“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” – Acts 2:42
The Church is under attack! The Church is in danger of losing its identity. The Church is getting bogged down and blocked by worldly trends and temptations. It’s being attacked from within as well as from without. Jesus said His Church would storm the gates of hell. The Church today is frequently infected with or trampled by hellish enemies. We need to review our mission orders. We need to march on Church!
Did you know that some churches are turning to beer as a means of outreach? That’s right. Some churches are offering beer on their premises to lure people to attend.  Instead of a sinner’s bench there are bar stools. Did you know that a new popular group is rising up in churches and its’ title is “Christian Witches.” That’s an oxymoron (or simply a moronic anti-scriptural effort) if ever there was one; You can’t be “Christian” and a “witch,” at least if you want to remain true to the truth of God’s word (cf. Deuteronomy 18:10; 1 Samuel 15:23; 2 Kings 17:17; 21:6; and 2 Chronicles 33:6 in their contexts).
Another article gave the warning signs of churches becoming “progressive.” (In case you didn’t know, that’s not a good thing as far as scriptural Christianity is concerned.) The article listed the warning signs of progressivism as: A lowered view of the Bible; Feelings emphasized over facts; Essential doctrines open for reinterpretation; Historic terms redefined, e.g. Biblical inspiration, inerrancy, authority; The heart of the Gospel message shifting from sin and redemption to social justice.  Anytime the Bible is put on the back burner it’s not good.
The Purpose Driven Rick Warren, recently claimed that the Pope of the Roman Catholic church is “our Pope,” meaning, he is the Pope of all Christians. What? The Pope who promotes illegal immigration and open borders for all, promotes globalism, promotes one world religion, and the equality of Islam with Christianity, that Pope? Yup. No thank you. I have one “Pope” and His name is Jesus.
The United Methodist Church just recently held a vote on whether or not to ordain gay pastors and marry gay couples. They just narrowly held to the scripturally orthodox position resisting such immoral impositions on the church.  Why is this even put to a vote in the Church today? That is already a testimony to the low view of scripture a large proportion of this denomination has for the authority of God’s word. Thank God for those holding the line on God’s word in this church.
And then there’s the “Christian” Abortionist doctor who admits that abortion is killing a baby but that it’s in some way a “good” thing for those seeking the abortion.  Somehow, I don’t think the 20,000 or so aborted babies the doctor claims to have terminated (i.e. murdered) would agree. The Church is being challenged with how to internally process and respond to issues that threaten to tear it apart. Such are some of the challenges and downright attacks on the Church from within. The wolves are stalking their prey in the Church.
Bible believing churches and their members are looked down upon as prudish and hateful when they refuse to accept the progressive trends of the worldly culture. The world is redefining “morality.” For instance, a Democratic candidate for President is pushing for the legalization of prostitution. The Church needs to remember and proclaim that the gospel has the power to help those caught in sexual sin to be included amongst those who are able to say, “and such were some of you” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
Trending upward at the moment is gender fluidity. Society is throwing off any “authority” God might have on them, including the basic reality of sexual gender. And they are enforcing their views of morality on the populace. One mother describes the manipulative message of those promoting the gender fluidity movement so popular today.  We see the tentacles of socialism closing in on anyone who would resist governmentally accepted views. Those opposing the gender “choice” of their own children to identify as a gender opposite to what they were born with, face an attack from every quarter of a society that has totally sold out to such feeling-based ideas regardless of what the facts of life say. This feeling-over-fact fantasy lifestyle will ultimately come crashing down. “And great” will be “its fall” (Matthew 7:27). The safer more solid ground for life is always found by living out the word of God (Matthew 7:24-28).
Celebrities like Lady Gaga are disparaging representative orthodox Christians like Vice President Pence as “the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian.”  Miley Cyrus in her latest music video mocks Christianity and shows priests in a strip club.  Rapper JZ recently called Christianity “fake news” and proclaimed following Lucifer as the way to “’truth and light,” stardom and riches.  Hollywood is showing her true spiritually corrupt colors. I think the words of Jesus apply when He said, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the faith of it” (John 8:44).
These are only a few of the avenues of attack the enemy is bringing against the Church externally. The luciferian lion is prowling around the church looking for a lunch.
