Introduction: 1. As the Bible states in Psalm 118:24, today is a special day, and we have many reasons to rejoice and be glad. a. For one thing, today is the Lord's Day, and we are blessed to be able to worship Him. b. For another thing, after 2 1/2 years, today we are worshipping in our new location for the first time. 2. We are grateful to everyone who made this possible, including God, our supporters, and our workers. 3. Choosing a passage of Scripture to study today has been a challenge because the Bible tells us about many special occasions that God's people have experienced, including: a. the dedication of the tabernacle (Exodus 40) b. the dedication of Solomon's temple (1 Kings 8) c. the dedication of the 2nd temple (Ezra 6) d. the observance of Passover (2 Chronicles 29, 35), Tabernacles (Nehemiah 8), and the feast of Purim (Esther 9). 4. In our lesson we are concentrating on some important information revealed in Acts 2:41-47 about the Lord's church.
I. IN vs. 41 WE READ ABOUT 3,000 PEOPLE BEING BAPTIZED
A. The occasion was Pentecost, the day that the church was established. B. Peter preached a powerful sermon in which he emphasized the death and resurrection of Christ. C. The people reacted to Peter's message (vs.37), and in vs.38 he answered them. D. Vs.41 shows how the audience responded to Peter's instructions. E. This is the day the Lord built His church, and it experienced a great beginning.
II. Vs.42 REVEALS 4 ACTIVITIES THAT WERE VERY IMPORTANT TO THESE EARLY CHRISTIANS
A. They "continued steadfastly in" [gave constant attention to] these activities. B. These activities include: 1. "the apostles' doctrine": the teaching of the apostles. a. Their teaching was actually the teaching of Christ (Matthew 28:20). b. Their authority was demonstrated by their "wonders and signs" (vs.43). 2. "fellowship," illustrated in vs.46b 3. "breaking of bread": eating the Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7) 4. "prayers," as also taught in Ephesians 6:18.
III. THESE CHRISTIANS POSSESSED SOME SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS
A. (vs.44) They were united (John 17:20-21; Psalm 133:1). B. (vs.45) They were generous (Acts 4:32, 34-35). C. (vs.46a) They were dedicated in their worship (Hebrews 10:25; Psalm 122:1). D. (vs.47a) They praised God. E. (vs.47b) They had a good reputation.
IV. Vs.47c SHOWS HOW THIS CHURCH GREW
A. Daily teaching resulted in daily conversions, and the Lord added these converts to His church. B. This church continued to grow (Acts 4:4; 5:14; 6:7).
1. The verses we have studied show that there was great joy in the Jerusalem congregation. 2. It is fitting that we rejoice today as we reflect upon God's blessings. 3. As we begin meeting in our new location, let us renew our efforts to restore the Lord's church. 4. A good place for us to begin is with the information we have studied from Acts 2.