The Biblical Church
Good morning. Welcome. If you're new here among us, my name is Gene and I serve here at C3 church as your pastor. And I wonder if anyone else here has wondered what it might be like to be on a desert island all by yourself. Not a desert island, a desert island all by yourself. Now, I think this may be a dream come true for many pastors out there, but nope, no pizza, so forget it. We're not going there. I worked that in early this time into the sermon. Well, it made me think of a story about a guy who was shipwrecked you stranded on a desert island all by himself, the only survivor like that movie, castaway. But he didn't have what was it a volleyball? Wilson was his name, I think. Yeah. Hey, you guys know about the movies. I got to that early too. So here we go. He's on fire today. Well, anyway, so this guy's on an island. And it's like Castaway, but not and it's not Tom Hanks. Okay, so get over it. It's my story. Anyway, five years, five years. Finally, airplane flies over season. They send the rescue crew in. Alright. And so SOS I'm not going to sing the police song I used to though. It was kind of fun. Anyway, so they get there. And they notice three huts, three, three huts, and they're like, so who else is here with? You know, I'm the sole survivor. I'm the only guy. Okay, so what are the three huts for? A guy goes, Well, that one's my home. That one's my church. And they're like, impressive. He doesn't say anything about the third HUD. So they wait. And they're like, what's the other HUD for? Oh, that. That's a church I used to go to. Yeah. Wait. All right. Yes, that's people, right. So today, we are going to talk about church. I'm really excited about this message. Because we get to talk about the early church, which is really, really cool. For me, we get to see what church is ideally supposed to be like, if we're doing it, like the biblical church if we're doing it right. So it's kind of exciting. But here's what's going to happen. If you're not new here. No surprises, it's going to be the same. But if you're new here, we're going to do something that a lot of churches might not do. They might not look at very large sections of Scripture. So today, I'm going to read the entire book of Acts to Okay, so we got clapping some people are into it doesn't get no I'm not. I'm going to read eight chapters, we're going to do eight chapters. But here's the thing, I'm going to paraphrase some stuff, I'm going to shorten some stuff, not that it's not important. We want to honor the text, I want you to dig in later. Don't believe me or anybody else in what they say, always check for yourself. But there are like two or three sermons in here, within the sermon. So I'm not going to preach like four sermons at you today. So we're going to kind of shrink it down a little bit. I'll paraphrase some stuff. But the larger section, so I'll make this really short, because I try to do variations on this to get you guys to understand most of you, if you've been here for a while you get it. This is the way we do things. We have a Christian culture of reading one sentence of the Bible at a time. All right. How do you know the book, if that's the way you're doing it? If anyone else gives you a book to read, right? Like here, read this book. It's great. Just read it. Okay, I plan on reading one sentence a day. Well, you're never going to finish it. Oh, yeah. And also, I'm going to randomize it. I'm going to read a sentence from page 100. The sentence from page one, right? Would you ever get finished with it? Whatever. No, you would not know the story. It's obvious, right? So I have to change the way we read the Bible. It's good to dig in and study after you know the point after you know the story. So we're going to get the context here, it's going to give us that we're going to see some ways in which the church operated in its ideal form. So last week, I talked about witnessing Jesus we started that correlation where the word martyr came from, right, so it became synonymous with being a witness for Jesus. In other words, if you go on witness for Him, you will probably die and that's where the word martyr Martinez comes from in Greek. Alright, so witness. So now we get to the point where it last week also Jesus ascends to heaven. So just after that, x 112. Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the mount of Olives a distance of a half mile. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present. Peter, John James, Andrew Phillip Thomas Bartholomew, Matthew James, son of Alphaeus. Simon the Zealot, and Judas, son of James, they all met together. And we're constantly united in prayer, along with Mary, the mother of Jesus, several other women and the brothers of Jesus. During this time, when about 120 believers were together in one place, Peter stood up and address them. Brothers, he said, The Scripture has had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David, Judas, who was one of us and shared the ministry with us and now, Luke will give us like a parenthetical statement. He'll tell us what happened to Judas kind of gross, he bought a field with the money he received for his treachery falling headfirst there is bodies flit open, his intestines, guts filled, news spread everywhere. And then in the field, a killed Mr. Kell Dima Field of Blood. So Peter continues, this was written in the book of Psalms, essentially what has to happen is his ministry is desolate, and we have to find another person. So now they have to choose our replacement comes down to two guys, Joseph called bar service, and Matthias. And there's a key here, this person must have been a witness, he had to be a witness to Jesus, right? So there's the word again. So they do something interesting. They cast lots of throw, they're basically like roll dice to see what happens or think like flip a coin. The idea is that God's guiding that, but pay attention to what happens next. And think of it in light of what Jesus told them. What go to the upper room and wait. Did they wait? So there's a question you can ask right there. So Matthias becomes the next apostle, and we don't really hear anything about Matthias, so is another clue. Alright, so x two, one, on the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place, suddenly, there was a sound from heaven, like a roaring of a mighty Windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting, then what looked like flames or tongues of fire, appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit, and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. So this is Pentecost. It is a pilgrimage festival, one of three that they have to go to Jerusalem for the Jews have been dispersed. And so they're from all these different countries. So they speak all these different