SATURDAY-MONDAY, OCTOBER 7-9, 2017
1 Peter 5:8, 2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-14
In studying the New Testament, you can see that Satan tried continuously to silence the church. When the attack from without failed, Satan changed his strategy and began a plan to divide the church from within. Tactics have not changed today. If he does not succeed as a devouring lion, he will come as a deceiving serpent or as an angel of light.
The early church was spirit-filled. As you study the book of Acts, you find some outstanding characteristics of a spirit-filled church.
Read Acts 2:41-47
I. THE SPIRIT-FILLED CHURCH IS A UNIFIED CHURCH.
This God given unity does not simply imply a well-organized institution. This unity involves trust, a giving spirit, and an “others orientation.” The church at Jerusalem was unified in doctrinal beliefs, as well as in fellowship, giving, and worship.
Acts 2:42, “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
II. A SPIRIT – FILLED CHURCH IS A MAGNIFIED CHURCH.
Satan attempted to disgrace the early church.
The religious rulers of the day opposed the work of the believers but many people were drawn to them because of their testimonies of faith. It was the fear of the common people that restrained the religious leaders in their attack. A spirit-filled church will have its enemies, but what the Lord is doing will attract those who are seeking to know God.
In the first church evangelism became the ministry of every Christian, not just a chosen few.
Not only a UNIFIED, MAGNIFIED:
III. THE SPIRIT-FILLED CHURCH IS A MULTIPLIED CHURCH!
Why? Because every member sought to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ.
Most people who come to church, are saved or walk the aisle, do so; because one of our members took of their time to invite them to come.
Then, after they came forward, someone led them to the Lord with the BIBLE IN HAND. (By the way soul-winners, always open your Bible so that people can see the Word of God is speaking and not your opinion).
Too many times people come forward during the invitation, and are never shown from the Bible, but convinced that they are saved.
I just had another young man tell me yesterday, that he went through years of his life thinking that he was saved, when he was not. Let’s be careful to always show them the scriptures.
Remember God said, “His Word shall not return unto Him void,” not your word.
Think of it, several members of our local church are involved in one person receiving Christ.
The church will be MULTIPLIED and believers added as each member faithfully witnesses for Christ.
In Chapter four of Acts we are introduced to Barnabas whose name means “son of encouragement.”
Barnabas had sold his possessions and gives the money to the church to meet the needs of the believers.
He was a spirit-filled man who gave his all to the Lord.
Spirit-filled believers today will emulate the spirit of these early believers and give willingly to the work of the local church.
Barnabas act of generosity filled two people with envy.
Annanias and Sapphira’s sin was not that they did not give all their possessions to the Lord.
Their sin was hypocrisy – a deliberate deception to have people believe they were spiritual when really they were not.
Satan worked to destroy the church from within by causing Annanias and Sapphira to put on a “lovely front” in order to conceal the ugly sin in their lives.
This deception was energized by Satan.
Satan is a liar and a murderer. He lied to and through this couple and their lie led to their deaths.
When God judged Annanias and Sapphira He was letting everybody know that He would not tolerate deception in His church.
Satan wants to divide the church, disgrace the church, decrease the church and the ultimate goal is to destroy the church.
But just like those believers, the church can completely triumph as we remain spirit-filled and UNIFIED, MAGNIFIED and MULTIPLIED.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
Colossians 1:27, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
That looks forward. What a wonderful thing to look forward to.
1. Through the gospel.
2. Unto glorification.
III. The Command of God verse 15, “stand fast and hold the traditions.”
In this verse Paul is talking about what he taught them when he was with them. It is the Word of God that enables us to stand and be steadfast.
1. To stabilize our walk
2. To seize the truth, both verbal and written
IV. The Comfort of God verses 16,17, “comfort your hearts….”
Not only will The Lord bring comfort and consolation to our hearts, but also He does it through His Word.
1. It stills the emotions.
2. It soothes the spirit.
V. The Confirmation of God verse 17, “stablish you in every good word and work.”
1. It establishes in good words.
2.It establishes in good works.
That will establish us in every good word and work.
I firmly believe that the study of the Word of God will lead to the work of God.
Conclusion: Winston Churchill said about a battle in World War II, “Never have so many owed so much to so few.”
Never has there been so much owed by so many to such a great and mighty God.
Please read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17.
One of the things that come with salvation is that Jesus is coming again. That does not mean to constantly gaze up into the sky and look for His coming. But it will manifest in three different ways if one truly believes in His coming:
- It will affect his attitude toward the Word of God.
- It will affect his Walk with God.
- It will affect his Work for God.
- The Choice of God in verse 13, “chosen you to salvation.”
RA Torrey said Ro. 8:28 is “the soft pillow for a tired heart.”
This is so clearly taught in Romans 8:28:31.
- Through sanctification of the Spirit
- Through belief of the Truth
Think of it: God chose you before you even got here.
Spurgeon said, “I am so glad God chose me before I got here, because if He had waited until I got here, He would never have chosen me.”
Actually, the “whoever will’s” are the chosen ones.
- The Call of God in verse14, “to the obtaining of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This is future and refers to the rapture.
I John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Hebrews 13:15-25, verse 21 text.
Since we are now New Testament priests we too can offer our sacrifices to God in four ways:
- You can sacrifice your PERSON Romans 12:1.
When we truly give ourselves to the Lord all other giving becomes easy.
- You can sacrifice your PURSE 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.
If He doesn’t have your purse He does not have you.
- You can offer the sacrifice of PRAISE verse 15.
- You can offer the sacrifice of PERFORMANCE or doing good, which we see in verse 16.
In verse 21, the word perfect, means: complete, equipped.
Now, think about that for a moment. God has equipped the saint for service. There is nothing we cannot do for God if He has equipped us. Let’s think about that for a few moments after we pay:
First of all, we need to be aware of:
- THE PROVISION GOD MADE FOR ALL OF US.
Understand God will never call you without taking responsibility of equipping you, Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them?”
We are to walk in good works.
Ephesians 4:24, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
How does God equip us?
- In the very beginning He made you equipped Genesis 1:26-28.
- He made you and created you with talent and ability. Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.