Jesus’ Little Church
July 30, 2022
When Jesus established his church on the earth He said, “The Gates of Hell shall not Prevail against it” (Matthew 16.18). Today let’s ask ourselves a couple of key questions: what was the Church like that Jesus established? Also, what were the key elements of the Church that He established? We can see a clear pattern for this fledgling Church in the book of Acts.
- This was a young Church full of people blessed by God
- This was a young Church full of people who were full of the power of the Holy Spirit
- This is a young Church full of people ready and determined to March into the world and make a real difference
- Redeemed People
The people we read about in the upper room were not just any people, they were peculiar people.
- As a group, they had no name or title that others referred to them by at this point
- Buildings were not of any consideration as far as a gathering place was concerned
- Particular methods and techniques were not a major item of concern for them either
They had heard with their own ears Jesus say: “flesh and blood did not reveal this to you” Matthew 16.17.
- They thought of themselves in no elevated way; just simply “PEOPLE OF GOD”!
- These were people that had been touched by the grace of the living God!
- They were not just another gathering of people interested in changing the world to better their own situation.
- These were people of a COMMON EXPERIENCE, the experience of Christ – Jesus had come into their hearts and changed their lives!
- Spirit-Filled People
Now of course it would be Peter that set the bystanders straight about exactly what it was that was motivating the Believers to be so persistent in their purpose.
He told the looky-loos in Acts 2.15 “These people aren’t drunk…” Infact, as we now know they were simply full of the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit was the all-consuming dominating factor of motivating, initiating, and implementing the early church and the great things that they did. The Holy Spirit utilized the enthusiasm, the dedication, the limited resources, and the few believing souls of the early church to lead them through what may have seemed to be an impossible task, evangelizing the world for Christ
- Praying People
This early and young Church found itself face-to-face with a world that seemed too big and with human resources that seemed too small. However, they understood their PLUS FACTOR and it’s something that no one can afford to miss or to take lightly; Jesus taught them Himself the IMPORTANCE AND THE POWER OF PRAYER!
- The Church that Jesus built upon that “rock” over some two thousand years ago faces many seeming impossibilities today just as they did way back when. The World Is still filled with the souls of people that are drifting every which way but up!
- Insecurity is the prevailing theme and characteristic of our day.
- Day by day we are witnessing the world become an ever more destructive force.
- Day by day, we play witness to our limited human resources struggle to handle the serious problems of the world.
Nevertheless, the Church that Jesus built can still access power by standing on that PLUS FACTOR! PRAYER!
- Witnessing People
I believe witnessing to be a natural expression of true Redemption. The early Christians had much to say to the world they lived in, and they chose to say it not only by the words of their mouths but more so by the deeds of their lives.
- These early Christians had “GOOD NEWS” for the world, and they just simply could not contain it!
- They preached with simplicity, and they taught with practical and meaningful methods of their day.
- Witnessing of the church was done in homes and in marketplaces and in synagogues and on busy streets.
- They didn’t single out any particular day of the week to reserve for this vital expression of their lives they; witnessed every day of the week. We too must witness as well.
- Barrier-Breaking People
The early church faced many many difficult barriers in their day.
- Barriers between males and females; women in that day and time had no real meaningful position as an individual.
- Political barriers: the Roman government had power over the lives of the Jewish people.
- Economic barriers: the wealthy kept the poor in poverty.
- And there were racial barriers; Jews and Gentiles were on opposite sides of the fence.
- Philip crossed barriers when he witnessed to the Ethiopian who was reading the prophet Isaiah in his chariot.
- The Holy Spirit Led Peter to Cornelius at Caesarea.
- The early church witnessed to other cultures and strange new lands where they had never been before.
This was not done easy and simply or without push back and tension. The early church that Jesus made, knew that had to see every life as being Loved by our Lord and Savior Jesus Himself. We must learn how to love other lives just as He loves us. As true believers in Christ we need to have our own face-to-face encounter with our Lord and savior before we can make any efforts to witness face to face with the world.
- Worshiping People
The first century Christians were people who knew how important it was to look up to God before they went out to do anything. The early church learned the art of personal and private worship firsthand from The Messiah. However, they knew the necessity of corporate or congregational worship.
- They would Worship in their homes, on riverbanks, in prison cells, on ships, in the synagogues, on busy streets, in the market, on mountain tops, any and every place their feet could take them they would worship!
- I will admit that worship can be helped at times by the environment in which we worship, nevertheless worship is never dependent on being in a certain kind of place or in a certain surrounding for it to be effective.
- Remember that our lord said that: “God seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth”.
- He didn’t say anything about God looking for people who would only worship Him on certain days in the church house.
The method by which we worship and the means by which we worship or not or should not be the primary concern.
A church that is to be meaningful to its community; must first be meaningful in its worship and in its personal experiences with the Master!
The six things that makeup Jesus’s Church are personal things that each of us must respond to. We must first respond to His call to be saved; then we must respond to His command to minister to other people and their needs.
Jesus expects us to not only be sensitive to the needs of those around us He also wants us to meet the needs of those around us, especially those who are bound by sin.
If we are to be effective in Jesus’ expectations of us:
- We must be redeemed,
- We must filled with His Spirit of power,
- We must testify boldly of His love,
- We must break all barriers that keep people from His love
- We must be ardent and consistent in prayer
- And we must be serious in our worship.
- Let us each go forth today taking stock and reviewing our personal effectiveness as members of Jesus’ Church!
- Let us do so looking up to the Father!
- Looking up toward the hills from which come our help!
Looking to God to provide us with the necessary Grace and Mercy to respond to Jesus’s expectations of His Church!