languages. This is now the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that we see here. And I'll explain the difference in a sec. Alright, so the people are bewildered, they're like, what's going on here? We can hear these people speaking in our language. That's really weird. How can this be these people are from Galilee, they're saying, and they can hear that we're, we can understand them. And we're from all these different places, lists all these different places. They're perplexed. Some though in the crowd. They must be drunk. They say, Okay, now, first thing? Well, I'll explain that later. So you have versus this individual placing or selection of the Spirit on people like King David King David, speaking by the Spirit, right? So things like that, and the Old Testament, here and there. This isn't a massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that what people can preach the gospel, and that everybody can remember what he said, go to all nations, or recent ethnicities go to all different people from everywhere and spread the gospel. That's the point. The Holy Spirit has also said, this is going to give you the ability. There it is, that's what we're seeing here is a massive outpouring, as opposed to like, a selection. So the purpose here, we're not going to get into tongs today, we're going to get to First Corinthians, we'll get into it then. But the purpose here for sure, is the ability to preach the gospel. That's the purpose here that we're seeing. Alright, so Peter addresses that member the last comment X to 14 and Peter stepped forward with the 11 other apostles and shouted the crowd, listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem, make no mistake about this. These people are not drunk as some of you are assuming nine o'clock in the morning is much too early for that.
Now, what you see predicted long ago is by the prophet Joel, which is what you're seeing here, so just a little pause button. He just basically said It's nine o'clock in the morning that's like literally what he's saying to them. And this adds a little bit so you understand but don't take that and run with it and think Oh, but if it were five o'clock somewhere I could get wasted, right? No, that's not what is a at all right. So he summarizes here I'll summarize the sermon here. He preaches Joel. In those days, you let them know this is what was predicted. And Joel, I'm going to pour out my Spirit Interesting to note among men and women alike, they're going to prophesy so that everyone in Israel, this is the main point, know for certain that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah. So you're going to hear that the theme and all the preach seem like you crucified or this person crucified that you killed Jesus. So he's going to say that. So basically think of this like that this is not a popularity contest, right? So they're preaching these sermons and it's not. So Peters words to the sermon, they pierced their hearts, what should we do? And he tells them, You need to repent of your sins, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, then you will receive the Holy Spirit. So it says those who believe Peter, they got baptized, and they were like 3000 people now in numbers, a lot of people, what do they do? Well, they form a community x 242. All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, and to the sharing and meals, including the Lord's Supper, literally breaking bread, and to prayer, a deep sense of fear. It says in the Greek came over them all, and the apostles perform many miraculous signs and wonders, and all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had, they sold their property and possessions and share the money with those in need. They worship together at the temple each day, met in homes for the Lord's Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity, all while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship, those were being saved. So they're growing like this here, those four points, we're going to come back to that, right, so we'll just going to keep going here, I want you to see so we can get a context, especially as we get into six, chapter six. But just a summary here, there's an innocence as we get to chapter three of a lame men. So they run into a lame man, people like carrying the temple, put outside the temple. And so they're going, and he's a beggar, he's going to ask him for money, right? So ask the apostles for money, they look at him, they say, look at us, and the man expects this money. And Peter says, I don't have any silver or gold for you. But I'll give you what I have in the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene. Get up and walk up. So Peter took him by the hand, the guy springs up, and what ends up happening is he's dancing around for joy. And it's crazy. So Peter saw this as an opportunity that people are amazed by this, and he's like, I'll preach another sermon. And he does people of Israel. What's so surprising about this? And why stare at us, though, we made the man walk, I realized that you and your leaders, and what you did to Jesus was done in ignorance. So again, here we go. But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah, he must suffer these things. If we keep reading, jumping ahead. When God raised up his servant Jesus, He sent him first you people of Israel to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways. So a lot of criticism here. Here's what happens. If we turn the page x four, one, while Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the temple garden, some of the Sadducees. These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus, there's a resurrection of the dead, they arrested them, and since it was already evening, put them in jail till morning. But many of the people heard the message believed it. So the number of men believe now total of about 5000. The next day, the Council of all the rulers, elders, and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem, and as the high priest was there along with Caiaphas. So we heard about those guys, right, John Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest, they brought in the two disciples and demanded by what power and whose name have you done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit said to them, rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today? Because we've done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you, and all the people of Israel, that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, the man you crucified, here it is again, but whom God raised from the dead, for Jesus as the one referred to in the Scriptures where it says, the stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone, their salvation in no one else, God has given no