Acts: Principles of Church Growth.

Marching Orders: Acts 1:4-11

The book of Acts was written by Luke who was a gentile. While he did not personally see everything that he wrote about, he was an eyewitness for many of the events in this book. Luke was a physician and historian; we can see this reflected in his writing style and fine attention to detail.

While the book of Acts has been labeled a historical book, we must not then assume it does not convey Spiritual truth, and it is important to note that it does show us how the Apostles set up the early church, and therefore can instruct us on God’s preferred method for church governance, and how the church is meant to grow.

So, let me ask you. Do you want to see your Church grow? If that is the case then you will have to be the Body of Christ as we are called to be and start making these principles that we will be going over true to your life.

Takes notes to remind you to put these truths to practice. James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

Today we will be starting with the first of those principles, really the primary principle from which all other principles of Church growth spring from. It is our purpose and our marching orders. Most usually known as “The Great Commission”.

Matthew 28:16-20 “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (discuss)

Luke 24:44-48 “Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.” (discuss)

Mark 16:14-15 “Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (discuss)

John 20:30-31 “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (discuss)

Finally, that brings us to our text today. Please open your Bibles to and read Acts 1:4-8

So, after 5 times of seeing this command laid out to us, how are you doing in this command? This is the first and foremost purpose of the Church. Are you propagating the Gospel. Have you told your friends, your neighbors, club members, etc.? Are you living among them in such a way that the Grace of God is attractive and evident to be useful to them? (Discuss: This is what Jesus told us to do, if we aren’t, what are we doing?)

Read Acts 1:9-11

Humans are human aren’t we. Jesus just gave them work, He ascends into heaven and there our brethren are standing around slack jawed waiting for Jesus to come back. Praise the Lord He understands our nature! He sends two angels down to remind them of things they should know! Quit looking up, you will know when He comes back! Get busy!
(Discuss: We do the same thing when we let mundane life get in the way of our Eternal purpose. We need to remind ourselves; we have a job to do and the faith isn’t just sitting around drinking in how good God is. It is active! We are supposed to be showing people how good God is!)