THE BIG IDEA
The right foundation is vital for the right outcome. Real power flows from the foundation of Christ's teachings.
The Four Foundations of The First Christians - Acts 2
Word. Fellowship. Breaking of Bread. Prayer
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. -Acts 2:42 (NKJV)
BREAKING DOWN AND BUILDING UP
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. -Acts 2:1-4 (NKJV)
"...They were all with one accord in one place."
- The disciples stayed together not knowing the day of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
- The disciple's patience and hospitality were tested during this time.
Note: God used this time to break down the disciples and build them up. Everything Was New: For the first time, the early Church believers were without Jesus. So they had to live out the teachings of Jesus by encouraging and loving one another.
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit...."
- Promised: God fulfills what He promised to us.
- Faith: The gift of the Holy Spirit is worth waiting for.
- God's Timing: God gives the gift of the Holy Spirit as He wills, not when we want it.
- God's Way: There is no formula to follow to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- God's Gift: We cannot earn the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Note: Recognize your emptiness and wait on God to fill you.
AWAKENING TO ESSENTIALS
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs-we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God." So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "Whatever could this mean?" Others mocking said, "They are full of new wine." -Acts 2:5-11 (NKJV)
"...We hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God."
- All the glorious and amazing things, sound from heaven, mighty rushing wind, divided tongue as of fire, and speaking in tongues were just the beginning.
- An outpouring of the Holy Spirit was setting the stage to introduce Jesus and the word in a fresh way.
"When the Advocate comes...He will testify about me." -John 15:26 (NIV)
"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know-" -Acts 2:22 (NKJV)
- The coming of the Holy Spirit empowers us to bring the primary message: The Gospel.
- Everything up to this point-the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was a preparation to spread the Good News.
- The exercise of the gift of tongues produced astonishment and mocking.
- The Gospel was preached and the conviction of the Holy Spirit came.
- The Gospel cut to the heart of people.
"Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart..." -Acts 2:37 (NKJV)
- We cannot substitute the Gospel with events and programs like HOPE SILICON VALLEY.
- Big events are not an end in themselves. Programs and events are lead-ins, an opening act for what is essential: The Word of God.
Note: The WORD of God is foundational to GROW. Question: How are you leveraging the Word of God for your growth?
"they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine..." (Word) -Acts 2:42 (NKJV)
"So continuing daily with one accord in the temple..." - Acts 2:46 (NKJV)
- Steadfast: A single-minded focus on a certain course of action.
- Koinonia: The idea of participation, association, communion, and sharing in something.
- Fellowship of the weak: Fear, shame, and guilt often isolate us from fellowshipping. When we create space for the fellowship of the weak, our weakness finds completeness in God's strength.
- God designed us to share our lives together.
Note: Limited resources: The early Church believers had very little money, no buildings, and no "network" to accomplish what Jesus instructed them to do. They shared what they have with one another.
BREAKING OF BREAD
"They continued steadfastly in...the breaking of bread" (Remembering the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus) -Acts 2:42 (NKJV)
- The disciples never wanted to forget what Jesus did on the cross.
- The first Christians' experience was daily, joyful, and simple.
- Fellowship of the broken: When broken people gather and remember the broken body of Christ, eternal life and the kingdom of God is made visible.
Note: A single-minded fidelity to one thing at a time will make you more effective. Doing many things at one thing makes our life busier and more complicated.
"They continued steadfastly in...prayers." -Acts 2:42 (NIV)
- Jesus prayed all the time and he taught the disciples how to pray.
- The first activity of the disciples after the ascension of Jesus was prayer. (Acts 1:14)
- When God's people gather to pray, God is in the midst of His people, and His work is done.
- The disciples prayed before the filling of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:14, 2:3)
Note: Turn your unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer.
- Fearless conversation: Hide nothing from God. Have a fearless conversation with God. Jesus hid nothing from the Father.
- "Self-centered conversation to God-centered dialogue" (Henri Nouwen): Present all of your thoughts to God and turn them into an unceasing prayer.
Have a single-minded devotion to the Word, Fellowship, Breaking of the Bread, and Prayer to grow in your faith and maturity.
- 1. The WORD of God is the right foundation. Getting the foundation right is vital for growth.
- 2. FELLOWSHIP helps you to share a love for one another and encourages you to do good works.
- 3. BREAKING OF THE BREAD: becoming one body in Christ, with one another and also with God. In the breaking of the bread, you will find wholeness in your brokenness.
- 4. PRAYER is primary and precedes the powerful work of God.