other name under heaven, by which we must be saved. The members of the Council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, where they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the scriptures. They also recognize them as men who had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there's nothing they could say. They ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves. So essentially, what should we do with these guys, right? Everybody in Jerusalem there, they know about these miraculous signs all these things are doing, but to keep them from spreading us any further. Warn them never to speak in Jesus's name again, so they called the apostles back in and commanded them. Don't speak in the name of Jesus, though Peter and John replied, Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We can not stop telling you about everything we have seen and heard. So just quick pause button right here. Sometimes people will use some of these statements and we'll see a couple of other acts is like a call for civil disobedience. So context, who are they talking to? The religious leaders going to see that Paul shifts gears when he runs into people who are not religious leaders, he's looking for opportunities to win people over. So they're speaking to a very corrupt religious leadership, you guys decided to kill Jesus. That's the context here. So the council they threatened them further. But finally let them go. They didn't want to punish them, they want to start a riot. Everyone was praising God for His miraculous sign, the healing of the man who had been lame for more than 40 years. So the believers, they pray for courage, because remember, Jesus is warn them, like you will die for me. So this is what's going to happen until memory told Peter how he was going to die, told him this to tell him by the way, he wish he would die. So as soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers, told them what the leading priests and elders had said. And so they pray, and this is the conclusion and now Lord, hear their hearts and give us Your servants great boldness and preaching your word, Stretch out your hand with healing power, in many miraculous signs and wonders be done to the name of your holy servant, Jesus. And after this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they preach the Word of God with boldness. Okay, now look what happens. Look at it, again, Acts 432, all the believers were united and heart and mind, they felt that what they own was not their own. So they shared everything they had, the apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, in God's great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who own land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles and give to those in need. For instance, there was Joseph, one of the apostles named Barnabas, which means son of encouragement, we'll hear about him later in the series. He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus, he sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles. And that is great, right. But then, in chapter five, we see an example of a couple. And I essence of Fira. Don't name your kids that, right. So this is not going to be good. So they sold the field just summarizes for you real quick. They sold the field, right, but they didn't give over all the prophets. And they lead the apostles like to believe like, here's all the money. So he gets questioned by Peter, he lies. There's a good statement in here on the Holy Spirit being God because you lied to the Holy Spirit. And he says, You lied to God. So he reiterates that two times in there, but what happens is, and I dice, he just drops dead. So I guess the Lord takes his life. Then, young men come in wrap in a sheet and take him out. And three hours later fire comes in. It's the same kind of discourse, right? Yeah, that's all the money we got for the field. Well, people came in carried your husband out there by the door. They're coming in for your next boom, she dies too. Right. So kind of interesting and scary. Right. So tempted, tempted to use this one. You know, guys, you got to tie there, you'll drop dead. Right? So but you know, probably I've been told it's not a great thing to teach on after. Right, you know, you want to check off all the boxes just to be safe. If you're that kind of person. That's the one you want to check. Okay, good.
And it says November, Islam, great fear. There's that word again, gripped the entire church, and everyone else who heard that had happened. So then you get these instances of healing. And so like, No, all these people are just massively being healed, healing many, many, many people, many miraculous signs are happening so powerfully that like Peter shadow is healing people. So it's like this really big deal. Miraculous. But the apostles meet more opposition x 517. The high priests as officials were Sadducees were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But an angel of the Lord came at night, open the gates of the jail and brought them out. And he told them, go to the temple and give the people the message of life. So daybreak, the apostles entered the temple, as they were told, and immediately began teaching. So now, the phrase, everybody kind of arise, everybody, all the people of Israel, they sent for the apostles, but they're not there, the guards can't find them all. So they find them long story short, in the temple, and they get them and it says, without any violence. So there's just a resume, there's no violence, they don't want any trouble and want to start riot again, like this is what they were worried about. And then they reminded and we gave you strict orders, never again to teach in this man's name. Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him. And big deal. You want to make us responsible for his death is what they're saying. So you see the theme here? But he replied, we must obey God rather than human authority, the God of our ancestors, right, Jesus from the dead after you killed him by hanging Him on a cross or a tree. Then God put him in the place of honor his right hand as Prince and Savior, so you killed the author of life. When they heard this, the High Council was furious and decided to kill them, but one member of Pharisee Gamaliel he comes into the picture so wise man, we'll find out later spoiler alert, he's like Paul's teacher, right? So really smart guy, respected guy. And he just put some logic there's, there was once a guy named Judas and another guy named through this one about 400 followers. And it just came to nothing, right? So it just ended wasn't by God. So there's a point, important point here. So my advice is, leave these men alone, let them go. If they're planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them, you