Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SEVEN MARKS OF A GREAT CHURCH

Acts 2:40-47 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

INTRODUCTION: A lot of churches claim to be great churches. I am afraid often times their greatness is only a figment of their own imagination. God gives us His definition or description of a great church in Acts 2.
  1. A GOSPEL preaching church. v. 40 - A church where lives are being changed. Not a monument to the saints but an emergency room for sinners. 2 Cor. 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 2 Tim. 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 1 Cor. 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
  2. A GROWING church. v. 41, 47 - Fulfilling all three parts of the Great Commission (A growing church is always in transition).
  3. A GROUNDED church. v. 42, 46a - (At least 10 references in Acts to God’s people continuing faithfully.) a. In doctrine (Doctrine is the glue that holds us together) b. In fellowship (Showed up every time doors were open v. 46a) together v. 44, one accord & singleness of heart v. 46 c. In Bible study (in the church, in the temple, and from house to house v. 46) d. In prayer (mentioned 30 times in Acts).
  4. A GLEANING church. v. 43 - a. (FEAR = reverence or awe) Godly worship (To ascribe worth). Respect for God and the things of God should cause us to live a separated, holy lifestyle. b. (PRAISING GOD) They did not take the blessings of God for granted.
  5. A GIVING church. v. 44-45 - 1 Cor. 16:1-3 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
  6. A GOING church v. 46b - Soul winning church. Acts 20:20 vision. (And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,).
  7. A GLAD church v. 46c-47, 41 - Someone said the mark of a spiritually strong church is not how long the preacher preaches but how long the people stay after the preaching. Neh. 8:10b for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Psalm 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

A sermon outline submitted by Pastor Jim Preston of Lighthouse Baptist Church, Moreno Valley, California

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Mark Hollingsworth said...

That's a great message. Thanks for posting it on your blog. It was a blessing and so true.
Thanks again,
Mark

11:43 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Mark,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving an encouraging comment....

With Thanksgiving approaching, I pray you and your family truly enjoy the blessings of God on your lives!!!

7:33 PM  

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