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April 22, 2022 8:00 am
The reason why the Christian church is so anemic why the Christian church is so weak is because we have abandoned the privacy of the word of God, and we hope own feelings.
The reason why we have ceased to be the society is because we have strong saying the power of the Holy Spirit in the gospel saturated the first century church in their passion and obedience is seen around the world today welcome to leading the way with pastor and Bible teacher, Dr. Michael, you set Dr. UNICEF reveals four key ingredients found in the early church, certainly not ingredients for a perfect church but qualities you should develop within yourself to be an effective spirit field part of your local body you now is Dr. Michael UNICEF with a message called powerful church. But history of the church of Jesus Christ has been represented by the world museums and a picture of one Amityville and many worn-out hammers, and there was an inscription one will many Hummers out of court.
Worn-out hammers, worn-out hammers, the treasures of institution might fail church as an organization might fail the church as a denomination might fail a church as a social my fail the church as a system may fail but the church of Jesus Christ, made up of all born-again believers from around the world will never fail one and will in many worn-out hammers do better on the churches that emphasize creativity, marketing, entertainment, sports and catering to every whim and desire of its constituent books and magazines by the bucket full. Tell everyone who would listen that unless they move with the times they are risking being irrelevant to the sculpture. I wanted to him the right place.
I am all for relevance. In fact, I consider the relevance to be of utmost importance in any preaching, but the church that has all the sports and all of the trinkets and all of the dancing around and all of the jazzing up and all of the marketing in the world. It is not Bible preaching Christ centered and loving it will hold like a bad soufflé. Everything other than Bible preaching Christ worshiping and others loving is just a feeling this is Philip Dr. Luke is giving us in these very few verses. Very few.
He is giving us a picture. What I spirit filled church is all about. He is giving us a magnificent picture of the hallmarks of the spirit filled church by telling us about the first church is basically telling us for things. Number one is saying that this church has to submit to the authority of the word of God is telling us that this church secondly has to be loving and caring for one another and for the work of the kingdom is saying the spirit filled church must be focus on worship. Worship of the living God. And fourthly, he is saying that a spirit filled church must be a witnessing church when he put it another way. This filled church has to be word honoring Wallach opening worship minded and witnessing bent about that. What I mean by word honoring the Bible so that the believers, the members of the early church. The first church, and if you're counting there about 3120 of so far. There were increasing every day they were devoting themselves to the apostles teaching is what set me, it means that it was a studying church means it was a learning church.
It means it was a teaching church now is not very popular in many churches. You and I know of churches that studying the Bible is totally out of fashion and in some so-called evangelical churches to some of those what they call Bible study is nothing but sharing mystical experiences. There are some who would they call Bible study is sitting there and sharing the feelings how do you feel today will I feel good. Not happy what my feeling is that with what you what you feel, and then them I find a passage in the Bible support what they feel and will file down the Christian faith through a series of feelings I wanted him or not and do not misunderstand the place until and unless the word of God penetrates deep down into our inner being off feelings are suspect, unless and until the word of God fills every corner of our intellect and our emotions, feelings are totally unreliable and the reason why the Christian churches so anemic why the Christian church is so weak is because we have abandoned the primacy of the authority of the word of God and we have got me hooked on feelings.
The reason why the church has lost its moral assault in the world is because we have cycle analyze the word of God. The reason why we have ceased to be the conscience of society is because we have stopped saying the last Lord I know you like to but doesn't like it that the spirit filled church must be a Bible study in church spirit filled church must be Bible playing church, the spirit filled church must be a Bible honoring church. The spirit filled church must be those folks who not only believe the Bible intellectually by practice it daily.
Why, because the Bible is not only spiritual food. Now if you can't a person who read your Bible, once in a while will maybe once a week with me ask you this, try next week and have one meal all of next week and then the following week and in the following see what happens. Please don't do this because you assuming we get sick will happen. You get sick and it happens the same way. Spiritually, every study that I have read it says that no more than 20% of all born-again evangelical Christians read the Bible on a daily basis and we are surprised at what has is happening all around us. Listen to what God said to Hosea and 4626 my people are destroyed for the knowledge Dr. Lucas telling us that the spirit filled church not only a word on the church. Secondly, he said. I walloped opening church. Yes, you heard me right, walloped summers is going to talk about money. Yes, I will tell you something. If you are a person who have never committed your life to Jesus Christ. Now what I'm going to say the next few moments just from that point. It's not for you.