may even find yourself fighting against God. So the others accepted this advice for now our ex 540 On the screen, they call them the apostles and have them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. The apostles left the High Council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. And everyday in the temple and from house to house. They continue to teach and preach this message. Jesus is the Messiah. So this section should be read right in light of the other sections, they rejoiced that they could suffer so they got beat. And that was it. So let's go to x six, one, but the believers rapidly multiply. And there are rumblings of discontent. The Greek speaking believers complained about the Hebrew speaking believers saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. So the 12 called a meeting of all the believers, they said, we apostles should spend our time teaching the Word of God not running a food program. So in Greek it reads like feed, serving tables, like kind of reads like that. So distribution of food is what they're calling for here. So the 12 called a meeting of all the believers, they said, we apostles should spend our time teaching the Word of God not running a food program, sorry. And so brothers select seven men who are well respected and full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word. Everyone liked this idea. And they chose the following Steven, a man full of faith in the Holy Spirit, Philip procuress, McCain or Tim harmonists, and Nicolas of Antioch, an earlier convert to the Jewish faith. Okay, these were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them. So now what we get here is it focuses on Steven, so single Steven out really important, he's performing amazing miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. No one like especially the people in the synagogue have freed slaves, no one can argue with them beat him in an argument that Upali gear right there. So they don't like him. They make accusations they bring him before the High Council, saying he's speaking against the God the law of Moses making all these accusations. So all of a sudden Stephens face glows like Moses is right sir. Just illuminate and they're like what is going on here? So now, Steven proceeds to preach the whole Old Testament. He goes on not literally. But he goes on this tear right through to explaining everything came to be, but his summary his conclusion is You stubborn people, you are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That's what your ancestors did. And so do you need one prophet your answers didn't persecute. They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One, the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God's law even though receipt you received from the hands of Angel. Now, the Jewish leaders, they are infuriated. They're waving their fists but Stephen follow the Holy Spirit He gaze steadily and to heaven and saw the glory of God. He saw Jesus standing in the place of honored God's right hand. He told them look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor God's right hand. They put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him they began to throw rocks at him, in comes saw, like they're laying their coats at this man named Saul. He's going to become Paul. they stoned him, Stephen prayed, Lord Jesus received my spirit he fell to his knees shouting, Lord, don't charge them with this sin. And with that, he died. Worth noting, when we were talking about last week, how did Jesus die? Forgiving that Lord, forgive them, right? Same type of thing here, don't charge him with this sin. It's passively he becomes a martyr, Steven dies peacefully and passively after preaching about Jesus. So experience ridicule persecution. So all in light of kind of ties into what we talked about last week, if you didn't, if you weren't here, you didn't see it and go back and watch it. So this makes my point again. What's their response to the apostles right? They left I counseled rejoicing that God did count on them worthy to suffer disgrace. Stephen, don't charge them with this. This is not retaliation, as we spoke about that is not the appropriate Christian response. As we talked about that last week. If we turn the page want to dip into this just a little bit, and then we're going to continue with this next week, but x eight one, Saul was one of the witnesses and he agreed completely with the killing of Steven, a great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem. And all the believers except the apostles were scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, some devout men came and buried Steven with great mourning, but Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church, he went from house to house dragging out both men and women to throw them in to prison. So just a little note here, remember, again, Jesus's instructions. So as a result, we're going to see people like Philip, we're going to see all kinds of converts, they go all over the place, and they, they make more disciples, aka, following Jesus's instructions. So for a while, they're kind of stacked up there and not really doing what Jesus told them to do. Now, they're going to go out and do that. So I needed to be prodded a little bit. So let's go back to a key verse, x 242, all the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, and to sharing the meals, including Lord's supper or breaking bread, and to prayer. So I'm going to overview this really quickly, if you're observant, you might have noticed on that outside wall, these are the things that are up there just kind of translated a little bit more because no more apostles, right? So what are the apostles teaching, if you put to chapter two and six together the word, that's what they're saying? They're teaching the Word of God, which is the word of God, right? The fellowship or gathering together, the breaking of the bread, right? sharing meals together, and we do the Lord's Supper, and to prayer. So I'm going to go through some of those with you. But within these points, we see the Holy Spirit, really active here, people are just doing all kinds of crazy things by the power of the Holy Spirit. So notice that a lot of people would say, like, this should really be called, like the acts of the Holy Spirit, right? Not the Acts of the Apostles, because he's the one really driving this whole thing. So it's totally amazing. In the beginning, Jesus tells him to wait, right? And so there's a little bit of that controversy. Some will say, I don't like to read into it too much. You know, me, I don't like speculation at all. So whatever. But some will say just so you know, that they should have waited like Paul was really the next apostle, the 13th apostle, there wasn't Matthias, because you don't hear anything about all speculation. But it is interesting to note, they didn't necessarily wait like Jesus told them to. So pretty interesting. But the church leadership know, that the church, so as we start walking through Acts, they choose, choose the leadership, and you're going to see, right they choose from within the church was when their spirit filled people from within the church, not the establishment, but from the church from within the church, they're appointed.
