East Side Church
(Baptist - Disciples of Christ)
201 Spruce Ave.
Sharon, PA 16146
724-981-4223
office@eastsidechurchsharon.org
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November 10, 2013
"The Fear of God"
Acts 2:43

Intro: Sermon series from Acts 2, answers question: "What are the necessary actions, minimum requirements, of the Church being the Church?" Focused on activities in Acts 2:42. Meaning, importance of devotion... to Lord's Supper, to Apostle's teaching, to fellowship and to prayer.

What else do we need? Common for pastors to preach on these four elements in Acts 2:42 to answer question, "What does our church need to do to show we're truly Christ's church?" But if we stop with v. 42, haven't gone far enough. Luke's summary of the early church continues through end of chapter 2, describes three more truths about early church. Three elements aren't emphasized in today's pulpits; precisely why we need to hear them! Today, focusing on first of these final three elements! (Read Acts 2:43.)

The Power of God! Luke records that many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. Jesus had predicted that His followers would perform miracles. (Read John 14:11-14.) Apostles did work amazing miracles! (See Acts 3!) In the past few hundred years, teaching developed among Christians that miracles ended after the time of the apostles. Not true! Paul's clear teaching in I Corinthians 12 is that, within Christ's church, some Christians are gifted by the Holy Spirit to work miracles. (Read I Corinthians 12:27-31.) As Christians, we should expect God to work in amazing ways. We should humbly, fervently pray that God will work powerful miracles so that people might come to know Him, so He will receive glory. Not the silly spectacle, showmanship you see on religious TV. (Want to strike a balance between being gullible and being overly skeptical.) Our desire: God's power moving through Christ's church, healing human bodies, hearts, marriages, communities! When God draws near, people become aware that He is here! The Church is to be a place where people sense God's presence!

The Fear of God! Twice, Luke records the same reaction to the mighty miracles God did in the early church: Awe! Amazement! Fear! (Read Acts 2:43, read Acts 5:12-16.)

There was fear among unbelievers when they came in contact with the early church. Why? There was a power at work that they couldn't understand, control, or explain away! (Today, unbelievers are afraid of coming to church. Why? Afraid of being bored! What changed? Are we guilty of try to tame God, with our ceremonies, music, dull sermons?) God forbid that East Side church die slowly, comfortably; failing to shake up the world around us! When God draws near, people become aware that He is here! The Church is to be a place where people tremble in God's presence!

Among the Christians, there was fear, too . God's power was certainly in evidence, and it certainly wasn't in their control! Christians reacted to God's presence with awe, reverence, deep respect. How does reverence show itself?

Reverence shows itself in how we think about life: God is real, He is present, He is active! (How does the reality that God is here, now, affect how we think about our health, our family, our finances, our church's finances, our future?)

Reverence shows itself in how we talk, particularly about God; our use of His name; and how frequently we talk to God!

Reverence shows itself in how we treat each other! Remember, we are in God's presence, whether we're in these four wall or not!

The reason that non-Christians aren't more fearful of God is because they see no fear of God in the lives of people who claim to know Him! They don't sense God's presence when we're around! When God draws near, people become aware that He is here! The Church is to be a place where people tremble in God's presence!

Prayer, asking God to draw near to our church, other churches.

Prayer for healings, displays of God's power.

Prayer for people we want saved.

Prayer for community.



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© East Side Church, 2013