Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Greatest Asset of The Church

Temple Baptist Church - 4-18-2010

Acts 2:41-47

Introduction:

A. The majority of churches today are made up of a mixed multitudes. Much damage has been done to the reputation and effectiveness of the local church because of this. Loose living, hypocritical people who profess that they know Christ but deny Him in their works. Some of these are backslidden believers but I fear that the majority of them have never been saved.

B. While “Goats” are a continual source of problem to God’s men, the “sheep” are a wonderful group of people. The most wonderful people in the world are the people who belong to the local church. I am talking about the saved people, not the lost church members. The problem with the “goats” is not a seed problem, but the heart problem of the hearer.

Parable of the Sower

1. The Wayside Hearer (Darkened Heart – They come once and do not come back - fail to understand the gospel and really do not care.)

Matthew 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

2. The Stoney Ground Hearer (Hard Heart - Abide a while - but hard heartedness keeps them from being saved - close their ears to the truth and are soon offended.)

Matthew 13:5-6 Some fell upon stony places, where they had much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Matthew 13:20-21 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

3. The Thorny Ground Hearer (Unrepentant Heart – They want Heaven and want this World)

Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

4. The Good Ground Hearer (Receptive Heart – They hear and receive God’s Word and are truly saved.)

Matthew 13:8-9 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

NOTICE: It was the seed that brought forth fruit (SALVATION THAT WORKS, NOT A SINNER THAT WORKS)

The greatest asset of the local church is its people. What makes these people so special? It is the work of the Lord in their lives.

1. The People of The Church Are A Forgiven People – 41 (Forgiven people love God and people that love God do not cause problems.)

a. The Compassion of His Forgiveness - Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.


b. The Completeness of His Forgiveness - Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

2. The People of The Church Are A Faithful People – 42 (Faithful people love the church and can therefore be depended upon.)

a. They Are Faithful to The Services of The Church - Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

b. They Are Faithful To The Tithe - Luke 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

c. They Are Faithful To The Service of God - 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

3. The People of The Church Are A Fellowshipping People – 46 (Fellowshipping people love the Lord and each other and have very little conflict. They are “over lookers!”)

a. Because They Love The Lord - 1 John 1:3-7 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

b. Because They Love One Another - John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

4. The People of The Church Are A Fruitful People – 47 (Fruitful people love souls and try to be a witness for Christ.)

a. Fruitful People Are Holy People - Psalms 1:1-4 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so!

b. Fruitful People Are Abiding People - John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

c. Fruitful People Are Soul Loving People - Psalms 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

5. The People of The Church Are A Fragrant People - 47 (Fragrant people love worship and are a blessing to the services.)

a. Fragrant Because of Their Praise of God - Psalms 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

b. Fragrant Because of Their Position With God - Song of Solomon 4:10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!