They are people were used to let the Holy Spirit do the work, to bring glory to God. So think about so we'll go contrast the biblical church with some of the things the church does church, the church, right, so how are these like, depending on a translation onto an uneducated or untrained meant? Like, how can they know all this about the scriptures? This is totally crazy. So you get these people just like Steve and Phil, they're not trained men. But, man, they know a lot about the Word of God. That's amazing. All Glory to God. And so what do we have here? Like, how do we pick our pastors not at this church. And so just a big disclaimer, because I may just move quick and just like, say, you know, you are there, whatever. We're amazingly healthy. And we will have been here for a long time, like, going through a lot of long seasons to get there. Right. So it took a while. So I'm not necessarily just talking about you guys, but the church in general, how they pick pastors, you know, well, you know, it was really funny, because when we were not healthy, right, we put these things out for pastors, and we put a help one ad out, like the Holy Spirit would bring them to us, right? Or we start looking around whatever it was, and he'd come in and have a resume and then we surveyed the congregation, Pastor tip, don't ever do that. So this survey the congregation, you know, he needs to be at least 50 years old, he needs to have at least a master's degree. He needs to you know, just like all these what worldly qualifications made by institutions built by people wait after the Bible. You go to pastor school, you learned very little about the Bible. It's all about how to keep a church alive. That's where you go to seminar. How to Keep Your church from dying. There's just that should just be the course that's it. You become you learn how to be a church manager. Right? And so we have committees, and you have a degree in this and people will ask me, like, you know, where did you go to school? And you know, I'm boiling it down to the University of the Holy Spirit. Right, thank you. Amen. Why because it's all about these titles, right? This pastor worship my pastor has it isn't Oh ALLAH. Yeah, that's how I feel. But it's amazing. And I will tell you someone who went through a pastor schooling pretty well read went through all this stuff for the bazillion books that I should not have wasted my time reading all these opinions of people. I have learned more from the Holy Spirit after all of that, than I did from any men, any books read by me. And I'll tell you this, just to be totally honest, the Holy Spirit's corrected a lot of the bad stuff I learned. It's not all correct, just because you do it because in some seminary virus bible school where they're put together by denominations, aka Paul's worst nightmare. Think about it. Unity, Unity, Unity now 40,000 denominations, awesome. Alright, so there's no mention, this is what you need to teach this, how you need to teach it. Don't think for yourself. And this is it. There's what we said. And that's all and just don't be like those guys. Don't be like those guys. Don't be like those guys. Like those. Great. That's what you learn. Right? This doctrine, not enough of that. So glorifying God, instead of people, right? Dr. Pastor this whatever, I don't care. All right. Glorify God, who taught you God? Isn't that awesome? You know, so if you know my story, dyslexia, healed it, right? didn't learn that in school, we see miracles. And this is amazing. This is really amazing. And I don't want to downplay this, okay. I believe that being cured of my dyslexia, that's a miracle. I believe that. So I believe miracles are possible. But they're not always like that fake trick where the guy grows one leg longer than the other. Like, that's all fake. You know, I don't believe in that. And boom, the guy pushes him down a lot of that stage or pressure and things like that. I believe that God can do miracles subtly as well. And so that's a miracle. If you know my wife's story, she's a miracle. So, yes, so just don't get me wrong. I'm not downplaying this. But check it out. There is one miracle that happens here. That's just so understated yet so amazing. And very few people talk about it. The miracle of generosity. Thing that said twice, they're like selling everything. What, they're just like, selling everything, so no one has, I mean, they're just living perfectly. And some of you are going to communism, right. So I don't want to hear it. Don't think of it in light of what we do. And that's a big problem, right? Americans, you know, we read the Bible through a political lens with the answers already before we have actually read the answers. You know, it's weird, right? So don't think of it like that. Don't think of it as political struggle. That's communism, we can't possibly do it. If it said communism, and God said to do it, we should do it. Right? It doesn't. But anyway, this is crazy. This idea of people being struck dead, or like lying about how generous they weren't. Right? It's amazing. To imagine people living like that to how far would we have to go to get there? Right. It's kind of crazy, but it's a sign generosity, right? It's a sign that the Spirit is moving in you. And so in the modern church, you know, like, I have people come up to you, does it really say we need to give 10% I'm like, you know, I don't even get to like the whole biblical argument. Because in my heart as a pastor, I'm like, is this person saved? Because the Holy Spirit's not going to be not generous. He's not generous. And so it scares me. I'm like, oh, no, like, how could you ask me that question? This is crazy. Like, if you're, you're filled with the Holy Spirit should be like, oh, man, I feel really bad man, because I just have so much stuff compared to other people. Right? You know, like that, that, you know, like, Pastor, what should I do? Does the church need some stuff from you know, like, you, I got to get rid of some of this stuff? I got a closet full of stuff. I don't use stuff like that. Nope. Does it really say? Why are you asking me that? You know? Yes. It Yes. It's, you know, we're not under the Law of Moses, I get it. Yes, it's Old Testament stuff. But it's a floor. That's just a basic, it's a floor, not a