God’s Prototype of the Local Church – Part 1
A Receptive Church
Intro: The church that God unveiled and presented to the world in Acts 2 was without a doubt the most unusual thing God had ever done.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 “…upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
This statement was powerful for a number of reasons.
A. A Divine Invention – “I will build MY church…”
The local church found its origin in the mind of God.
The local church was the brainchild of an omniscient, omnipotent God.
It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention.
God needed a vehicle with which to evangelize the world.
God needed an institution where His people could be discipled, trained, and put into the ministry.
The church was God’s answer to the need for workers,
B. A Dedicated Initiative – “…I will build…”
Satan has been fighting the church since Day 1.
He’s still building the church!
The world has been trying to destroy the church since Day 1.
He’s still building his church.
The governments of this world have done everything they can to silence the church.
He’s still building it!
When Jesus said, I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH – he meant HE WOULD BUILD HIS CHURCH!
You may ask – How is Jesus building His church?
He’s building His church every time a person bows their head and accepts Jesus as their Savior.
He’s building His church every time someone kneels in this altar and surrenders to His plan for their life.
He’s building His church every time a missionary is called to the field.
He’s building His church every time a man surrenders to the call to preach.
He’s building His church with every penny that is put into the plate.
He’s building His church with every message, every devotion, every lesson, every class that is taught.
He’s building His church all day, every day, all over the world, regardless of the time zone.
Make no mistake – Jesus Christ is building His church!!
C. A Dominant Institution – “…and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Make no mistake – the church will perform it’s original mission, and the devil cannot stop it.
The Bible is clear – Satan is no match for the local church!
- 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
They GLADLY received the word. Why?
I. The Relevance of the Prophecy – vs. 16 “…this is that which was spoken by the prophet…”
Prophecy is a fascinating thing.
How someone can predict a future event with boldness and faith is an amazing thing to most people.
But when it comes true, and the prophecy is accurate, it is extremely compelling.
These people were in amazement and were struggling to understand what they were seeing.
- Acts 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
- Acts 2:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
Here were a bunch of Galileans speaking to people from 16 different nations – in their own tongue!
The Bible says in verse 5 that there were people there from every language under heaven.
This was highly unusual.
They didn’t have language learning software back then.
They didn’t have Rosetta Stone.
People didn’t have access to education back then like they do now.
These Christians were speaking to them in these people’s mother tongue – see verse 7.
II. The Relief from the Pricking – vs. 37 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart…”
God has an unusual way of dealing with man.
He deals with their heart.
God created man in his own image.
He knows our frame.
He knows our thoughts.
He knows everything about us.
God knows how to get the attention of every man, woman, boy or girl.
Our text says that “when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts.”
In Acts 7:54, while Stephen was preaching, the Bible says, “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart…”
The Bible is an unusual book.
The Bible is a one-of-a-kind creation.
Ephesians 6 calls it the “sword of the Spirit”.
Hebrews 4 says: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
III. The Receiving of the Promise – vs. 39 “For the promise is unto you, and to your children…”
They heard the promise in vs. 38 and 39.
The only way to receive the promise was to receive the word.
You can’t shut your ears to the Word and be a recipient of the promise.
You can’t ignore the Scripture and reap the benefits of Christianity.
You cannot close your heart and mind to the infallible Word of God and enjoy the blessings of salvation.
When they gladly received the word, they gladly received the promise.