What Are We Devoted to?
Speaker: Tom Leonard, March 3, 2019
42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (KJV)
23And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. (KJV)
What Are We Devoted to?
Lenis’ car – after being serviced at dealership, as she was driving home, wheel came off went rolling down the road!
Like four wheels on a car – keep it balanced, rolling, moving forward – so are these four pillars of the church!
We want our church to move forward and be dynamic, effective at accomplishing what the Lord has called us to… Reach people with the Gospel, Grow them as disciples, Equip them to Serve with their gifts/abilities. Jesus said He would build His church – we have to our part – be devoted to these pillars of the church. IAC is a good church with a lot of great people, we can be a great church - meaning more effective…
Our discipleship in Christ must translate into Devotion/commitment to these four pillars of the church: Apostle’s teaching; Fellowship; Breaking of Bread; and Prayer (Worship!)
>Those who were saved (3000+) committed, devoted themselves to these…
How did people around them know that they were Jesus’ disciples? Their discipleship, belonging, was first confirmed, first seen by their devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, and devotion to His people! Same for us!
‘Devoted’ = Steadfast attention and adherence. Committed to it! When we are devoted this way the life and power of Christ is manifest! (verses 43-45)
1. We must be devoted to the Apostle’s Teaching – Christ’s Word.
What is the ‘Apostle’s teaching’ = the Scriptures fulfilled in, and revealed/ fulfilled/expressed through Jesus Christ. (especially the Gospel – the fulfillment of God’s plan & purposes). verses 29-33
> Jesus ‘Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away.’ Matt. 24:35 ‘Father, sanctify them by the truth; your Word is truth!’ John 17:17
Isaiah 40:8 ‘…The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of the Lord stands forever.’
> Peter quotes (I Peter 1:24-25) and then says ‘And this is the Word that was preached to you.’
*This means I have embraced God’s Word as the truth, and am Submitted to the Authority of His Word, and especially to the authority of the teachings and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I live it, and it is my source of authority.
*I am submitting my ‘opinions!’
> I am learning and obeying it! Ps 119:105 ‘Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.’
2. We must be devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ, His Word, - and to the ‘fellowship’ - His Body! verse 42
You belong to me, I belong to you – we belong to each other – in Christ’s Body - a new identity, a new belonging.
‘Fellowship’ = participation, partnership, belonging (Spiritual oneness, belonging of the Body of Christ – given by the Spirit!).
Therefore, they were together > READ verse 44
God, thru the Spirit, created a new family, with a new identity and is building us a beautiful new dwelling place of God – called the church!
3. We must be devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ – (His Word, Fellowship of His Body) and to the ‘Breaking of Bread.’
verses 42c & 46
We can call this community-
= Community – sharing life together and committed to/encouraging/caring for each other. (Example verse 44-45).
They also celebrated communion together in the context of the common meal – love feast - symbolized their oneness in Christ - I Corinthians 11:20-22; 33-34
They used their gifts to minister to one another! I Peter 4:10
4. We must be devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ – (His Word, Fellowship of His Body, Community) and to Prayer.
‘Prayer’ = Corporate Intercession, Praise & Worship
I Thess 5:17 ‘Pray continually’!