Purpose: Show characteristics of the first New Testament church and how we should try to imitate it.
1. There is no greater institution in the world than the church of Christ.
2. Christ died in order to purchase His church (Acts 20:28).
3. Christ died to purchase the church in Gahanna.
4. We must remember what a blessing and responsibility it is to be God's representatives in this community.
5. It should be our goal to make the Lord's church strong.
6. We can do that by following the example left for us by the very first New Testament Church.
7. Read Acts 2:41-47.
A. They gladly received Peter's word (v. 41).
1. When we think of the blessings that come from obeying the gospel it should make us happy.
2. It should make us want to gladly obey.
3. Too many times, we grudgingly obey God's Word.
a. This is not pleasing to him (2 Corinthians 9:7).
b. We are told to rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4:4).
4. God's commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3).
B. They had ONE Faith (v. 46).
1. They all believed the same thing.
3. The Lord's church is being torn apart by those who are teaching something other than the Apostle's doctrine.
4. You'll never find the word "Faith" as plural in the New Testament.
5. There is only one true faith (Ephesians 4:4-5).
6. "United we stand; divided we fall."
A. It is said that the congregation in Jerusalem feared.
B. What did they fear?
C. They feared God in the sense that they respected him.
D. Respect is something that the world has very little use for today.
1. Children are not punished as they should.
2. Criminals are not punished.
3. Members of the church do not fear and respect the authority of God's Word.
E. Let us fear and respect God as we should.
A. Fellowship means joint participation or communion; cooperation.
B. As Christians, we are to have fellowship with God and our brethren (1 John 1:3, 7).
C. Notice their deep love and concern for each other.
1. They were willing to sell their goods to provide for the needs of the others.
2. This was not a command but they did it of their own free will.
D. Do we love each other that much?
1. We are to bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2).
2. Do we visit one another in the hospital.
3. Do we send cards when someone is sick.
4. Do we visit the erring member.
A. It says that they met daily.
B. We sometimes can't get people to come for 4 hours a week.
D. In doing this we set the proper example for our children and the world.
1. By possessing all of these characteristics, the church at Jerusalem obtained the favor of the people and God (v. 47).
2. Do you want the congregation in Gahanna to be strong?
3. Let us work to obtain the characteristics that the church in Jerusalem possessed.
4. Offer Invitation.
-- Ralph Price, February 2000 --