This morning I was listening to the sermon he preached on how the church should be. I will attach the link, but just wanted to give you some of the highlights. He made several great points.
1.The first century church was united in heart and filled with the spirit.
Chapter 4:32" All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need."
The church was growing by leaps and bounds because they all had the same heart and the same mind. They were not bickering, being jealous, or trying to hinder the work of the Lord. They recognized they were all on the same team battling one common enemy. We cannot expect the Lord to bless us unless we sell out to unity. The people of the early church had a true love of God, which gave them a love for each other. This is the statement that I have been thinking about most of the morning, "The reason we don't love others is because we don't love God." Now we might immediately start to object to his statement but the more it rolls around in my head the harder it is to hear. The word Holy Spirit or Spirit is mention 50 plus time in the book of Acts. Maybe we go to church but we are not filled with the Spirit. Some would say that is not possible because the Holy Spirit dwells within saved people. This would be a true statement. However the bible says the Spirit can be quenched
A.W. Tozer writes this analogy: “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”
If we will just focus on Jesus first, we will automatically know how to love and help other people. This group of people were unified together by Christ. They tuned themselves into Christ and Christ tuned them into each other. You cannot be who God saved you to be if you are mad, holding a grudge, or slandering others in the body. When we break fellowship because of our selfish pride it creates footholds for Satan.
There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Wow this is strong terminology from the Lord - He HATES it!
God wants us to be unified under Him. In John 17 Pastor Tim alluded he believes the first century church was the answer to Jesus' prayer. 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one-- 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.
This is so exciting to think that Jesus is saying a prayer not only for those with him, but those that would believe because of the message. If Jesus is praying ahead of time for unity think about the importance of it.
This was such a great message I could not begin to do it justice. I hope you will listen to it. You could probably start around 46 or 48 min.