Our goal as a Christian, should be to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, disciple others, and then they become disciples. We are not to be spectators in this world. We become disciples through the church. The proof that you are becoming a disciple is, you are changing. If you are not changing, then you are not an active disciple. If people in the church you attend, are not changing, then something is diffidently wrong.
We are to change from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity. If change is taking place, then development is taking place. All the programs in a church doesn’t matter if they are not producing disciples.
Is God’s Holy Spirit at home in your church? If not, nothing will change. When the first church started in the Book of Acts, chapter 2, it was vibrant and alive. The reason it was on fire is because the Holy Spirit was free to be Himself.
What did the first church have that every church should have? (1) Worship! (Acts 2:42 – and they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. The had an overwhelming presence of God in their midst. They came together to worship. Biblical worship is the recognition of God for who He is, what He has done, and what we are trusting Him to do. So in other words: “Worship is making a big deal about God!” We create an environment during worship where the Holy Spirit is free to do as He pleases. When we worship, we have one focus, and that focus is on Jesus Christ. And that is why we have music and worship leaders to lead us into worship.
Do you know there are people who can come to church and never enter into worship? Those who come and don’t worship will never see the “Awe” of God. Awe is when God shows up and shows out! People will be saved, delivered, and healed!
What I have found in the church today is, “It is missing the Awe!” As long as God is not the focus in the church the Holy Spirit is not free to express Himself.
I’ve been in too many services where two or three songs are played, we sing, maybe raise the hands, and then, “Bam!” it’s cut off! All of a sudden the announcements, programs, and meetings are announced for twenty minutes or so. The focus is changed to the churches agenda and the flow of God’s Spirit is cut off!
The second thing that was present at the first church is “Fellowship.” It means to become a part of a common family. They held something in common. Acts 2:44 – Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,. Then verse 45 goes on to say they sold their possessions and goods, and among anyone who had needs, the needs were met. They shared what they had, they were connected to each other.
Today we have too many with an attitude, “What’s in it for me? I’m going to get my blessing.” Some don’t realize that it’s impossible for God to do something for you, if He also can’t do something “through you.” If you are not a conduit Christian, you block the Holy Spirit from working to you, because He can’t flow through you.
Think of it this way: A body of water that has no outlet to release water, or doesn’t have an inlet of fresh water coming in, becomes stagnate. We are not to be blessed without becoming a blessing – it has to flow back out.
I have found that this concept is also the key to answered prayer. How will my answered prayer, flow back out into another life? When we become a “pass-through, it gives God a channel to keep “flow-through,” it keeps coming. So our fellowship should be life touching life, we connect.
The third thing I’ve found that a church had in Acts was, they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, doctrine. They exposed themselves to the information and application, continuing in it, the doctrine of truth. You will never grow beyond what you know. One of the jobs of the church is to give us God’s perspective on every matter. It is not to give us “their opinion.” The Holy Spirit only operates with divine truth.
God’s perspective often disagrees with the culture or tradition, or what society says. God’s principles and perspectives will contradict what the world has taught us to believe. So the question people need to ask themselves is: Do I want the Spirit of God to change me, or do I want to hold on to what I think is true and what I personally value? Unless God’s standards become the standard, it won’t change anything. “Let God be true and every man a liar!”
However, information by itself won’t change you. It has to be information acted on. The transformation in us will never happen unless the information we receive is acted on.
The fourth thing the church had and is need of today, is “outreach.” Verse 41 says those who gladly received His Word were baptized and that day three thousand souls were added. They were adding daily to the church. So without actually have an “out-reach” program, they were out-reaching others.
The reason churches “program” so much, is that what they are trying to get people to do doesn’t come naturally for some. Too many have lost their first love. These people kept their focus on Jesus and were on fire for Him. They didn’t need to be coaxed into telling others about the One who Saved them. There was a free-flowing of the Holy Spirit.
When Jesus is put back on the throne; when the Holy Spirit is free to express Himself, we won’t need any program in the church to get “lit up” for the salvation of the lost. The church, as a whole, needs to get back to the “First Love” of Jesus Christ!