Can We Be Like the Jerusalem Church?

RestoringFocus.2013

The 2013 theme of the Hickman Mills church where I preach has been RESTORING OUR FOCUS.

In yesterday’s post on “minister” I mentioned a different emphasis we had each month this year.  One of our new readers asked if I would list the other goals that we have been focused on for the year.  I thought others might like to know about the process in which we have been engaged. 

For the first 7 weeks of the year we divided the church into 7 groups studying material that was purpose driven.  Faith focused.  And Bible-based.  The heart of it was the book of Acts.  And some of the letters to churches.

Our aim was to restore our focus to be like the Jerusalem church.  To reproduce that pattern.  And revive our efforts and energies on God’s purpose for His people.

Our mission passage became Acts 2:42-47.

41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,

45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.   

From this text we learned five things God wants His Church to be.

1 A Family Bonded Church. 

There are many metaphors in the Bible for the Christian. We are called Sheep. Soldiers. Servants. But none is more understandable or more accurate than the idea of family.

God wants to be our spiritual Father (2 Cor 6:18). Jesus Christ desires to be our elder brother. We are called to be family (Eph. 1:19). And we are born into this family through a spiritual birth (John 3:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:22-23).

The Jerusalem Christians enjoyed community and communion. They were together.  Had all things in common.  And shared a special relationship with God and each other. In His Family we find a place to belong.

#2 A God-Praising Church.

The Jerusalem Christians worshiped.  Praised God.  And broke the bread of communion.

There is an inborn urge in each person to worship. If we don’t worship Jehovah God, we will find something else to worship. It might be a job. Family. Money. Sports. Or even ourselves! But God wants us to worship Him.

God has a day designed for worship. Sunday. We join with others in the spiritual Family to worship God. But we also magnify and praise His name daily.

#3 A Bible Teaching Church. 

They continued steadfastly in “the apostles doctrine.”  Or teaching.  One cannot grow as a Christian without teaching.  Through teaching we become stronger in the Faith.  Grow spiritually.  And mature to become more like Christ.

A godly lifestyle.  Christian character.  And personal integrity.  These all depend on accurate apostolic teaching.

#4 A Need Serving Church.

First century Christians cared about each other.  Helped each other.  Served each other.

God expects us to use our gifts, talents and opportunities to benefit and bless others. The Bible says, Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.(I Pet 4:10).

#5 A Soul Winning Church.

The church in Jerusalem grew.  Souls were saved. Members were added.  Daily!  They quickly grew from 3,000 to 5,000.  The book of Acts is an exciting history and manual for church growth.

God wants us to share our faith.  To be a messenger of His love.  To be an evangelistic church. 

For 5 months we focused on a different purpose.  Then repeated this process.  We’re not perfect.  But we’re making progress!  Embracing the process.  Being purpose-driven.  And following God’s plan!

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

4 Comments

Filed under Purpose

4 responses to “Can We Be Like the Jerusalem Church?

  1. Nancy Childers

    WHAT ABOUT WHERE THEY HAD ALL THINGS IN COMMON VERSES 44 & 45?
    MY SON SAYS WHY DON’T WE DO THIS TODAY? I SURE WOULD
    LIKE TO HEAR YOUR ANSWER TO THIS. THANK YOU NANCY CHILDERS

    • Nancy, thanks for your question. The word “common” comes froma form of “koinos” which has to do with fellowship, communion, and sharing. Some have claimed their was a form of communism in the early church! Don’t think so. Properties were not confiscated, but were freely given like in Acts4:32-5:4. They had a choice. It was a free will offering. But the attitude of these Christians was unselfish. It was “what’s mine is thine and I’ll share it.” Their common relationship in the Lord motivated them to help each other, share their possession and give to those who had need, as they had opportunity. Actually, I’ve seen this at work many times. Brethren sharing their resources. I’ve seen brethren give others cars, provide a home to live in, buy groceries and give $$$ to help brethren in need. This was the spirit of the Jerusalem Christians. It should be our spirit today. Hope that helps.

      Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726 Church Office: 816-761-2659 preacherman@weliever.net web site: http://www.weliever.net/ blog: http://www.thepreachersword.com/ Church web site: http://hickmanchurch.com/

  2. Nancy Childers

    THANK YOU, I TOLD MY SON THAT IS WAS MAYBE A ONE TIME THING.
    BECAUSE THERE WERE SO MANY CHRISTIAN THERE AT THIAT TIME THEY HELPED ONE ANOTHER OUT. HE DIDN’T LIKE THAT ANSWER.
    HE THINKS WE CAN DO THIS NOW. I DO LIKE YOUR ANSWER
    REGARDS, NANCY C

  3. Pingback: Word of the Week: Partnership | ThePreachersWord

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