And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 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, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
This is a good time for us to access our relevancy within our community. I contend that if the community would not, does not even notice that we are not here, then something is wrong within. Ask your self this question? If every member were just like me what kind of church would your church be? Years ago, “The Mullins” recorded a song by this title.
The song is full of great questions. Many people have sent me messages during the past month that I am putting too much importance on the church meeting, claiming they don’t need the church to worship God. Well let me ask you some questions then.
- If the local church was not important, why out of the 116 times the term is used in the NT, over 110 of these times it refers to a local called out assembly of believers meeting in a particular locality?
- Why in Hebrews 10 are we instructed to meet together often?
- Why in Acts did they bring their offerings into the church to be distributed as needed?
- Why is the term “churches” used by Paul so often?
1 Corinthians 16:1
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
1 Corinthians 16:19
The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
2 Corinthians 8:1
Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
- The church needs to teach biblical doctrine
- The church needs to come together
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
- The church needs to fellowship
I John 1:3-7
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
- The church needs to meet “material needs” of people who are unable to.
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
I Corinthians 16:1-3
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
- The church needs to evangelize.
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
- The church needs unity in doctrine and practice
And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
- The church needs to be growing in number
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
- The church needs to be growing spiritually together
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
- The church needs elders called by God to lead the flock
And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Hebrews 13: 7
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.