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Sermon notes: 1/8/22 God's Blueprint for Kingdom Increase

God’s Blueprint for Kingdom Increase

God hasn’t called anyone to be a lone ranger

God hasn’t called anyone to build the kingdom of God on their own

It is actually impossible

For the Kingdom of God to advance it must be done by the body as a whole

God has dispersed the gifts of the Spirit according to His will and His design

But I believe because in America we so often focus on the large gathering on Sunday we are missing something

I believe whenever we do something God’s way we will see great blessing and kingdom increase

Acts 2:40-47

40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this [a]perverse generation.” 41 Then those who [b]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’ [c]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 [d]sold their possessions and goods, and divided[e] 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 [f]to the church daily those who were being saved.

The early church was effective and dynamic

I believe when we examine the book of acts that there are principles that reveal what God desires to see in His church

As American we are very independent

Often times for many Christians their experience as a believer is what takes place on Sunday morning

But I believe God desires something more

I believe intimacy with Him is not only His heart’s desire

I believe intimacy with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ is very important to the Heart of God

When we look at this passage of scripture it follows when Peter preached after the outpouring on the day of Pentecost

Over three thousand people responded to the gospel

It wasn’t because Peter was an effective communicator, a biblical scholar, or very charismatic

It was because Peter was called and anointed by God

Because of the Holy Spirit, when the gospel was preached, people responded

But this now created incredible challenges for the early church

But I believe there were four things the Holy Spirit has highlighted that are key to being all that God has called us to be

1. They continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine

a. Doctrine can also mean teaching or instruction

b. The apostles had seen the risen Christ

c. They were commissioned by Christ Himself

d. The early church was built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets

e. The apostles taught the very words of God and were commissioned by the Lord to build the foundation

f. At that time they did not have the New Testament as we know it

g. But today God has given us His word, we must build our lives steadfastly on the word of God

h. Paul gives Timothy this command in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge you [a]therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead [b]at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2. They steadfastly continued in fellowship

a. It is the Greek word koinonia and it means fellowship, communion, sharing, participation. A term that conveys a sense of commonality, solidarity, and shared responsibility among households or individuals

b. This fellowship they shared enabled them to grow together

c. To bond together

d. Eccelsiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

e. Matthew 18:19-20 19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

3. They continued steadfastly in the breaking of bread

a. They would share a meal together

b. These were often known as love feast

c. What we know as the Lord’s supper would follow this meal

d. There is something supernatural that takes place when Christians share a meal together

e. Jesus did much of His work with the disciples teaching and discipling them over sharing a meal

f. This took place in people’s homes as they grew together in relationship with one another

g. John 13:34 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

h. True agape love takes place and can be greatly developed as we share meals as brothers and sisters in Christ

4. They steadfastly continued in prayers

a. They would pray for one another

b. They would be united in prayer

c. Jesus has told us where two or three agree on anything it is done

d. In these small home fellowships the early church grew exponentially

e. Jesus has called us to be a house of prayer for all nations

f. Matthew 21:12-13 12 Then Jesus went into the temple [d]of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

These small gatherings throughout the week incorporated the apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer

Many times in America we have become focused on the large gathering on Sunday

But when we simply believe all ministry will happen on Sunday morning we are falling short of God’s design and all that is available to us as the body of Christ

These early believers created true community

Acts 2:43-45

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 [d]sold their possessions and goods, and divided[e] them among all, as anyone had need.

1. The power and might of the Holy Spirit was demonstrated through the apostles

a. Does God still desire to move in the power of the Holy Spirit? Yes

b. The signs and wonders were to confirm the truth of the gospel

c. God still desires to change hearts and lives by His power

2. They were united and had all things in common

a. John 17:20-23 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who [j]will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

b. When we are united it is an unstoppable force against the kingdom of darkness

3. They sold what they had to help meet the needs of others

a. When true biblical community is created it enables us to meet needs that we see that exist

b. In the body God has blessed people at all different levels

c. But when we are lead by The Holy Spirit we will give generously as the Holy Spirit directs

d. 2 Cor 8:1-7 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency [a]that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. 7 But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.

e. When we are guided by The Spirit of God the needs that exist in the body will be met

f. People give not out of a place of guilt or compulsion, but as the Holy Spirit directs

We see that the church met as a large group in the temple

But then met in small groups in homes breaking bread

I believe this is model that is key to kingdom increase

Not only spiritually but also physically

For we see in Acts 2:47 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added [f]to the church daily those who were being saved.

It is the Lord who added to the church

They did it God’s way according to God’s design

Many will attend church growth conferences, but I believe God has made it this simple in His word

This is our vision for Life Groups at The Father’s Heart

1. Fellowship and Activity Groups

2. Groups committed to prayer and intercession

3. Groups committed to studying the word of God together through a video series or books series

4. Discipleship groups that will run for 30 weeks which are in groups no larger than 4 to 6

5. Transformational groups: dealing with depression, sexual abuse, addiction recovery, etc

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