The Activities of the Church Part 2

The Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:15
0 ratings
Last week we started a sub theme of our study of the church. There are certain things good churches do; just as there are certain things bad and dying churches do (think Revelation 2-3). Last week I took the whole sermon to preach about the most important activity of a healthy church - The preaching of the Word. We learned that effectiveness as a church is very unlike the lottery. God expects us to be effective. It shouldn’t be something that happens to churches that get “lucky.”
Theme: Effective churches are always controlled by their Biblical purpose based activities.
Lets continue our look at what a church with the right biblically based activities look like?

II. The church must be involved in fellowship.

Acts 4:32 NKJV
32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
Hebrews 10:24–25 NKJV
24 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.
1 John 1.3,7; 3:16-18

A. They were involved in each others’ lives.

Fellowship (koinôniâi) is: (Partner, Beneficial interaction with another, Sharer in common interest). This partnership involves participation in, as the blood of Christ (Php 2.1) or co-operation in the work of the gospel (Php 1.5) or contribution for those in need (2Co 8.4; 9.13). It refers to the oneness of spirit in the community of believers.
2 Corinthians 9:13 ESV
By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others,
ILL. For a Jew to convert to Christianity meant the loss of all family and friends. The church, then, became that supporting family and friends each person needed. If we reach a Muslim, a LGBQ2+, or even a radical environmentalist, you can be sure the same will happen to them. There are a large number of Iranian and Iraqi people moving into the Illawarra area who need Christ. I pray God will allow us to reach some. If we reach them we will have to learn good fellowship to support them.

B. Fellowship was not communism or Marxism.

2 Corinthians 9:7 CEV
7 Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don’t feel sorry that you must give and don’t feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give.
Philemon 14 NKJV
14 But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.
(1) It partly arose from the non-resident or pilgrim character of a large part of the converts. Then Jerusalem also had severe famine that the Apostle Paul, in a “reverse missions effort”, raised money to take to help those in need. It was never forced or compulsory, but a willingness to give what God had given to assist others in need.
(2) It was not an obligatory rule; the laws of ownership or property were not disturbed or questioned. Even Ananias might have kept all his land blamelessly. It is individuals not Gov.
I did a whole series on the topic Fellowship in January 2022. If you don’t remember that series, I encourage you to go back and listen again to those messages. You can find them on our website.

III. The church must be involved in the worship of God.

A. The early church worshiped God in communion.

I believe the “breaking of bread” in Acts 2.24 to be “The Lord's supper”; observed as an ordinance of the church. Also, mentioned in the verse proceeding this passage, I would include Baptism as well. It is a sign of obedience and identification with God’s program - the church.
Acts 2:41–42 ESV
41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Follow the many occurrences of baptism through out the book of Acts and you can see it is also a onetime act of worship. We will study these two forms of worship in detail in an upcoming sermon.

B. The early church also worshiped God in song.

Ephesians 5:19 NKJV
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
Colossians 3:16 NKJV
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Singing has always been a part of how people freely worship God. David did this on the hillsides long before he was a king, and it prepared him to be the king God wanted him to be. The styles have changed over the years, but the connection between music and deep meaningful words has lifted people up and drawn them closer to God since the beginning.
My biggest spiritual struggle with COVID was the health and government people telling the church how to worship. Those outside the church should not dictate what we do and how we do it. I know that some do not feel they have a good voice to sing, but that does not negate the use of music with theologically solid words to shift our focus and aspirations to the only one who deserves our praise. Church music is not about enjoyment. There is nothing wrong with enjoyment, but what we do as a church is not satisfy ourselves BUT bring glory to GOD! Worship music is a touchy issue in many churches because people want their preference to prevail. Let me state loud and clear that the pleasing of the preference of the individual is more often about comfort, pride or control and not about lifting people to a place where they glorify God.
Also know that I have always said that singing and music is only 1 form of worship.

C. The early church worshiped God in giving.

1 Corinthians 16:1–2 NKJV
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
Philippians 4:15 ESV
15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.
2 Corinthians 8:3–5 ESV
For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.
I do not preach much about giving. You all know I don’t personally receive my pay from this church. Time is coming when this church will start paying a pastor again, maybe starting next month. Please know that God can and will supply for the needs of this church. It is a blessing to give. While we do not give to be blessed, all worship of God is a blessing to our soul! Giving is an act of worship!
ILL. Yes giving is money, but giving is also of time, abilities, and insights. That is why this area is often covered in the topic of Fellowship rather than Worship. O for a church that would over gave in all categories!

Conclusion: Effective churches are always controlled by their methods.

They make sure people are taught, that they have ample appropriate and effective fellowship, that they truly worship together, that they pray together, and that they live in such a way that the Lord adds people together in the church. Anything short of these methods will hinder the growth and effectiveness of the church.
How are we doing?
What is our strength?
Where are we weakest?
How can we reorganise to make sure we are balance in all five areas?
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more