A PORTRAIT OF THE SPIRIT-FILLED CHURCH By Pastor Scott Henry

• May 5, 2017

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).

 

Before Jesus ascended into heaven He said to His disciples, “… go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19). The apostles preached and taught the people so often that it was said they “filled Jerusalem with their doctrine” (Acts 5:28).  And the believers never tired of hearing the apostles’ doctrine because they loved to hear the Gospel of their salvation.  One of the marks of a true believer is a person who loves the truth of the Gospel, joins the church, and desires to learn all that he can from the Word of God.  A true believer wants to be instructed in the Scriptures, and he wants to tell others the things he learns.

 

Is this the desire of your heart?  Do you go to worship on Sunday morning because you can’t get enough of the Word of Christ?  The church of Jesus Christ is a teaching and learning church.  It’s a church that is steadfastly devoted to the Apostles’ teaching — the sound doctrine that proclaims the Lord Jesus Christ and what God has done for sinners through Christ — that is the heart and soul of the church.  You take away the Apostles’ doctrine, and the church will die. Wherever the faithful preaching of the Apostles’ doctrine is heard, and where people continue to profess that doctrine, there the true church lives and thrives.  And it’s there that you have a portrait of the Spirit-filled church.

 

But our text also reveals that a Spirit-filled church is one devoted to fellowship.  The word fellowship could also be translated communion because the basic idea of fellowship or communion is unity with another.  You have something in common that brings you together. And believers have something in common — their fellowship in Jesus Christ.  The early church was devoted to fellowship.  They were united in true brotherly love and they demonstrated this by taking care of each other.  Those who had more gave of their wealth to those who had less. There were no needy persons among them.

 

What about you?  How do you view your possessions?  We have so many things today that we don’t even use certain items.  Just think of some of the clothes in your closet that you haven’t seen in years.  Do you see your possessions as a gift from God to be stewarded for His glory and the benefit of the church, or do you just keep them to yourself?  Do you have more of a desire to hoard things you don’t need or give them to those who could use them?

 

The early church was very enthusiastic in showing the common bond they had with one another, and their fellowship was based upon the union they have with God and the Lord Jesus Christ. We read in 1 John 1:3, “…and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”  Fellowship in the church is no less than fellowship with God Himself.  That’s the covenant life of the church.  That’s the true unity that believers have in Jesus Christ.

Category: Scott Henry

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