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Being a Mighty Church for Jesus - Acts - Part 20

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
July 30, 2020 9:00 am

Being a Mighty Church for Jesus - Acts - Part 20

So What? / Lon Solomon

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We are in a verse by verse study of the book of acts and today we come to acts chapter 6, so the title of my message is being a mighty church for Jesus and are you ready okay now a little bit of background.

If you remember hearing the early chapters of the book of ask the apostles he been preaching and healing and witnessing for Jesus in Jerusalem and as a result, the rabbis arrested them and beat them and ordered them to stop preaching about Jesus. The last verse of acts chapter 5 says box daily in the temple and from house to house day. The apostles did not cease to preach and teach Jesus as the Messiah.

Good for them. Praise the Lord. Good for them now. Acts chapter 6, verse one, and in those days when the number of disciples was multiplying up there arose a complaint by the Hellenistic Jews against the Hebrew Jews stop for a second. All this means that Hellenistic Jews these were Gentiles who had converted to Judaism and then had come to Christ, and were now part of the church, the Jewish as it says here, the Hebrew Jews were simply Jewish people would come to Christ, who'd been born and raised from the very beginning as Jewish people don't understand. All right. In the book of the verse says, there arose a complaint by the Hellenistic Jewish believers because their widows were being neglected in the daily food distribution, then the 12 apostles called the multitude of the disciples unto them and they said it is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren seek out among yourselves seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this ministry, but we, the apostles will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word in the saying pleased up the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip and programmer Russ in the container and team own and partner loss and Nicole lost a Gentile proselyte, a convert from the city of Antioch, whom they said before the apostles and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them, thereby delegating apostolic authority to them oversee this food distribution verse seven and the word of God kept on spreading and the number of the disciples continue due to to increase greatly in Jerusalem and a great many of the Jewish priests were even becoming obedient to the faith. Now that's our passage is as far as were going to go today but we want to stop now and we want to ask our most important questions so y'all know what this is ready right now. Come on, this is my muscle service ear already here we go into a God I love you guys.

I'm serious. All the best. Okay so I lawn. I appreciate the passage of great passes just don't see what is in their for us. Well, let's talk about your 1963.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. of course came here to Washington DC to the Lincoln Memorial where he painted a picture of the kind of society that he wanted America to become an today what I want to do is based on the description of the early church here in acts chapter 6, I want to paint a picture for us here at McLean Bible Church of the kind of church that I want us to become namely I want us to become a mighty church, spiritually, for the Lord Jesus Christ. Now would you notice I didn't say a big church folks a big church is a nice thing but a mighty church is the critical thing. Can I get a mental map. Amen. All right, now here in acts chapter 6 the Bible tells us for things that made the early church in Jerusalem, the mighty church that it was because I want to point those out to you and then I want to challenge us to mutilate this early church here in our church today so number one. The early church in Jerusalem.

First of all was mighty in prayer. Acts chapter 6. Remember, the apostle said, we will give ourselves this is not the language of casualness. This doesn't mean occasionally we will do this we will give ourselves and what was the first thing they said to watch say it out loud to prayer. That's right, brothers and sisters, the Jerusalem church was a praying church in acts chapter 1 right after the Lord Jesus ascended back into heaven. The Bible says and day that church all continued with one accord in one say prayer and supplication in acts chapter 12 it says that Peter was in prison, but the church was what praying and how were they praying earnestly, right to God for him, friends, the Jerusalem church was a church that gave themselves to prayer.

They were church that continued in prayer. They were a church that was fervent in prayer and this is the kind of church that I am calling us to be at McLean Bible church individually on calling us to have a personal prayer closet where we meet with God.

Alona and where we are mighty on our knees with God and then as a church family on calling us to do this very same kind of praying together. I'm calling us to be at our preservice prayer meetings before every service here at Tysons. We have a prayer meeting right over in the prayer room.

I want you to get here early and I want you to come over and get on your knees with the rest of us in their and I want you to pray for the service coming up and pray for our city and pray for our nation and pray for revival, there's no reason that room shouldn't be full of us.

Every single week on our knees praying and I want you at the prayer gathering tonight. I want us to have a massive representation. I want people to look around that prayer gathering tonight and say my gosh look at all the people McLean Bible church that is a praying church and inside of your bulletin is a prayer warrior insert you'll see it looks like this.

This is an opportunity for you to sign up and get emails from anybody on the back ready organ or part of us like Jill's house on the back telling you about prayer requests and needs that we have. I have many prayer warriors and I send them emails all the time same. Please pray for this, please pray for that and I count on them to do it.

Look, if you're already a prayer warrior for someone or something. You don't have to refill this out, but if you are not a prayer warrior for someone or some part of this church and you come here and call this your home church friends.