ceiling. And when you look at what they were doing the right attitude is you get to keep 90%. That's greedy. When you really think about it, right? Like, frame it out, right? But the Holy Spirit work on you in this really important to understand, right? It's nothing. Now, another thing in this church, so here is what's really cool as I was preparing this message, these are the normal like go twos where I'm like, but I was like, wow, I really don't have to do this at this church. So we're going to go over this really, really fast, kind of awesome, because the thing you'll notice here, like if you're looking at a kind of literally like they're laying these things at the apostles feet, they're just they're giving it to the apostles and the, like, allowing them to just do what needs to be done with it. Right. So you'll see like the leadership structure here, and this is something we used to have a problem with, but we don't anymore, which is great because it means that we're building a culture We have like transparency and trust. You know me, I know you. And we trust each other. We're good, right? And you know how the leadership works. Some of you, some of you may be here today can't see the lights. But you've actually come here from other organizations. So you know what I'm doing, you know, I'm in the community, working with other organizations, and money's going to good places all that's good. But what will happen is people come to church and their control freaks, right? So why didn't they ask me to be an elder yet, or a deacon? Right. So they get met, and they want to control the church, and they put in like the memo, like, about what they think like the landscaping, what they think needs to be done? Right? It's control. That's what they're doing. Lack of trust control, finding other church, right? So we don't have to really deal with that. But just so you know, that's the way it works. I see and hear a lot more than the average member does. Clearly, right. So I kind of know, I'm like, oh, we need that. We need that. All right. Go to the board. I think we need that, that that so and ask for the money. It's very simple. Now, here's a big one. Here's a really big one. And this stung when I first really like, kind of measured myself. And this went when I became as I was training to be a pastor, I was like with a call the pastor and training, right? So I'm going through my training, and you get to these verses, and when you really read like, think of it all at the same time. That's why you got to read a lot, right? So when I think of this all at the same time, all these things come together. So x 2x, six, what are the apocalyptic, they're in the word, they're T, they're spending all their time teaching the Word of God, and they have to go like, whatever it is serve tables, blah, blah, whatever it is, they have to go and do that. And they're like, No, it's taking us away from what we're supposed to be doing.
All right, so now, I got to jump ahead a little bit. But like, for example, like, well, how often should I be doing that? First Timothy, Etrophemenos - some Greek, it's like being constantly nourished. But that's not even good enough. Those words aren't in anyone's speaking Greek. It's not good enough. It means like, I don't, it's your perpetual food, I can't even really describe it. You're just basically you're in the word constantly. Like in Joshua Deuteronomy, like, while you're walking along, while you're talking to your child, children, you would have all the time, all the time reciting it memorized, like just this is you, you just are this, you do this all the time. Right. And then when you go through in the process I went through, we were told that we needed to spend 20 hours a week, half our time working on your sermon like that was the prescription. Right. But when I read the Bible, I'm like, that's not what it says in the Bible. That's not what it says. It says that the teachers need to be teaching all of the time. And prayer in the word all the time, teaching all the time, I've always would give out, sorry, I said it backwards. But all the time. It's interesting, you look at the requirements. So here's another thing we do, pastors, they're two different things, pastors and teachers, right? Faster. It's like, we do this in America. And I just roll with it because you understand it. But really, I'm an elder or an overseer. That's what I'm really an elder. When you look at those requirements in Titus one, First Timothy three, you see that there's one job, let's see, there's one job that they're required to do. So basically, it runs off almost the same kind of list of qualities that the person should have. And that's true. They're all qualities, right? blamers husband, one, like, all these different things, right? They're qualities like they're just like he's spirit filled, basically, is exhibiting good qualities, and one job teaching. It doesn't say anything else. No other jobs are in there, must be able to teach and insight. It's like skillful and reproving people and able to teach them. And then that's heavy. If you read First Timothy, Paul really goes down hard about that, about studying and teaching to prove yourself worthy. He makes up basic statement. Right. But now think of it. That's the biblical church. Right. So that's no more apostle. But that's what elders should be doing. It's what the church leaders should be doing. Because if we keep reading it says, that's what the elders should be doing. Now, it's really, really interesting, because when you get you go through the schooling, a lot of schooling teaches you how to be a politician, not a pastor. Right. So these pastors, especially if the tail is wagging the dog, and the congregation is pushing or running this person, right? It's like every minute is an election year. And that's what they're doing right? You got to see you got the end. They're doing everything Jesus said not to do that God will let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. Right. So they're all over social media. Look at this poor person on patronizing right now. And I just had a great meeting with Kelly and her life was a wreck. And so she met with whatever it is, it's like, stop. Right? And then they have their hands in every single ministry because everyone's got to know what they're doing or they're trying to control everything. That's not I mean, it's not even it's not an elder it's not it's not what this person should be doing. So our boards healthy, whatever meeting you need me to Take so that you can be in that more often. I'll take it. Thank you. Can you go meet with the mayor? Because, right. So that's, that's what we do here. Thank you. All right, and the critical things. Now, here's the thing, too, because some people I've seen in some churches, they