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Seven Characteristics of A2 Church Builders (3 of 6)
Series: Building an Acts 2 Church
Introduction: The first century church, or what we are calling the A2 church, yields many important insights for the church today. We are gleaning principles, insights, and New Testament patterns from the first church at Jerusalem as seen in Acts 1-7. Here we see the activities and involvements of the first church and, therefore, some of the purest set of objectives for the church today. You and I are involved in the greatest plan on earth, the church.
Ephesians 2:19-22 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
1 Peter 2:5 You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:18,27 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased…. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
I. THE FIRST CHURCH IN CONTEXT
A. THE CHRONOLOGICAL CONTEXT
Order of the First Church (starting at Christ's Ministry):
3 1/2 years - Christ's Ministry (Gospels)
3 days - Christ's Burial (Luke 23)
40 days - Kingdom Teaching (Acts 1:3)
10 days- Upper Room (Acts 1:4-14)
Church at Jerusalem (Acts 2-7)
B. THE UNIVERSAL AND THE LOCAL CHURCH
1. The Universal Church
a. This speaks of the mystical union of the body of Christ worldwide, joined by the Spirit to all believers everywhere at all times with Jesus as the Head.
b. Matthew 16:18-19 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
c. Ephesians 3:21 …to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
2. The Local Church
a. The local church is where local believers gather together in true and spiritual harmony, in one accord and in one place, identifying with the vision and leadership of that local church, which is structured to a New Testament pattern.
b. Matthew 18:15-20 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that "by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." And if he refuses to hear them, ...
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