You know why because God wants you first before he wants what he has given you okay so if you want to switch off. You can do that but I hope you don't want to like to talk about money. Well, the reason I love to talk about money is because I love to see the generous rejoice in the stingy squirrel is something, if your blood pressure begins to rise as you hear a preacher expound what the Bible said about the use of material possessions I want to tell you why. It's because money has become your sacred and secret God and you don't want to expose us what really trust me on this one because you are into idolatry know whether you know it or you don't.
You are the bottom line is you don't want to touch your secret and sacred God. You want to keep them right there inside of you, but if mom and has become your secret and sacred God. I pray that the Holy Spirit was set you free this day and you experience the joy of giving God's word says that the believers in the first church had everything in, says they were selling their properties or selling their possessions and they were given as the need arises not look at verses 44 and 45 of acts chapter 2. Now I need to give you a couple of explanations about these 2 Verses Listen Carefully Pl. very important explanations because in your translations and said they sold everything and they gave everything and a whole bunch of people thought, man, this is the wonderful form of Christian communism, communion, living far from it has nothing to do with it an ongoing 21 there are two verbs here and those verbs are in the imperfect tense. He said why is that important.
It's important because it means they were kept on selling. There were kept on giving. They didn't just do it once they kept on doing it is the need arise, they will give that would sell some of the stocks and bonds to give to the need. Second, I want to tell you about something about these two verses that it was they were giving voluntarily.
It was not a force giving I wanted to listen please to what I'm going to tell you whenever generosity becomes compulsory. It is no longer generosity really isn't something I'm just cutting a check is my thighs and I'm fine with me tell you something, God is more interested in what you going to do with the 90% of got left over than the 10% you just gave I'm going to stick my neck out here way out is if it's very unusual thing to do and I want to tell you that socialism is alive and well in this country. See what you talking about this. I know socialism. I lived under it.
I can smell it them all away and I wanted to listen carefully whenever there is a system that taxes those who have more at the higher rate so that the state can redistribute these resources that's socialism now whenever giving is done forcefully. That's socialism please don't write me letters I don't want to hear from you on this one. I tell you what, because if you love socialism fine, just, that's okay, that's between you and God is your life. Don't write me about it but his mom telling you I am telling you that the early church and all the giving it was given voluntarily not under compulsion and the reasons these folks was so generous that they gave major parts of their income of their net worth is because they were everything to go to heavenly father, your heavenly father has been so generous to you but if you pay and you take your type and then you take him for granted me tell you something you are not a member of the heavenly father. The spirit filled church's word honoring the spirit filled church as well. Up opening for the spirit filled church is worship minded look at the second half of verse 46 with gladness and sincerity of heart, they were praising God comes as no surprise. The members of this congregation that those who are worshiping and praising God are joyful people that joyful people praising God in the life of the believer produces joy.
What is it mean to worship and praise God. It is to praise, praising God is to recite the magnificence of God is to recite the wonderful deeds of God.
It is to recall and remind us of the great character of God to praise God and to worship God is to recall the magnificent attributes of God. And when the early church exalted the name of Jesus. They experience true happiness that experience true joy. There are some churchgoers who are looking for joy looking for happiness, but they going to the wrong places and trying to find it and they can't find it in the come up dry, true joy and happiness can come only when you know how to give glory to the name of God. True happiness comes from focusing on God and not on yourself.
True happiness comes when you are seeking God's glory, not your all. No wonder the Scripture in the book of Galatians tells us the joy is a fruit of the spirit visit. I know people I have talked to people who think erroneously of course the Christian life must be morbid. It must be measurable, it must be joyless. In fact, the reason why we call communion celebration is because we are celebrating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on the resurrection day which is every Sunday.
Believe me I have met and talked to people who think that… Other worship is that the more morbid worship is the more spiritual you are, forget it. The hallmark of the first church. It was a joyous church there were joyous people, not of course is the other extreme, and other extreme is so obvious that I nearly did not point out to the limit. Some people who think the joy is hanging from chandeliers all laughed uncontrollably that that's not necessarily just a reverence. I believe reverence and joy, not mutually exclusive. The fact that the mark of the spirit filled church is experiencing.
