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Hypocrisy in the Church (10 of 15)
Series: Back to the Basics
Dr. Ernest L. Easley
Acts 4:32-35; 5.1-16
March 16, 2008
We are learning these days from the book of Acts what's involved in our getting back to the basics of being a Christian and being the Church. What does being a Christian look like at work .. at home ... at school? And what about church? What does God look for in a church that moves Him to bless it?
Well that's what the book of Acts is all about! Getting back to the basics in order to experience God's blessing and best upon our lives and upon our church. So take God's Word and join me in the book of Acts ... chapter 4 .. where we pick up where we left off last time together.
Now here is what we have discovered so far: Chapter 1: is the PREPARATION chapter. That's when the followers of Jesus began preparing for the power of God to fall upon their lives. They prayed themselves into one accord. They enjoyed a sweet fellowship like the fellowship we enjoy today.
Chapter 2: is the POWER chapter. That's when the presence and power of the Holy Spirit filled those believers. They began speaking in the languages and dialects of those who were visiting Jerusalem from across the world for the Pentecost celebration.
Those spirit-filled believers were preaching the gospel in a language that they could understand and thousands decided to follow Jesus.
Chapter 3: is the PRAISE chapter. Peter and John saw a crippled man healed and saved and then joined them in worship that day. And my ... did he ever liven things up that day in worship. He was walking, leaping and praising God!
Hey folks .. when a person's life has been transformed by God .. you don't have to beg, plead and prod them to be in worship! They WANT to be in worship. They WANT to be with the people of God. They WANT to praise the God that saved them.
But not everybody was happy about that crippled man being healed by the name of Jesus. The religious leaders put Peter and John in custody over night and then the next day threatened them not to be speaking or teaching the name of Jesus. That leads us to Chapter 4: the PERSECUTION chapter. The Devil's attack upon the church began. And His attack began by attacking from without. And isn't it interesting that he used the religious crowd to put pressure on the church to be silent when it came to Jesus? Well .. after releasing Peter and John .. they went back to the other believers .. they got down on their knees together and prayed for boldness to "speak the Word."
Now that brings us to 4.32 where we read: "32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were poss ...
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