That is just not one of the above selections friends for you to come to this church and not pray for this church. No, we need you. We need you in prayer and so I want you to fill this out. You can drop it off at the welcome center will have it in the bulletin again next week so you can think about it, but we need to be a praying church and the only way we can be a praying church is if we are a church full of praying people that make sense to you. Can I get amen, amen. All right, folks are mighty church is a church that is mighty in prayer. Number two, the early church in Jerusalem was also mighty in the word of God. In acts chapter 2.

The Bible says and they that is the early church continued to devote themselves again, not the language of casualness. This is the language of intense dedication.

They devoted themselves to what the apostles were teaching and friends, what with the apostles teaching when a teaching they were teaching the Scripture. They were teaching the word of God right. Acts chapter 6, verse four, the apostle said, and we will give ourselves to prayer and then what to the ministry of the lots were second Timothy chapter 4 Paul said to Timothy, I charge you, therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ who showed George the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom. And what's the charge Paul that you're giving to Timothy. Garrett is saving three words with me, praying each the word yes friends. The word the word. The word, a mighty church for Jesus proclaims the word, they proclaim it without compromise. They proclaim it without ambiguity, and they proclaim it without equivocation, but more than that mighty church for Jesus is full of people who proclaim the word everywhere they go with everyone they meet. They proclaim the word and the reason they proclaim the word is because they know the word and the reason that they know the word is because they studied the word and they've learned God's word. Second Timothy chapter 2 verse 15 say the first word with me say it out loud what is it studying to show your self approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, and that word rightly dividing means understanding and then properly interpreting the word of God.

That's what the early church in Jerusalem did they study the word. They knew the word of God, and that's what I want because at McLean Bible church to do this is why want you to have on your phone. Beyond Sunday's the gap so that you get Scripture into your life every single day multiple times.

This is why want you to take the McLean University classes Christianity 101201301, and so forth. This is why I want you to consider taking courses at Dallas theological seminary which meets in our Prince William campus building.

I was just in Dallas this week. Speaking for four days at the seminary and and I was talking to Mark Bailey, the president and he was saying how excited he is to have a campus here in Washington DC there up to 150 students and I said Mark you mark my words, no pun intended. I said we will be in a thousand students in the next five years. Once the word gets out, the Dallas seminary is here and you can get that level of education right here in Washington DC.

But whatever it is I don't care what it is, folks, we need to be in the Bible outside of just coming here on Sunday because a mighty church is a church of the word, and it's full of people who are people of the word. Number three. The early church in Jerusalem was mighty third in evangelism follow the progression here. Acts chapter 1 the believers numbered 120 acts chapter 2 about 3000 were added to their number acts chapter 2 the Lord was adding to their number daily acts chapter 4 the number of men grew to 5000.

Acts chapter 5 more men and women believed and were constantly added to their number acts chapter 6 the number of disciples kept multiplying acts chapter 6 verse seven and the number of disciples in Jerusalem continued to increase, say, the last word with me greatly fall while friends this was a church that took seriously when Jesus said you go out and reach lost people for me this church. The Sears, this is the kind of church I want us to be.

I want us to spread out like a mighty cloud of witnesses every single week in the Washington and some of you travel, so I want you to spread out around America and I want you to spread out around the world and everywhere we go where mighty cloud of witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ and you may say will on will really know how to witness. I'll really know how to share my faith wary that's why we have Christianity, 301.

That's what we do in their we hope you feel comfortable and know how to share your faith and if you miss the start of Christianity. 301 a couple weeks ago that after we finished the six weeks were just going to start it again so keep your ears open and keep your eyes open and get into Christianity. 301 friends. There is no excuse for us not to be able to share our faith when we have a course right here to help make you facile and adept at doing that we understand okay. Number four the early church in Jerusalem.

Number four was mighty in discipleship.

Remember the seven men that the congregation chose you know to distribute the food you member that the we just read about yeah well, the Bible says they were to be men of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom question, where did the early church so early in its history. These men from answer the apostles produce some the apostles discipled him.

The apostles made them by pouring into them. Listen to acts two and Dave. The believers continued to devote themselves to what the apostles were teaching.

They were with the apostles together and they fellowship with the apostles, and they broke bread with the apostles, and they had time of prayer with the apostles and the apostles rubbed off on them and produce these godly men.

This, my friends, is how we need to be but would you notice, please, that these early believers were anxious to be disciple.

They were anxious to grow in their faith. They wanted to grow.

They made themselves available to me what good was it. If the apostles it showed up to teach the word and fellowship and break bread and nobody showed up. These people showed up. I'm sure they were busy to but they made time and they were proactive in getting with the apostles so they could grow in their faith. And that's what I want from us at McLean Bible church that same anxiousness that same probe activity to grow in our faith. Whether it's by get in a small group or whether it's by being a married couple and going to reengage on Wednesday nights, or whether it's by being a male, a man and going to first flight in coming to our men's retreat which is coming up on October 21 were going to talk about purity as men.

