Where the Spirit of the Lord Is Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Finally, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is a pattern for doing God’s work.
The marks of a church that does things God’s way are found in Acts 2:41-47.
One of those marks is an atmosphere of respect for God.
The new believers in the Jerusalem church had a fear, a reverence of the Lord, an awareness that God was at work.
We live in a day when the main theme of every sermon is the love of God.
And that is one of His most wonderful attributes, but let’s never forgets that He is holy and sovereign.
He deserves our respect, our adoration, our worship, and our obedience.
Another mark of a church that is doing things God’s way is activities.
There will be active teaching.
A real church will actively teach the Bible.
The mark of a true church is not the height of its steeple or the sound of the bell.
It’s not whether the pulpit is stationed in the middle or at the side.
The important issue is whether or not they teach the Word of God truthfully and without compromise.
Correct doctrine was one of the fingerprints of the early church.
Another mark is that there will be active fellowship.
Verse 46 says, “And 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.”
Fellowship is important for many reasons, but perhaps one of the most important is that we need Christian friends.
It is inevitable that there will be sickness and problems coming our way and Christian friends are used by God to bring comfort and help.
There will also be active breaking of bread, including fellowship meals and the Lord’s Supper.
In the early church, they shared their possessions and they made the church the center of all their activities.
That’s difficult to do today because our lifestyle is so different than theirs, but we should seek the fellowship of other Christians whenever possible.
Finally, there will be active prayer.
I am afraid that in the average church today that prayer is a little fingerprint.
That is, prayer is the evident weakness of the church.
However, it should be the greatest asset of any church.
Praying together as a church body is an important element of worship.
Remember Jesus prayed to the Father and He taught His disciples to pray.
The Bible has a great deal to say about prayer.
Another mark of a church that is doing things God’s way is their Christ-like attitudes.
First, there will be generosity (vv. 44-47).
In the early church, they shared their possessions with one another and they gave to others according to their need.
Christ is our example of generosity.
He gave healing to the sick; He gave life to a dead child so that He could give him back to a grieving mother; He fed the hungry, five thousand at one time; He gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf; he gave new skin to lepers; and then He gave Himself to be nailed to a cross for our sins.
Today, He continues to be generous by giving eternal life to all who will believe in Him.
And another mark of a church that is doing things God’s way is that there will be a oneness of spirit (v.46).
The members of the early church not only had a mutual affection for each other, but they spent a lot of time together and would talk together.
Today, they say conversation is a lost art.
We are private and we don’t share the “good” and “bad” with each other as we should.
But as Christians, we should be “like birds of a feather” and meet regularly for fellowship, prayer, worship and Bible study.
Another mark is that there will be gladness.
One day an older man in my church asked me if I had lost my joy.
He said I looked sad.
I didn’t feel good that night, but his remark bothered me anyway because the Holy Spirit has given me great joy and I want the joy in my heart to show on my face.
Verse 47 says that there will be praise.
The early church abounded in thanksgiving and they were continually praising God.
Praise should be part of every prayer and not just be part of a special occasion.
Those who have the gift of the Holy Spirit will spend a lot of time praising God.
Another mark is that there will be favor.
If you are a Christian, then you have God’s favor, because you were saved by God’s grace.
You have His favor because He paid a high price for you.
He gave His only begotten Son so that you can live eternally with Him in heaven.
There’s a hymn that speaks of His favor.
Early let us seek Thy favor;
Early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior,
With Thy love our beings fill:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still.
The greatest mark of God’s favor is that Jesus loves us.
The final mark of a church that is doing things God’s way is additions (vv. 41, 47).
Here is the happy success that comes from doing things God’s way.
The Holy Spirit used the witnessing of the individual believers and the powerful preaching of Peter and worked wonders in the hearts of lost sinners.
Many gladly heard the gospel and received it into their hearts; they were baptized and added to the church.
Three thousand souls were added that first day when Peter preached the gospel with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today, the Lord is continuing to build His church, and as the church grows, believers join together in a spirit of enthusiasm and excitement.
It is not the size of the church that counts, but the working of the Spirit.
Lord touch us with the freshness of your Holy Spirit.
Work in us and through us for your glory.
Let’s all determine to be faithful servants of Jesus Christ, by doing whatever His will is for you, and let’s remember those things that we have been shown today in our lesson.
You are the church.
You are the one who Christ is coming back for or if you die before He returns, you will be welcomed into heaven to live eternally with Him.