get real aloof, they go all the other way, like you're bothering me. You know, I can't take your call because I'm talking to God, you know, right. So it can happen. But anyway, you know, you don't want to get too aloof. Pastors are not politics. There's also not rockstars. You know, we're not supposed to be motivational speakers and all that other stuff. But, you know, we're not supposed to be golf course and selfie pastors. Right. So. So what do you do? Well, here's the thing. If you know me, I will literally make you pizza. Right? So talking about serving tables, right? So I will literally do that. Okay, so that's my service I like to just do that just makes me happy. So it's selfish. So anyway, but I have no problem doing the food program once in a while, but I'm not running it. Right. So I'll dip in and help out. But if anyone's ever managed an organization, right, the greatest managers do nothing but delegate. Right? So you know, I'm not going that far. Right? Because I care. I love you guys as a family. But you got to be in this now. I made the joke. I think it was last week. I did it. Like if it was going to be like a church takeover. I'd love to run a show called church takeover. Right? Because it'd be awesome. Except I wouldn't say any bad words. Like the other takeover shows, that wouldn't be good. Like, like, that's how you'd be a pastor. Right? Not good. But anyway, that's why I won't get the job. So. So anyway, like, remember, I said, like, if I go into church, the first thing I'm going to do is like, scrape off all the Jesus fishes and make people earn them back. Right? Like, there you go. You have your Jesus fish back when you bring in some friends, and they tell me you're behaving well, when you're not here. Right. So the next thing I would do is go to the pastor and say, let me see your calendar, is your calendar. It said, I learned this in school, you can tell what someone loves or what they worship by what they spend their time doing. So you used to have to submit you don't even know they have these anymore. your checkbook in your calendar. That's it, you need to submit that now. It's like your smartphone, and then happen to me. So now I know I know what you care about. And what I would do is notice that reading the word is not in there. When you do that, is pretty full with a bunch of meetings with people that you probably assigned to someone else. Where's being in the Word? Told you, Pastor, very famous pastor, everyone's like, Oh, he's amazing. He once said, I read the Bible once a year. I looked it up. I'm like, that's 3.5 chapters a day. That sad. Amateur said, So compared to the early church, what would it be eight to 16 hours a day? Yep. It's not even in there. Some pastors I spent like a couple hours in the word I'm like, pitiful. Really. Like it's literally your job to be in the word and you read two hours a day? And then what do you do you watch four hours of sports. Awesome. It's a big problem, the level of expectation just come way down on that issue. And so it's really, really important that people understand this and a healthy church understands this. You want to not make mistakes and not be nervous. Have all of this in recent memory. Not going to be that worried about it? Is it in recent memory? So that's what the deacons are for. And so listen, I made this mistake, too. If any pastors are watching, I made this mistake. Don't call anybody a deacon don't do it. As soon as because I even did it. I was like, Okay, you guys are like deacons and your servants You really just says what the word means. servants and you're helping me out. Like at least two of them. Like we're like, I'm a deacon here at the church. I was like, Okay, that's it. Jesus fish off the car. We're done. You know, so anyway, like, I had to kick them out of the church. Like it's unbelievable. Like I told you, how do I struggle with this. If you're new here, my name is Jean and I serve here as your pastor like just my name is Pastor Jean because my mom named me Pastor and thought it would be awesome right? No, so stupid. Dr. Pastor this and that. So and what they do and pastors do this, is they blocked the body of Christ. They blocked the body guard. Do you know how many intentional issues there are in this dirt? Think about it. Right? Intentional, just things like all these stuff has been like nothing above doing anything. I'll take out the trash wherever you need me to do. What am I going to leave it? And I'll wait for someone to complain about it. Oh, we've been lucky. You're the perfect person to fix that problem. Thank you see something do something simple, right? No, we're not paying anyone to do that. Because you need to do it. Sorry, that literally. Right? Do it. They blocked the body. Okay, when you go and do everything, nobody learns. Nobody operates. Nobody can use all these gifts. There's so many. We're going to read about Romans 12. First Corinthians 12 Ephesians four. There's a whole Should you do it? Do it be the body of Christ, right? So that's really, really important. And one other thing to note to compare to other churches notice something. So these places they'll use, some people use the 3000 and the 5000, to say, ah, the mega church, right? So that's what comes up. But notice what happened to them. This is another instance where I would tell someone, keep reading, keep reading, they scattered out. And when you're reading the rest of the New Testament, it's always like these groups of churches, the churches, mostly in the home, that's what happens if you're reading them, the head of the church and your house, the church in your house. And Paul will say that. So here's the thing. This is another thing when I was like preparing the message, I realized, oh, I don't have to talk too much about the megachurch, right and the problems with that, which is really cool. Because you guys kind of get it. And for a lot of you who are here or attend the church, that's why you're here, because you've experienced like a church and you know about the problems with the production, and the pastures and all this other stuff. Right. So it's nonsense, right? The four points we see here is what the early church did, not a show. And so I don't have to really talk about that. Most of it to discernment. Like most of you here are smart. That's why you're here. Right? So some people come in, they're like too much Scripture. By so you know, you're smart. It's discernment. When a guy gets up there, he's where a $2,000 pair of sneakers right? And then you see him the next week, and it's a different pair $2,000 sneakers see him next week. It's a different pair of 3000. And he's buying it off your dime. You just stupid. Yeah. You know, one of the searches I get there's a big thing came out about him. And I mean, it was obvious I want to name the church, but just give me any credit at all. But you know, like big expos. They