What is the Church to do? What is her calling? How can she stay on track? If she’s lost her way, how can she get back on track? The Lord has been stirring something in me, impressing something on me for some time now. It is a purposeful stirring. It is rooted in Jesus testimony, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). Lord, we’re listening. Your plan is to make us like Jesus (Romans 8:29). That means we are to walk as He walked and follow in His steps (1 John 2:6; 1 Peter 2:21). That means we too need to, “bear witness to the truth.” And that truth is found in Your Word. We are set apart for your use according to the truth of Your word (John 17:17).
There’s so much darkness enveloping the world today. There’s so much darkness creeping into the Church. Sometimes it seems we’re in danger of being swamped. But God’s promise is, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19). We are that Spirit raised standard. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we in the Church are God’s standard bearers. We are part of, “He who now restrains,” the Holy Spirit using us to stand against the darkness (2 Thessalonians 2:7). But much of the Church is fallen by the wayside. Parts of the Church are AWOL. Other parts are wounded. Some are just discouraged and overwhelmed. We need to get up from wherever we’ve been beaten down and press on. We need to march on Church!
What’s our mission as the Church? The purpose and mission of the Church is to live out the truth of God’s word. As churches, church leaders and as the flock of God, we are called to live out the truth of God’s word. As we do that, and as the world moves further and further away from the truth of God’s word, our set apart position in God’s plans will be ever clearer. That’s not a bad thing.
Light is always seen best in contrast to darkness. We need to be mindful of the questions, “What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). There are some churches where such questions have been forgotten. In other churches such questions are being willfully ignored. And in still others such questions are actively opposed. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16). This is our purpose. We are to be as distinct from the world as light is from darkness. How distinct are you? How distinct is your church from the world? How much light is in your and your church?
God’s word is His light to our path (Psalm 119:105). God’s word is our marching orders. This is why churches should always abide by the truth of God’s word. Our ministries should be focused on and guided by the teaching of God’s word. God’s word is living and powerful and God’s instrument to impact lives for His glory (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). We should seek to do all we do within the parameters of God’s word. We should check, correct, prove and reprove all we do, by God’s word. We should be agents who live out the grace, love, mercy and justice set forth in God’s word. We should present God in Christ to this lost world as God has revealed Himself to be in His word. We should seek to see God glorified as His glorious gospel is shared with this lost world. This is what it means for the Church to march on.
The Church is not a business or manmade organization. The Church is not something that people are left by God to figure out on their own. The Church is not a mere human creation. The Church is not left to human renovation. The Church is a New Testament mystery revealed by God to minister to all people (Ephesians 2:11 – 3:21). The purpose of the Church is to equip people with God’s truth for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). God ordained the structure and purpose of the Church. There is an orderliness to the Church as God ordained it (1Corinthians 14:33 and 40). And in the power of the Holy Spirit we should seek to abide by and keep that order. March on Church! March to His beat. March where He tells you to march. March in His formation. March on Church!
God has given His people a model for the Church, its groups and overall ministry. That model is found in the book of Acts. Therefore, as we look at God’s model for the Church, we need to be loyal and attentive in the Spirit to see that our churches (whatever it may be named) and all their ministry groups, follow the principles of God’s ordained and revealed model.
At the beginning of Acts Jesus instructs His disciples to remain in Jerusalem and prayerfully wait for the empowering baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5 and 8). Jesus saw this empowerment as essential. The Church that was to be formed had to be formed with this baptism. Therefore, it’s safe to say, a church without the empowering Holy Spirit, is not a true part of the Church as Jesus defines it. “46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49) Jesus did all the heavy lifting and foundation setting of the cross and resurrection. But He knew human resources alone were not enough for the work of reaching the world with the good news of His gospel from this point onward. No, human people, even those born again of the Spirit, needed to be supernaturally empowered and gifted by the Holy Spirit. Then and only then, could the Church be His Church.
Jesus was very clear. The people of His Church needed the promised gift of the Father, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They needed the empowerment from on high; so do we. Once the first disciples received that empowering baptism with the Holy Spirit, they immediately began impacting their world. Peter stood up in front of those who had crucified Jesus, and preached the gospel of Jesus to them. And three thousand lost souls came to Jesus to begin the first church plant in the New Testament (Acts 2:40-41).
It’s at the end of Acts chapter 2 that a description of the first church is described. And it is in these verses that we are given God’s model for the Church.
- Acts 2:42-47 – “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ 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 sold their possessions and goods, and divided 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 to the church daily those who were being saved.”
What is the model or parts of God’s church? Let’s see.