I can't think of a subject we need more to talk about with your woman. It means getting in the community Bible study are getting in the Bible study Fellowship or getting in the mops or mothers of preschoolers are getting in the mothering matters are coming to the women's retreat and this is why I keep putting pressure on you guys to become volunteer staff because when you get in and serve next to a mature godly leader. That leader rubs off on you just like the apostles rubbed off on these early believers remember when it comes to discipleship, more discipleship is caught then talked and it's caught by being around people who are mature in the Lord and they rub off on you and that's why I'm trying to get you one of the reasons into serving the Lord next to these people so you will grow.

It's not just about serving it's about growing, and may I say if you're an older mature believer here and you're not involved in serving somewhere in our church friends. We need you.

We need you.

I mean, we need to be able to have you serving so we can put these young adults next to your and you can rub off on them. What the Lord is done in your life. I mean, how in the world are you gonna rub off on somebody if your home watching the Price is right, is not going to happen. Praise Lord, praise Lord, praise Lord. Amen. I so here. The fourth thing.

The early church was a mighty church in prayer.

They were a mighty church in the word. They were a mighty church in evangelism. They were a mighty church in discipleship and is one more you said I thought you said there was for, well, there's five but is not in acts six is in the rest of the book of acts, but it's important. Number five, the early church in Jerusalem was mighty in planting churches now here in the book of acts we see that the members of this Jerusalem church planted churches in acts chapter 8 in Samaria acts chapter 8 in his notice. Acts chapter 8 in Caesarea. They planted churches. Acts chapter 9 in Damascus. Acts chapter 9 in Lydia acts chapter 9 in Joppa.

They planted a church. Acts chapter 11 in the city of Antioch and then the church they planted in the city of Antioch was the one who dispatched the apostle Paul who planted churches all over the Roman Empire friends.

The point is that the Jerusalem church didn't just grow the Jerusalem church multiplied itself by planting churches and that's what we have now launched into with absolute seriousness, listen when it comes to this last thing we are not as a church, what we ought to be yet, but we are all a lot better than we used to be praise Lord and give us some time give us some time and we're going to get a lot more better, says that England yes really a lot more better praise God. So let me conclude by saying this. Folks if we aim at nothing is certain, were going to hit nothing. This is what I want us to aim at these things we talked about today to be a mighty church for Jesus but friends I can't do this myself.

There is no way is your pastor that I can muscle us into being a mighty church for Jesus by myself.

There's no way our elders can muscle this church into being a mighty church for Jesus. We have all got to do this together because I'm sure you understand the church is not this building. The church is not the parking lot. The church is not the classrooms the church is you the charges you and only as you become this kind of mighty person for Christ and we start gathering hundreds and thousands of people who are mighty in their walk with Christ. That's how we build a mighty church. That's what the early church was all about. They were full of people who were mighty in their walk with God. Since there are long so I'm sitting out here. I love the Lord love this church.

I call this my home church would he want from me I'll tell you what I want friends. What I want from you, and what I want from me is I want us to live an early Christian lifestyle. I want us to live in apostolic lifestyle. I want us to live a biblical lifestyle, and that means number one that I want you to have a vibrant serious prayer life. It means number two I want you to have a hunger for studying and learning and knowing the word of God.

It means number three that I want you to have a passion for reaching out in caring for lost people and telling them about Jesus.

It means number four that I want you to have an anxious and available heart to grow in your walk with God and to be discipled into a mature believer and a means number five that I want you to have an excitement about being part of a multiplying the church. This is an apostolic lifestyle. This is an early church lifestyle. This is a biblical lifestyle.

That's what I'm calling you and me to not calling you to an American lifestyle and I'm not even calling you to an American Christian lifestyle I'm calling you to a biblical lifestyle and when we have hundreds of people gathering together, living a biblical lifestyle that acts when will have a mighty church for Christ.

You and Stan and Stan may God bring it to pass for his glory spring dear Lord Jesus, I ask you to forgive us in the church in America for how far we have drifted from the lifestyle of the early church friends.

If you're here today and something I've said the Holy Spirit is pressed at home and said you know what we need some change in your life is take a moment and talk to God about you tell God what you're prepared to do so that you can become a mighty follower of Christ or Jesus. We want to reimburse power of the Holy Spirit in our church Lord we want to reimburse in our church of spiritual impact on the city of Washington DC and surrounding areas.

Lord we want to reimburse in this church of the presence of the Holy Spirit so that people walking in here know they have walked into the presence of Christ. We want a revival in this church that sweeps out of this church and around the city with our brother and sister churches all God call me and call every individual sitting and listening to to be part of that revival and rebirth because they read crown Jesus as the Lord of their life. They read crown, a biblical apostolic lifestyle as their lifestyle. They develop into a mighty follower of Christ, so that when we gather we develop into a mighty church family. Christ do this. Lord I pray rally us around this.

I pray that Jesus may be glorified here in the city through our lives or change and alter the way we live because we were here today, and sat under the teaching of your holy Word and we pray these things in Jesus name.

And everybody said, you knew better. Everybody said amen

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