Choosing a Good ChurchOctober 7, 2020
Choosing a Good Church (Acts 2:42-47)
-While realizing the importance of being an active part of God’s church is only the first step, finding a good, biblical local church is the next—and finding a good church can prove difficult as there is a confusing plethora of .
-Acts 2: 42-47 gives a great example of a biblical church:
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.
*Please note: a church’s success or effectiveness should never be measured solely upon it’s of people or number of programs.
3 Basic Features of a Good Local Church (Acts 2:42-47):
1. A Devotion to Bible-Based Teaching (Acts 2:42)
–…they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine
-The church we see developing in verses 42-47 is the direct result of the Bible teaching exemplified in verses 14-41.
-They were perpetually devoted to the teaching of God’s Word.
-They were excited about the Bible and made it the centerpiece of their church—and so should we!
A. Content of Teaching
-The rest of Acts and the New Testament reveal that the content of the Apostles’ teaching was God’s Word.
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
-A good church will teach and preach doctrine and application as presented in the Scriptures.
-The Bible gives us everything we need for life and thus the church must make the Bible the focus of it’s teaching.
2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
-We have to know what the Bible says about something before we know how to act. We won’t know how to worship, pray, evangelize, discipline, shepherd, train, or serve unless we know what the Word of God says. (J. MacArthur)
B. Manner of Teaching
–did the apostles communicate God’s Truth? (Acts 2:14-36)
- – answered questions people were asking (14-15)
- Biblical & Expository – quoted, explained, and applied Scripture passages (16-21, 25-28, 34-35)
- -centered – Jesus is the main Subject (22ff)
- Specific & Personal in Application – listeners were addressed directly (22, 23, 36)
- Authoritative – bold declaration of non-negotiable Gospel facts (22)
- in Intent – preaching of God’s Word demands a decision (37ff)
*We do not gather to be entertained, talk about our feelings in a group therapy session, discuss our opinions, or determine the right political persuasion—we gather to learn the Word of God!
-If any building is to , it must take the shape of its foundation—and the church’s foundation is God’s Word.
-2 Timothy 4:1-4, I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
*A good church is one where the people desire and respond to biblical teaching and preaching, and where the leaders are committed to providing that for them regularly and perpetually.
2. A God-Centered Focus (Acts 2:43-47)
-v. 43, …and fear came upon every soul…
–fear (phobos) = a awe
-A solemn recognition of the presence of a holy and loving God in our lives motivates us to obey and praise—worship. (vv. 44-47)
–Psalm 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
*The leaders and members of a church must remember that it does not exist primarily for the benefit of man, but for the of God and His Son Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 43:7, Colossians 1:16, Revelation 4:11)
-A man-centered church:
- Follows extra-biblical instead of embracing the simplicity of Christ.
- Hesitates to address or avoids certain doctrines instead of proclaiming all the counsel of God.
- Will worship and teach based on people’s instead of conforming to the biblical model.
- Points people to ungodly experts instead of to the sufficient answers from God’s Word.
- Will have little to no emphasis on instead of continuing steadfastly in prayer.
*A good church remembers and embraces the truth that it is created and sustained by God Himself.
3. A Loving Concern for the of People (44-45, 47)
-A church committed to teaching and worship but shows no concern for the true needs of people is imbalanced and unbiblical.
-1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
–Proverbs 29:7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.
A. Concern for Other Believers
-The church at Jerusalem:
- Continually devoted themselves to (42)
- Were together (44)
- Regularly ate meals together (46)
-They spent significant with one another developing a togetherness that was physical, emotional, and spiritual in nature. (46)
-They also gave sacrificially to meet one another’s needs (44-45)
*Remember that the church, as the house of God is the of God. (1 Timothy 3:15)
B. Concern for Unbelievers
-v. 47, …having favor with all the people…
-The church at Jerusalem was having a tremendous on the world around them, and no doubt that impact flowed from a great love for their unsaved neighbors.
-We must have a direct declaration of the Gospel coupled with a balanced display of tangible love toward those God has placed around us.
*A good church cares deeply about the needs of people.
*Taken from Life in the Father’s House by Wayne Mack & David Swavely