What Is The Church? – Acts 2:42-47
“This is a big old ship, Bill. She creaks, she rocks, she rolls, and at times she makes you want to throw up. But she gets where she’s going. Always has, always will, until the end of time. With or without you.” (J.F. Powers)
“I disliked very much their hymns, which I considered to be fifth-rate poems set to sixth-rate music. But as I went on I saw the great merit of it…I realized that the hymns (which were just sixth-rate music) were, nevertheless, being sung with devotion and benefit by an old saint in elastic side-boots in the opposite pew, and then you realize that you aren’t fit to clean those boots. It gets you out of your solitary conceit.” (C.S. Lewis)
1. A People…
“They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8).
“So we affirm that a living church is a learning church, a church submissive to the teaching authority of the apostles. Its pastors expound Scripture from the pulpit. Its parents teach their children out of the Scriptures at home, and its members read and reflect on the Scriptures every day in order to grow in Christian discipleship. The Spirit of God leads the people of God to honor the word of God. Fidelity to the teaching of the apostles is the first mark of an authentic and living church.” (John Stott)
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (James 1:22-25)
“For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)
2. A People…
“that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)
3. A People…
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1Corinthians 11:26).
“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1Corinthians 2:2).
4. A People…
“Now, Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.” (Acts 3:1)
“And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen…” (Acts 1:24)
“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31)
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)
“And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” (Acts 14:23)
“He who comes to God in prayer, comes not in a spirit of self-assertion, but in spirit of trustful dependence. No one ever addressed God in prayer thus: “O God, thou knowest that I am the architect of my own fortunes and the determiner of my own destiny. Thou mayest indeed do something to help me in the securing of my purposes after I have determined upon them. But my heart is my own, and thou canst bend it. When I wish thy aid, I will call on thee for it. Meanwhile, thou must await my pleasure.” (B.B. Warfield)
5. A People…