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Fellowship of The Beleivers

Pastor Dan's Message for Week starting May 12th, 2018

· Teaching

There is a spot where answers are given from the audience. This section is a lot of yeps and agreements with what is being said by congregation. I hope that it works well for you!

Fellowship

Brothers what shall we do?

Acts 2:37–41 ESV

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 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.

43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.

44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.

45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. - Acts 2:42-47

We have a good problem on our hand. There were 120 waiting. and now we have at least 3000 baptized believers filled... all filled with the Spirit asking the question. Brother’s what shall we do?

I heard someone say,  "you know your kids stop learning when they stop asking questions”

Think about this: Yesterday we had 3000 people who didn’t know Jesus was the Messiah and 120 people who did and are waiting to be empowered to cary out the great commission. Now we have about 3000 people who are filled with the Spirit and hungry to know all about “this Jesus” whom Peter preaches.

The apostles know that their job was not just to get them dunked. Jesus made this clear in his, what is referred to as the “great commission”

Matthew 28:18–20 ESV

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Go make disciples:

1. All authority has been given to me, GO therefore (Baptized with the Spirit)

2. Make disciples of all nations (15 listed..pretty close...)

3. Baptizing them (3000...check)

4. Teaching them to observe ALL that I commanded you (Uh.... not check)

5. Behold I am with you ALWAYS, to the END OF THE AGE.” (Okay, now I feel better, let’s do this!)

Can you picture the hunger?! The 120 were pretty thankful at this point that they had the Holy Spirit’s empowerment!

To conceptualize this number, Let’s say 120 split up the discipleship evenly. It would be a 1:25 ratio. imagine a school house with 120 rooms probably the size of PLU full of hungry believers!

But remember at this point the bible says, “The Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved”. Don’t get too comfortable teachers, you’ll have a new student daily. I imagine the apostles were releasing leaders at at a rapid rate out of pure necessity. Bottom line: Teachers stop complaining about classroom size! Just kidding :) But this does put in perspective doesn’t it!

At Parkland Foursquare Discipleship is part of our DNA. This is one of the most helpful few verses in the entire bible in terms of understanding the “culture of discipleship” It’s important to know what pure, unadulterated discipleship looks like. This is the first, revival and discipleship movement in the new age with the baptism with the Spirit available to “All flesh” 

Unadulterated Discipleship Culture:

There have been no church splits,  yet…There has not been enough time to be jaded, The only people that really have clout are the 12 apostles and no one is going to question their authority yet. So it’s pretty much a clean slate. Granted they also are completely learning on the fly. However, I’d take that any day. Over sophisticated institutional well-oiled discipleship with no hunger, no generosity, and no devotion.

Structure:

We will see later that a measure of order and structure is essential but not at the expense of cultivating hunger, raising leaders and giving sacrificially.

A pastor from Portland told me about 4 principles he has for discipleship that I actually think were also prioritized in the early church. As a congregation I want to keep these as a guide to ensure that discipleship is about following Jesus and making disciple makers.

1. Follow principles over models

2. Focus on process over events

3. Develop culture over methods

4. Concentrate on Consistency over creativity

5. Build relationships over programs.

So a pastor in Beaverton, Oregon named Randy Remington took a sabbatical and reevaluated his entire church discipleship. He realized that programmatic ministry does not necessarily make disciples. He spent that time interviewing multiple discipleship movements across the globe and he found 3 common threads amongst these discipleship movements:

1.  Strong praying church

2.  Warm relational culture

3.  Committed to a Process for making disciples

Based on what Luke writes about the early church culture, I think we can determine a lot about their values and priorities. I imagine myself interviewing peter and asking him questions about discipleship: Peter describe what’s going on in your community. What do you do on a daily basis? What does fellowship look like to you? Tell me some stories about your community? What does it look like for someone to be discipled? What is the process for discipleship that you have?

Understanding the early church discipleship culture can help us understand how to pray for our own ministries.

Let’s look at this culture a bit deeper:

a)     I’m going to list a few words that I believe describes the culture

b)     Some of the scriptural evidence of these cultural elements

c)     challenging question to inspect our own personal culture of discipleship

1. Hungry

Just the fact that they are asking this question: “Brother’s what  shall we do?”is evidence of hunger

Are you asking questions regularly to God and your church community?

2. Sacrificial

Selling their possessions (real estate and land)and belongings (personal property). This wasn’t like “I gave my old shirts to Goodwill” This is sacrificial giving.

Meeting day by day in their homes. (hospitable)

What can you sell and give away?

3. Commited

It says they met “Day by day attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes."

This was not a “come if it’s convenient” culture.This wasn’t even a concern because people were so hungry for discipleship they showed up daily to learn.

Do you

4. Generous

Distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.

Does anyone among you have a need? Make that need known and let’s trust God to provide through the generosity of the church. Not giving the Goodwill leftovers.

5. Bold

Signs and wonders through the apostles

6. Unified

And all who believed were together and had all things in common

7. learning

devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellowship

8. Receiving

They take words to heart and devote themselves to these words by the power of the Spirit.

9. In awe

Impacted by the wonders that were being performed. Which implys that the wonders were real. But also that people were sensitive enough at least to recognize them as awe-inspiring.

11. Favor with all the people (kindness) and they were praising god! You don’t have to stop praising God to have favor. But sometimes you will be persecuted. Just leave the result up to God and keep praising him boldly and be nice in the process.

(An Exegetical Summary of Acts 2:47

 ‘they were liked by all the people’ [NCV], ‘were well liked by all the people’)

12.  Salvation

The Lord added to their number (partnership.) They meet day by day and the Lord adds to their number day by day.  This verbiage shows a connection between the two.

13.  Shared.

14. Attending (The attending ones) To devote oneself to, to keep on, to persist in.

(English Standard Version Chapter 2

46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

An Exegetical Summary of Acts 1–14 2:46

This verb means to continue to do something with intense effort, with the possible implication of doing so despite difficulty)

15. Ate food with (gladness, grateful Hearts) - Joy

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains 25.132 ἀγαλλίασις, εως

a state of intensive joy and gladness, often implying verbal expression and body movement (for example, jumping, leaping, dancing)—‘to be extremely joyful, to rejoice greatly, extreme gladness.’

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains 88.55 ἀφελότης, ητος

humility associated with simplicity of life—‘humility, humbleness, simplicity.’

As opposed to going to starbucks and demanding 162º coffee.

This is all a product of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon hungry hearts!

Is this culture a praying culture?

Does it have a warm relational atmosphere?

Is there a process for discipleship?

What does this mean for you?  We are all called to be leaders, and I can’t help but look back to the 120 and say thank you!, Because of the grace of God and your sincere devotion and prayer we are here in Parkland worshiping Jesus.

We don’t realize our need for the Holy Spirit until our inadequacy slaps us in the face. I pray that the Lord stirs and cuts us to the heart, that we as a community would eagerly and persistently ask “brother’s what shall we do?” May this be a question that resonates in our community. May we all have grace to see need and join Jesus in miraculous ways to meet those needs

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