First, God’s model for the Church is to have the Holy Spirit helping the people of God to “continue steadfastly.” It states, “And they continued steadfastly . . .” (Acts 2:42a). The phrase, “continued steadfastly” is translated from one Greek term proskartereo. The grammatical form of the word emphasizes an ongoing persistence, it means, “to be earnest toward, . . . to persevere, be constantly diligent, . . . to adhere closely to. . ..” It is the Holy Spirit who enables the Church to march on. Without Him, we are doomed to defeat. With Him, we can march on! March on Church!
Toward the end of World War II there was one final major push by the Nazis to turn the tide of the war in their favor. From December 16th 1944 to January 25th 1945, in the Ardennes forest, during a bitterly frigid winter, the German army pushed through making a gigantic bulge in Allied defensive lines. It was a brutal winter and there the Allies were ill equipped. Stormy weather prevented the Allies from taking advantage of their air superiority. Short on equipment, ammunition and men, the Allies were no match for the goliath Tiger Tanks and the German forces. Nothing seemed to be going our way. What could be done? Many prayed. Many relied on God. There are no atheists in fox holes.
But what turned the battle back in the favor of the Allies? The German onslaught was repulsed because of the (God ordained?) inability of the German forces to reach key fueling depots. They and their gargantuan equipment stopped lifelessly as they ran out of “power.” What’s the point? Just like the German army at this Battle of the Bulge, we can start well and steam through enemy forces in our own strength. But even the greatest and most powerful human forces come to defeat, without the proper empowering resources. And just like the Allies who seemed too weakened to resist the offensive, they rallied and recovered and successfully resisted the enemy forces, when their power was replenished. If the Church is to march on and keep on marching on, we need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to do so. Without the Holy Spirit, we’ll fall far short of our goal.
These disciples were wholeheartedly committed to, passionately dedicated to, zeroed in on and focused upon the things mentioned about the church in these verses. Living for Jesus was the primary purpose for living for these people. There was nothing else in their lives that came close to challenging their interest and dedication to the work of the Spirit to know Christ and make Him known. What are you devoted too? What are we marching for? What are we marching toward? Are we marching on in the Spirit?
Second, God’s model for the Church is to have the Holy Spirit teaching the word of God to people of God. It states, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine” (Acts 2:42b). “Doctrine” here simply means “teaching” (Greek didache). What was it that the early apostles were teaching? They were teaching what the Spirit was bringing to their remembrance just like Jesus said (John 14:26; 15:26). They were teaching the word of God. The teaching of the word of God is the mainstay and the top priority of God’s Church. What a tragedy it is that so many churches have left the simple expository teaching of the word of God. The impotence and apostasy we find in churches today is directly correlated to the absence of proper teaching of God’s word. If a church is to be a church according to God’s model, it must be a church where the word of God is taught in the Spirit. Are you regularly studying the word of God? Is God’s word taught in your church? I mean really taught. I don’t mean, a verse or two are read and used as a launching pad for a diatribe of personal opinion. I mean, is the word of God taught and explained, expounded upon. And then are you being exhorted to obey and live it out? Are we marching to the correct marching orders?
Third, God’s model for the Church is to have the Holy Spirit bringing together the people of God in the unity of Jesus. It states, “And they continued steadfastly in . . . fellowship” (2:42c). “Fellowship” is not just hanging out, playing cards or some other game, watching TV together or doing some other thing together. “Fellowship” (Greek koinonia) involves communion, communication, contribution, interacting actively about spiritual things; about Jesus; about God’s word. Fellowship is the gathering together of believers to edify one another spiritually by discussing the work of Jesus by the Spirit in and through them. In Hebrews it describes fellowship in the following way:
- Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
The early saints were passionately dedicated to encouraging and exhorting one another to serve the Lord. Is that what we do in our times of “fellowship”? Are we marching in step with our fellow soldiers?
Fourth, God’s model for the Church is to have the Holy Spirit helping the people of God to worship Him. It states, “And they continued steadfastly in . . . breaking of bread” (Acts 2:42d). It may be that the mention of “breaking of bread,” here is simply a further description of the fellowship which was previously mentioned (Luke 24:30). However, it is just as likely that the phrase “breaking of bread” is used by Luke to refer to the Lord’s Supper or Communion (Luke 22:19). If the latter is the case, then what we have here is a devotion to worship the Lord.
