Dave William’s teaching from Wednesday’s high school group. He spoke on Acts 2:42-47. He focused on the togetherness of the church and how when we choose to be a part of it the church is unified, magnified, and multiplied.
- “ So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.” 1 Cor. 14:12
- Having a desire for God’s people means to have a desire to see God’s spirit move in our lives. To achieve this building out process we need to be built up. That starts with us sitting and Christ standing.
- If not, what can happen is that we end up doing this for the Lord but not really knowing Him.
- Matthew 7 says, “22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you.”
- See anytime that a name was repeated in the Bible it was a term of endearment. That meant that the person saying that was actually saying, “God, we are close because I do things.” And God’s response is, “No, we can be close by knowing each other.”
- That requires us to sit while He stands.
Read Acts 2:42
- So you can break this passage into two parts. The first two verses focus on the building-up and the last four focus on building-out.
- The word devoted means to be intentionally engaged. They were intentionally engaged with the Word. When we approach the teaching, preaching, and digging-into the Word are we intentionally engaged? It takes effort to build a relationship with Christ.
- Paul says in Ephesians 5:10 to “try and discern what is pleasing to God.”
- He said to try. When Paul uses try it implies that it will take work. We have to attempt to do it. We have to be intentionally engaged.
- At the same time they were building-out, they were building up together.
- Verse 42 says that they devoted themselves to the teaching as well as the fellowship.
- That word is translated into partnership. They partnered together while they were being built-up in Christ. They were intentionally engaged with sought after one another.
Build Out – vs. 44-47
- But one thing I love about the Lord is that he doesn’t just tell us to fellowship, or build out together, but shows us what this partnership looks like in action.
- The first word together and the word number are the exact same word.
- It’s interesting because the word used actually describes not togetherness but individuality. At the same time it gives the image of people who are distinctly different choosing to come together. This is a core value of our Christianity.
- You choose your friends based on their compatibly to who you are. Look at family. You don’t choose your family and whether you like it or not you can’t leave it. You don’t have a choice.
- Christianity combines those two forms of relationships together. So the core value or the definition of togetherness becomes this: Choosing to be a part of family that whether you like it or not you can’t leave it.
- Look what happens when we do that. Verse 47 “And the Lord added to their number daily.” God added to that togetherness because it is exactly how he treats us. We are his family and whether he would like to or not he can’t leave it.
- Hosea 11 God says that “his people are bent on leaving him. Yet, how could I give them up. I am God but not man.” So if it is the way in which God treats us then it makes sense that he is asking us to do the same.
- The other time that the word together is used (in verse 46) its speaking of coming together at the same time for a unified reason.
- Romans 15:5 says this, “ May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- There is that same word used again. So what is the purpose: To Glorify God.
- That happens in unity. Fighting for that togetherness an when we want to break away or feel distant we must remember that it is in that togetherness that God is glorified.
- It’s that “one voice” That needs to be heard. That happens when we unanimously stand together for the purpose of lifting up the name of Jesus.
- Here is the other thing that we notice when reading this: The word Daily.
- This wasn’t a once-a-week thing. In fact, if we go back to the definition of togetherness again you will remember that it is referring to a chosen family.
- Look what they were doing: attending church together—not just once a week but daily—and having meals together. They shared their lives with each other.
- This is one reason why we set up our Youth ministry the way we did. We have small groups that meet weekly, we meet here weekly, we have church weekly, try and meet up with you all one-on-one, and be involved in each others lives.
- We don’t do this because it is easy but because it is the way God designed His church.
- Now here is the deal, I know that the level of commitment seems high—it is because it is—but if we want to see the manifestation of the God’s spirit that is what we need to do.
- Me too though. As a youth staff we are making the same level of commitment with each other. We don’t just want to serve together but serve each other. Why, because we want to see God be glorified.
- Here is what happens when we do this: The church is unified, magnified, and multiplied.
- Vs. 44 they had all things in common. They kept their individuality but will put their needs behind the purpose that God has for the church, They are unified.
- Vs. 47 We see the church magnified. It says that they had favor with all the people. See the church becomes the salt and light that we were designed to be.
- We don’t have to water down the truth to have favor with our community but instead we have to do our best to glorify who he is in or lives. That is what our community is looking for.
- Lastly the church is multiplied when we build-out. “And the Lord added to their number day-by-day those who were being saved.”
- You will see God continue to add to the togetherness that we have here.
- You will see your community grow deeper and wider.