The Kind of Christian & Church That God Wants – Part 1
A Spirit Filled, Powerful, and Fruitful Person & Church
What kind of Christian & Church does God want ? What kind of Christian and person does He want you to be (and all of His children to be) ? What does God want His church to be like ?
Many of us would answer these questions by using a combination of today’s modern standards and our own personal opinions or wants (what we think the church ought to be or should be, or what we want the church to be). To find out what God is looking for His children & followers and His church to be, we need to look into God’s Word. The Bible is our authority and guide to find the kind of Christian & church that God wants and desires.
God has given us clear guidelines in His Word for the type of Christian and Church that God wants. He has also given us examples to follow… His Son Jesus, and the early church in the Book of Acts.
This will be a 2 part series of articles that will clearly show the kind of Christian and church God wants. We will dig into God’s Word the Bible and discover the 2 keys to being all that God wants us to be… The kind of Christian / disciple and church that God wants us to be, and that pleases Him. The kind of person and church that God can use greatly in His Kingdom work and mission.
We will start in John 15:8 – “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
- God wants you and His church to be Spirit-filled, powerful, and fruitful
- God is greatly glorified by a fruitful Christian and church
- This verse is talking about the eternal, spiritual fruit that is produced when we are the kind of Christian and church that God wants us to be
Jesus’ life here on earth, and the early church in the Book of Acts are our examples to follow in order to be what God wants us to be. In this part we will dig into Acts chapter 2 and discover the first of 2 keys that we need in order to be what God wants us to be.
ACTS 2:42 – the First Key of Being a Spirit-filled and Fruitful Person & Church:
- Acts 2:42 – “They devoted themselves to 1) the apostles’ teaching 2) and to fellowship, 3) to the breaking of bread and 4) to prayer.”
- Question – if a church does all of these things: church services, worship, teach & preach the Bible (at least some parts of it), Bible studies, small groups, fellowships, prayer time… will it be a spirit filled & successful church ? (It appears so, but not necessarily)
- It appears at first glance that these things are the First Key thing we have to do in order to be the Christian and church that God wants – Bible study, eat together, fellowship, and prayer.
- All of these things are important parts of being a Christian and a church, but they are not the First Key – the vital thing you have to have in order to be what God wants you to be.
- We can do all of these things in a religious way, and our hearts can still be far from God.
- We can go to church services, hear God’s word and study it, go to fellowships and small groups, and pray and be involved in the prayer ministry at church, and do them as religious things we are obligated to do. Or we can do them as part of a religious checklist that will show that we are being “good Christians”.
- Almost all churches do these things in one form or another, but most churches today are not Spirit-filled, powerful, and fruitful churches. In fact many are dead or dying, especially in America these days.
- What matters most is where our heart is. We can do all of these things and still our heart can be far from God. We can be good religious and moral people, but our hearts can be far from God.
To find the First Key thing we have to have in order to be what God wants us to be – a Spirit-filled, powerful, and fruitful Christian and church, we need to look again and dig further into Acts 2:42:
- Acts 2:42 – “They devoted themselves to… here is the First Key:
The Greek word for devoted “proskartereo” is the strongest word in the Greek language for COMMITMENT. It literally means “to latch on and refuse to let go”. The people in the early church in Acts were not devoted or committed to being good religious people, or to merely doing some religious things.
They were not devoted or committed to a church or to a denomination, or to an organization, or to a ministry. “To latch on to and refuse to let go” means that they “latched on to Jesus and refused to let go of Him.
- It means they were fully devoted and committed to follow and obey Jesus – no matter where He leads, no matter what he tells you to do, no matter the cost.
- The early church in Acts lived in a very dangerous time for Christians. The same people that tortured and killed Jesus were still alive. This was shortly after Jesus died on the cross.
- They suffered a lot of persecution, and they could be arrested or even killed at any time for serving and following Jesus.
Despite the difficult circumstances and the high cost of following Jesus, they were totally devoted and committed to Jesus. Not just to doing some religious things… to Jesus.
- All of the apostles (the leaders & pastors of the early church), except John, died for following and serving Jesus.
- Stephen also died (see Acts 7), Paul and many others also suffered and died for Jesus.
Because of their total devotion and commitment to Jesus, they were the kind of people and church that God wants – and the result was a Spirit-filled, powerful, and fruitful church.
The Results and The Signs of Being a Spirit-filled & Fruitful Church (Acts 2:43-47a):
- Acts 2:43 – Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
- a sign of God’s presence & glory filling the church : awe, wonders & signs, miracles
- Acts 2:44 “All the believers were together and had everything in common.”
- another sign of God’s presence & glory : supernatural “agape” sacrificial love and “koinania” fellowship and unity.
- Acts 2:45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
- another sign of God’s presence & glory : great generosity, unselfishness, love & concern for others (God’s sacrificial “agape” love… the sacrificial love that Jesus displayed when He died on the cross for our sins).
- Acts 2:46 “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
- another sign of God’s presence & glory : joy, gladness, contentment, sincerity (despite difficult circumstances, suffering, and the threat of dying for following Jesus)
- Acts 2:47a “praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people (good reputation).”
- another sign of God’s presence & glory : sincere heart-felt true worship and awe of God.
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