To partake in the Lord’s Supper or Communion is an act of adoration and worship. To worship is to focus on God. In prayer we make requests of God. Our praises express thanksgiving for Gods’ answers to our prayers. But worship is spending time with God for Him. Communion, therefore, keeps our priorities and focus right. This is because when we partake in it, we remember the gracious work of Christ. Communion and worship remind us that we are Christians because of what Jesus has done, not because of anything we have done. Having this perspective is a work of the Spirit in the believer and is necessary for the church to function as God intended it to function. It is the Spirit who enables the believer to truly worship. God’s design for the Church is that it is filled with disciples who worship God in Spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). When is the last time you worshipped the LORD? Are we marching to the cadence call of the Lord?
Fifth, God’s model for the Church is to have the Holy Spirit helping the people of God to pray. It states, “And they continued steadfastly. . . in prayers” (Acts 2:42e). The Holy Spirit helps us to pray (Romans 8:26). The final words of the short epistle of Jude state:
- Jude 20-21 – “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
God’s desire is that the people of His Church pray to Him with the aide and direction of the Holy Spirit. God speaks to us through His Spirit inspired word. We speak to Him through Spirit guided prayer. Everything a God-modelled church and its members do should be bathed in prayer. How’s your prayer life? Are we keeping in touch with our Commander as we march?
Sixth, God’s model for the Church is to have the Holy Spirit bring reverence upon the people of God. It continues, “Then fear came upon every soul” (Acts 2:43a). The word “fear” (Greek phobos) here probably means “awe” or “reverence.” When the Holy Spirit is working in a church there will be a reverent sense of the presence of the Lord. This is something much of the Church has lost today. In our efforts to emphasize relationship rather than a religious pursuit of God, we sometimes become overly informal; we lose the sense of God’s presence and awe. We settle for smoke and mirrors to bring us into God’s holy presence. This is a cheap imitation and sad indictment of a church that has lost it focus. If we are in touch with the Holy Spirit, He brings the presence of the Lord into our midst.
The church that is in awe of God functions in a scripturally sound way. For the Lord, the means to and end is just as important as end. The way we get to a destination is just as important as getting to the destination. That’s because God uses the means to prepare us for His ends. Therefore, when we look at the Bible, we see an importance given to the way ministry is done.
It is not enough to simply do something for the Lord, it must be done in a way that is worthy of the Lord. For something to be done in a way that is worthy of the Lord it must be done according to God’s word. What does God’s word tell us about how ministry should be done? The following are some of the criteria for holy ministry done with reverential respect for God’s prescribed means:
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done led by the Spirit of God – Romans 8:14
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done for God’s glory – 1 Corinthians 10:31
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done in an orderly way – 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done compelled by the sacrificial love of Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:14-16; Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:5-8
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done to reach the lost for Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:20
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done to equip, edify and speak the truth in love – Ephesians 4:12-15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done excellently – Philippians 1:10
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done prayerfully – Philippians 4:6-7
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done in the name of Jesus – i.e. the way Jesus would do it – Colossians 3:17
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done with all our heart – Colossians 3:23-24
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done “by faith” – Hebrews 11:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.
- Ministry for the Lord needs to be done without leaving our first love Jesus – Revelation 2:1-7
There was a holy awe amongst the people in this Spirit filled early church. That reverential ae was reflected in the way they did the work of God. Am I, are you, are we, in awe of God? Are we properly respectful to our Commander Lord Jesus? Is our life a salute to Him?
Seventh, God’s model for the Church is to have the Holy Spirit work miraculously through servants of God. This section goes on to say, “and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles” (Acts 2:43b). The greatest miracles and wonders we have today, are the lives of sinful people that have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The greatest miracles today are lives transformed through Jesus to Christlikeness by the work of the Holy Spirit. That, that is a great miracle!
When considering wonders and signs it is important that they are kept in proper perspective and priority. In Mark when Jesus mentions signs, He says they will “follow” or come after the preaching of God’s word:
- Mark 16:15-18 – “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;18 “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
The Spirit is able and willing to do signs and wonders today. The problem is that much of the Church seeks the signs and wonders first, before the teaching of God’s word. That is a mistake. When signs and wonders are put before the priority of teaching the word of God, churches become unstable and emotion oriented. Such a set of priorities also lends itself to the trap of seeking bigger and better signs and wonders; kind of a can-you-top-this mentality. There needs to be a balance. There needs to be a balance like that found in God’s model for the church in Acts. Do you believe God can do miracles today? If you know Jesus as Savior, you’re one of them! Are we marching in a way that we victoriously vanquish our enemies?
