners, that we can remain on this station. Our address is the Baptist Bible, our Oct 17 037. Cincinnati, Ohio, four five two one seven to greet your next time. This is a share. Bradley Junior bidding you goodbye. And may God bless you.
Glory day by day, and the sun shone. Yes, I've got it.
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