came out this church, and I'm like, you didn't know this. It's obvious. The pastor never wears. I've never seen him in the same set of clothing. Right? He's a 16,000 square foot house and the community not the church is criticizing him. And he doesn't go like man. I'm making the gospel look bad. Let me just get a 5000 square foot house. It's huge, right? Like, stupid as obvious. I'm like, turn that guy off. Screaming and yell and rant and rave and barely any scriptures doesn't know what he's talking about. Make 16 mistakes. Everybody's calling Amen. Stop it. Right. So it's obvious. It's obvious like you scroll me, same shoe, same shoe, same shoes. I buy my clothes. And if some of them are nice, it's because I bought it with my wife's money. So works. That's my business, but not on your dime. We don't have Oh, anyway, that churches worship budget was $24 million. Please give me a 10% of that. This whole careers be a lobby no one with any needs in this community. That's what we do. Not the G seven - A jet or whatever one of these guys is asking for. Right. So the other thing is, so you go the other way, right? Throw the baby out with the bathwater you go. The other way. What do we do? We have the church on the home. Okay. So here's what happens like in First Corinthians, you get to chapter 11. I'll just modernize it for you. Where do we have church, at the mobile home or the mansion? It causes a lot of problems. Again, remember I did Bible study, right there getting drunk. The rich people are not waiting for the workers to get there getting drunk before they're supposed to have Lord's supper church as the context. Where do you have it? Like, so it's a problem. There's a lot of problems that came about in the home church, too. It's like, and Paul's dealing with a lot of issues. So you kind of see both, right? So they're sharing meals, it says in their homes. They're worshipping at the temple. So solution. Make church home. Right. So modest enough building, not trying to put on too much of a show or anything like that. But so many of you who've been here for years, you all say the same thing. This feels like home, it feels like home. Or it's I can wait for Sunday. It's like hanging out my family. It's like having a family dinner or something or lunch. Feel like this is home to a lot of people. It's home. And when you do that, you make it home. And you make it family, you see that you develop a culture of transparency and trust. You know me, right? That's the thing. You must know your pastor, I say this, I'll keep it short. But I don't know your name after three to 10 tries. I'm not your pastor. So if I if we don't know each other, and don't call me Pat, don't do that. You call your pastor, whatever. I don't care. Call me Jean. But I'm not your pastor. How can I be your pastor if I've never met you? That's crazy. And I have had crazy people say this. They're watching these pastors online also. And they're like, that's my pastor. And let's say like, I've never met him. You're out of your mind. If you hear what you're saying, You're being pastored by TV. So this is the thing. This is why those are the key verses right on the wall translation Love it modern modernized. This is why we're devoted to the word here. So if you're new here, you're like, that was a lot of scriptures. Right? Good. We've developed that culture where we can hear a lot of scripture. But in the beginning, it was hard. I was fighting I people, like, get all mad at me. Like, that's too many scriptures. Like, no, it's not. No, it's not. If I just read this thing to you for an hour, like, perfect, right? We've gotten to a place where it just, you know it, it doesn't need to be explained. Thank you. Alright, built on the word. That's it. The fellowship letter Ecclesia. It literally means to assemble together. So the church if you see the word church in your Bible, it could be translated as assembly and we'll be correct. It means to physically gather together as people like that's what the word actually show Ecclesia to a Greek person, they'd be like, Oh, to gather to go assemble to come together. Yeah. That's what it means. Yet. You have these people doing church online. Virtual church is an oxymoron. It's an oxymoron are supposed to be together and you know what else? He can't do break bread. I hope you're not eating your smartphone, right? Like so. You can't. You can't. You have a half a church. When you're doing church online, you're doing half church. That's what you're doing half church and are doing it. And if you don't know your pastor, you're not at church at all. And not a church at all. And the biggest point here well, but a very big point, prayer, prayer, prayer, people are not as individuals. You need to pray. You need to pray before you make decisions. You need to pray before you say something to someone. Pray without ceasing, all the time. Pray to be in a constant state of communication commune with God. More for you need to pray, pray, pray, pray for leadership. Pray, pray for what do you think I'll get back to you? After I asked the Lord like I need I don't know. Right? And I'll pray about it means no. Okay, so. So anyway, but you know, we're always consulted. I don't know. What do you think the Lord wants to do with that space or anything? I don't know. He'll tell us something will happen. We just need to be patient. Like the upper room right? We need for just the Holy Spirit just work and do his thing. Yes, we need to plan we need to do our due diligence. Of course, I need to prepare for my sermon. Right? Of course. But we need to pray. And so that's a big thing to remind those of you who are not new here, you know, this c three Christ centered church. That's what we changed it to Christ. Christ is the head. We are the body. That's it. I'm not the head. Don't No, no, no. I'm the mouth unfortunately. Jesus, okay, he is the one leading this church. That's it. So I'm going to encourage you if you are new here, or you haven't done so before, connect with us. We want you to be the church. We don't want you to do in life alone either. So please, give know us go upstairs. You'll be told all about this and the announcements for a meal. Let's break some bread together, continue the worship, right. We pray for you, Lord, I thank you for everyone who came in today and took the time to be here. And I just asked that just like the church of actually just fill us with your Holy Spirit and empower us to do what it is that you made us to do. And overall, make us Your servants or vehicles of your gospel message is pouring out love, grace, peace and joy on everyone we encounter throughout the week I asked these things in Jesus name