The combination of joy and all, both at the same time both at the same time so the spirit filled churches word honoring Wallach opening worship minded and forcefully witnessing bent verse 47 to their number daily.
The Lord added those who were saved. This is a very important part of these four marks hallmarks of the spirit filled church because it tells us that the members of the first church did not get so preoccupied with learning the word of God that they forsook witnessing to their pagan neighbors because it tells us that those people in the first church were not so preoccupied with compassion and generosity that they neglected witnessing to their friends. It tells us that those folks are merely church did not become so preoccupied with worshiping God that they ignored the unsaved family members. That is why this is very important because the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit is one who sins because the Holy Spirit creates a missionary environment, a missionary minded missionary bent people because the Holy Spirit rejoices when a sinner is found. Now there are many churches who make the mistake of practicing the first three hallmarks of the church and the neglect. The fourth one and you know what happens.
All doctrinally they are wonderful. Let me know on the right track, and there's nothing wrong with them, but when the fourth hallmark is missing the church soon will become self-centered church soon will become self serving church soon will become inward looking church soon will become naval gazers soon will become very efficient. The several things I want to tell you very quickly. I don't want you to miss write them down. It says here that the Lord himself is the one who was adding to their number, not the marketing program but he did it through the preaching of the apostles and the witnessing of the church members God always does his work through his obedient children. God always bring the lost sheep into his fold through his faithful sheet and the second thing I want to tell you very quickly, as this that he added those who were saved the seat they got saved first then to become church members. The reason we take time and have new member seminar is to make sure before anybody would join the church as a person who is born again.
You see, you have to be saved first, then you join the church.
The first thing I want to tell you very quickly is the it was added to the number daily wasn't just on a very special evangelistic outreach. It wasn't just it was daily.
These people were bringing people to Christ right there in the neighborhood where they live.
They bring people to Christ back in the school's weather was started there bringing people to Christ in the clubs whether socializing, bringing people to the Lord Jesus Christ whatever they may be offices, factories, shops everywhere you go you can find people watching you and waiting for you to tell them about Jesus. What is done for you on a daily basis. God was saving people through the witnessing of the new Christians. I want to conclude by telling the full story to illustrate the point that the Scripture makes here but how daily God adds and that when you are not faithful God will bring the lost, as most of you know in Islamic countries. It's illegal, it's a crime to convert to Christianity. Many Islamic countries consider converting to Christ is equal to homicide and deserve the same punishment from one of these countries go for Libyan converts to Christ they wanted to meet together but they knew they couldn't other homes not anywhere, so they decided to meet together early in the morning beside allow diesel tractor using the engine noise is a cover so they can pray to get believers take this to heart and within a very short period of time. Some people want to join the group to 16 and six months later they grew to 60 standing there around the diesel engine crime supervisor is a nominal Roman Catholic Italian. He saw that incredible see you when I saw this incredible commitment he made arrangement to bring in a pastor once a month to meet with God will add to his church with his people faithfully word honoring Wallach opening worship minded witnessing bent with your commitment to Christ lead you to choke on the smoke and fumes of the diesel engine still worship and learn from God's word convicting words from Dr. Michael you sat on this edition of leading the way. I know just about every day.
Dr. Yousef gets emails and cards and staff reports all telling him about the impact that leading the way is having on lives of these are from people in Western nations really appreciate how Dr. Yousef stands up for the truth, especially now in so many cultures of compromise.
But there is one connection I want to share with you today that comes to us from Saudi Arabia woman connected with the leading the way team in the area.
She had questions about her experiences with this mom and she wanted to find out answers about Christianity. Here's a quick summary from the team of this woman's experience. She initially rejected hearing that Islam is not from God continue to be drawn toward the truth of Christ as shared by the leading the way team. She connected with questions grew as she was exposed to Maureen Maureen of the gospel and when she compared the teaching of death and hell between Islam and Christianity. She quickly responded to an invitation to receive Christ Jesus sensing connected with the discipleship believers to help her grow in her knowledge. Stories like these are very commonly think we are seeing use leading the way to reach." New believers in your neighborhood neighborhoods just like yours.
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