Sermon in a nutshell: The Lord added to their numbers daily (Acts 2:41-47)

Sermon in a nutshell: The Lord added to their numbers daily (Acts 2:41-47)
During the last three Sundays, we have examined what the Holy Spirit does. (1) First, the Holy Spirit translates God’s love into human language so that we can understand how much God loves us. (2) Secondly, the Holy Spirit connects the dots to show us God’s big picture for our lives. When we have the big picture, we can understand all our hardships, the purpose and meaning of our lives, and the direction that we need to take when we make decisions. (3) Thirdly, the Holy Spirit guides us to repentance. We change our life’s direction. Rather than making ourselves the center of the universe, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we find that God is at the center. The fruits of such repentance are that we glorify God and we change our life style.
That was what happened in the first church! People repented and asked Peter, “What should we do now?” The first suggestion was, “Be baptized!” Baptism means that we die under the water and we are born again as children of God! As a result of that suggestion, about three thousand were baptized and added to their number that day. If you have not been baptized yet, consider seriously being baptized. It is a public profession of our faith in front of God and fellow brothers and sisters.
Today’s Bible passage explains what happens when we become members of God’s family. After the baptism (being born again), we have to grow. It is like a new born baby. When she is born, she has to grow to be a fully responsible, contributing, and productive member of the family! We call this the work of the Sanctifying Grace of the Holy Spirit. Numbers (1) and (2) are called the Prevenient Grace and number (3) is called Justifying Grace. God’s Grace is consistent and one but we simply divide the functions for the purpose of explanation.
(4) The Holy Spirit helps people grow. People in the first church learned the apostles’ teachings, had fellowship, broke bread, and prayed. These actions are called Means of Grace. They are the means through which people experience God’s Grace!
When people practiced those Means of Grace, God allowed many wonders and signs in the community of believers. The Bible says that all the believers were together and had everything in common. Can you believe that they sold property and possessions to give to anyone in need? They even met every day in the temple courts! They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. This is the small group meeting that they had. I divided all our church members according to their zip code and made about 35 groups, hoping that we can follow the example in this Bible passage. Do you think that we can do that?
The result that the Bible reports to us is this: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Isn’t it cool? Don’t you want to follow this pattern?
• Who wants to be baptized today?
• Who wants to start a home small group or Christ Care group today?
• Who wants to be a Steven Minister today?
• Whom are you going to invite to this exciting journey on Homecoming Sunday?

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