Eighth, God’s model for the Church is to have the Holy Spirit bring a helping spirit and attitude to the people of God. This section continues:
- Acts 2:44-45 – “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”
This is not Socialism. This is not Communism. This is the Spirit coming upon people and moving them with a heart of compassion for those in need. Then it is those people freely following the empathetic and caring impressions of the Spirit. Providing for those in need is not without its difficulties (e.g. Acts 5:1-11; 6:1-7). The church in Jerusalem, who had given so much, themselves needed to be helped financially later on (1 Corinthians 16:1-4). Perhaps they gave beyond their means. We should give as the Spirit leads us to give, not as mere emotion tempts us to give. The solution is to follow the Spirit prayerfully and with good wise stewardship of the resources God provides. Are we shooting our wounded or helping them march on? Are we marching in a way that others want to enlist in God’s army too?
Ninth, God’s model for the Church is to have the Holy Spirit move upon the people of God to continually be united, open their homes for fellowship and live simply in the gladness of the Lord. Verse 46 says, “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.”
What a glorious blessing it is when brothers and sisters in Christ come together spontaneously and frequently to enjoy each other’s fellowship. In Psalm 133, a Psalm of Assent, that people would sing on their way up to Jerusalem, the blessing of fellowship is expressed. The Psalmist is inspired to write, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.3 It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing—Life forevermore.” Fellowship is sweet!
So, the next time you’re in church and you see someone new, go over and introduce yourself. God may bless you with another best friend. And you might just be used by God to bless someone else with a best friend.
We should mention here that where there is disunity and division, the Holy Spirit is grieved and the sense of His presence quenched. The Bible states:
- Ephesians 4:30-32 – “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”
The next time you are tempted to be bitter, wrathful, angry, clamorous, gossip, backbite, or act divisively, remember, you will hurt the Church Jesus died for and calls His bride (Ephesians 5:25-26). When you divide the brethren, you grieve the Holy Spirit. Don’t be a part of anything that would cause division whether you are directly or indirectly involved. Rather, “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” That’s the way God’s Church functions in the Spirit. Are we good reliable fellow soldiers? Are we marching in arms or at odds with one another?
Tenth, God’s model for the Church is to have the Holy Spirit work a heart of praise into His people who trust God to add to the church.
- Acts 2:47 – “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
These people were not concerned or worried about the growth of the Church. They just praised God for all He was doing. They knew that growth in ministry is in God’s hands (e.g. 1 Cor. 3:7). But the reality of Jesus was so great in their hearts that they were brimming over with the love. The love of the Spirit in them, overflowed into the lives of those around them (Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 5:14-15). How couldn’t they find favor with “all the people” around them? The love of Jesus breaks down barriers. The love of Jesus brings people together. The love of Jesus brings people home to Jesus. The love of Jesus is magnetic. How’s your love? Are we marching in a way that relies on God to guide and provide? Are we relying on His battle plans or bucking His system and marching to our own drummer?
The early Church didn’t depend on human wisdom or traditions. It didn’t look to the world for techniques and strategies to promote themselves. The Apostles didn’t set up seminars. What we see in Acts is a move of the Holy Spirit. It began when 120 people got together in an upper room and prayed for what Jesus told them to pray for, to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. That baptism would empower them to be His witnesses at home, in their neighborhoods, and throughout the world. That’s what the Church needs today.
When the Spirit is moving, we see lives redeemed and powerfully changed for the better. When the Holy Spirit is moving, we see fruitfulness and holiness. That is what every church, if it is a part of the Church, should seek to see in it and through it.
The Church in Acts was a growing church. When the Church follows the model set forth by the Spirit in Acts, it will grow and minister according to God’s will and plan. The God modelled Church will grow stabilizing roots deep into God’s word. It will grow outwardly expanding against the gates of hell found in this world. When the people of God are healthy spiritually because they are being fed a steady diet of God’s word, they are bound together in Christian unity. Spirit led and Bible fed believers in Jesus come together to worship and praise the Lord and they are joined together in prayer. This kind of God-modelled Church will be healthy and it will GROW.
Healthy sheep reproduce. They reproduce because the Spirit is bearing fruit in and through them. The fruit of the Spirit is love. When God’s love is birthed and growing in God’s people, such love characteristically reaches out to the lost and hurting people around them. This is how the Spirit of God works in and through churches of God.
May the Spirit of God use the word of God to make people of God into fruitful disciples of God. May God make us what we need to be, to do what He calls us to do, for His glory, until Jesus returns. March on Church? March on! In Jesus’ name. Amen!