Monday, November 05, 2007

Sunday’s Sermon Outline

Introduction: We can learn about the things that a local church must do when we look at the early Jerusalem church.

1. We must testify about Jesus and invite people to surrender their lives to Him (Acts 2:37-41). After the people were “pierced to the heart” (verse 37, NASB), they wanted to know what they should do. Peter told them to repent and be baptized “for” the forgiveness of their sins. Did their baptism lead to forgiveness, or was their baptism because of forgiveness? The Greek preposition (like its English translation “for”) can be translated either way depending on the context. For instance, we can say that we are taking medicine “for” (leading to) relief, or we can say that we are taking medicine “for” (because of) an upset stomach. In the broadest context of Scripture, it is clear in both the Old Testament and New Testament that people are justified by faith, not by a physical work such as physical baptism (Romans 4). In the narrower context of Scripture, it is clear in the New Testament that physical baptism is symbolic of death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:4). Physical immersion is the first step of obedience after conversion. The word for “exhorted” in verse 40 can also mean “invited.” Peter invited people to be saved.

2. We must continue in the faith by doing the following (Acts 2:42-47):
Studying doctrine – As iron sharpens iron, Christians should sharpen one another.
Fellowshipping – This word refers to participating together in God’s work.
Breaking bread – Christians should spend time together on social occasions.
Praying – This activity involves a group in this context.
Sharing possessions – Christians should be good stewards and minister to others.
Praising God – Christians should participate joyfully in group worship.
Having favor – A local church should maintain a pure image in the community.
Witnessing – Christians should work together to lead the lost to Christ.

Conclusion: Local churches that fail to engage in these activities will fail as local churches.