Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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"THE CHURCH AT HER BEST!!"
Acts 2:44-47
44 And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; 45 and they {began} selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,  47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. (NAS)
 
 

I. "THE CHURCH AT HER BEST" WHEN THE CHURCH
HAS SHARED FAITH (44)

            And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common;
 

A. The Unity of . . Purpose in Shared Faith. (44 a)
        And all those who had believed were together, ..."

B. The Unity of . . Possessions in Shared Faith. (44 b)
        "...and had all things in common;"

Illustration
Psychologist James Dobson reports seeing a sign on a convent in southern California reading: Absolutely No Trespassing --Violators Will Be Prosecuted to the Full Extent of the Law. Signed, "The Sisters of Mercy."     --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 107.
 
 

II. "THE CHURCH AT HER BEST" WHEN THE CHURCH
HAS SHARED FUNDS (45)

45 and they {began} selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need

A. The . . Concern of Shared Funds. (45 a)
        "and they {began} selling their property and possessions,..."

B. The . . Compassion of Shared Funds. (45 b)
        "...and were sharing them with all,..."

C. The . . Criteria of Shared Funds. (45 c)
        "...as anyone might have need."
 
 

III. "THE CHURCH AT HER BEST!!" WHEN THE CHURCH HAS SHARED FELLOWSHIP (46)

46 And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,

A. Shared Fellowship A . . Sustained Unity. (46 a)
        "And day by day continuing..."

B. Shared Fellowship A . . Sustaining Unity. (46 b)
        ... with one mind in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, ,..."

C. Shared Fellowship . . Sincere Unity. (46 c)
        ...they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart ,"

Illustration
A Sunday School teacher was in the process of teaching the 10 commandments to her third grade class. She noted: "We have learned the commandments, 'Honor thy father and mother.' Is there one that refers to brothers and sisters?" A little girl responded, "Thou shalt not kill!"
-- Homemade, Vol. 16:1, January 1992 See: Psa 133:1
 
 

IV. "THE CHURCH AT HER BEST" WHEN THE CHURCH
HAS SHARED FAVOR (47)

47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. (NAS)

A. The Favor of . . Adoration. (47 a)
        "Praising God,..."

B. The Favor of . . Acceptance. (47 b)
        "...and having favor with all the people...."

C. The Favor of . . Additions. (47 c)
        "...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved."

Illustration
Dwight L. Moody was born in Northfield, Massachusetts. He was a preacher and evangelist, and a close friend of men like F.B. Meyer and Charles H. Spurgeon. After Spurgeon's death, in token of their closeness, his wife sent Moody a Bible of Spurgeon's in which were inscribed the following words:

"Mr. D. L. Moody, from Mrs. C.H. Spurgeon, in tender memory of the beloved one gone home to God. This Bible has been used by my precious husband, and is now given with unfeigned pleasure to one in whose hands its blessed service will be continued and extended."
-- Spurgeon, as Quoted by A.P. Fitt, The Life of D.L. Moody (Moody