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Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

www.thischristianjourney.com


As Every Man Has Need

Acts 2.42-47

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[Strange things happen within those who have truly met our Lord Jesus Christ.  When the Bible says,] 

[Romans 12:1-2 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ]

[The word Transformed here is speaking of a metamorphosis just as dynamic as that of the butterfly, which transforms from the ugly, gross looking caterpillar into a beautiful, colorful winged creature.  The change is so utterly complete that one almost cannot believe that they are the same creatures.  So it ought to be in each of us as Christian, the new birth is our metamorphosis, we are the same person, yet we are utterly and eternally changed.  Our name is the same, we live in the same place, we look the same (for the most part), yet we have been so utterly and completely changed that our friends should look at us and say things like, “What has happened to you?”] 

[The Bible expresses it this way,]  

[1 Peter 4:3-4 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:]

[Your friends and family that knew who you were before you received Christ will remember your past and will think it a really strange thing that this new found religion has so completely changed you.  Many of them will think that your new found faith is but a passing fad, and that soon you will reject all this morality and will return to your good old ways.  But, if your faith is real, and if your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is real, you will never go back again.] 

[Throughout the Bible we are given many examples of the unusual characteristics of truly born again Christians and they appear in stark contrast to their worldly, lost, and even religious counterparts.  By the way, folks, never forget that there are many religious, yet unredeemed people in our world.  Just because someone says they believe Jesus was, died, rose again, and they go to Church every Sunday does not necessarily mean that they are born again.  Never forget that the Bible says,] 

[James 2:19 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. ]

[Rest assured, the devil, Lucifer, knows that Jesus was, died, and rose again from the grave.  He was there when it all happened.  The fallen angels that joined Lucifer in his rebellion, the demons, also saw it all.  Yet, not one of them will be in heaven.  One must respond to the atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ in sincere confession and acceptance in order to be born again.  To confess means to agree with God, or to say the same thing as God.  The Bible says,] 

[Romans 10:9 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. ]

[So, once you truly receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, then an incredible metamorphosis takes place in your life.  At this transformation,] 

  • [You are given a new relationship (John 1.12; Gal 4) – You become a child of God rather than a servant of God.  You enter into the family of God]
  • [You are given a new enlightenment (Eph 1.13-14; 1 Cor 2) – The Holy Spirit enters your heart and life and begins to enlighten you in the Word of God.]
  • [You are given a new purpose (Eph 2.8-10) – You no longer work to be saved but you work because you are saved and these new works will strive to be those works that honor and glorify your Heavenly Father.  A child that loves his father never wishes to disgrace his father.]
  • [You are given a new proclamation (Matt 28.18-20) – You will find that you just want to tell everyone about Jesus.]

[What we discover in the Bible, and experience in our lives is that everything has changed for us, and that metamorphosis was the result of the conversion that our salvation has worked in us.  Absolutely nothing is the same anymore, and we say, “Glory to God, I’m saved!”] 

 [As we come to the text before us this morning, this is exactly what is being expressed in this passage.  As we read it we wonder, is this text teaching socialism?  It almost sounds like socialism.  No, this text is not speaking of socialism at all, instead it is speaking loudly about metamorphosism, which I am certain is not in your dictionary.  What do I mean?  Everything had changed in these early born again Christians. Absolutely nothing was the same for them after their new birth.  This was never more evident than it was in their actions.  They willingly sold everything they had and took care of each other in meaningful and sacrificial ways.] 

[What these early Christians did was live out,] 

[2 Corinthians 9:7 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful (Hilarious) giver.]

[This was no mere religious practice for them, they were utterly, completely, and as far as the world was concerned, they were hilariously changed.  They were doing what no normal human being would do.  Their actions can only be explained through the metamorphosis of the new birth.  They were no longer acting like mortal people, they were acting as immortal people who walked with a living Heavenly Father who owned everything and would provide all of their needs.] 

[As we consider this text we discover their,] 

A.    New Outlook (vs 42-43) [-  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  – The spiritual life was so real and dynamic in these early Christians that,] 

1.      They Wanted It (vs 42; Matt 5.6; 2 Pet 2.7-8; 1 Pet 2.2; James 4.8) [- And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, . . . – These born again Christians had tasted the goodness and grace of God and they wanted more of God.  They just couldn’t seem to get enough of their Bible, and their Churches.  They wanted to know more of God’s truth and they sought it out with diligence.  Notice in this text that they,] 

[Continue Steadfastly - προσκαρτεροῦντες (Gk) –  A Greek compound word: προσ means to move towards,   καρτερw - To endure manfully.[1]  From prós (4314), to, and karteréō (2594), to endure. To tarry, remain somewhere (Mark 3:9); to continue steadfastly with someone (Acts 8:13); to cleave faithfully to someone (Acts 10:7); referring to those who continually insist on something or stay close to someone (Acts 2:46; Rom. 13:6); used metaphorically of steadfastness and faithfulness in the outgoings of the Christian life, especially in prayer (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 6:4; Rom. 12:12; Col. 4:2).[2] ] 

[The whole idea here is to progress toward or to pursue purposefully the doctrine (truth) of the apostles.] 

[They had experienced the wonder and joy of God’s presence at the moment of their salvation and they wanted more.] 

[Do you remember when you first received the Lord Jesus Christ?  Do you recall the relief you felt, the peace you had, the sense of eternal joy.  Do you still have that joy?  If not, why not?] 

[We learn a profound lesson from these first Christians and this text.  If you would stir up your sense of the presence of God and the joy that accompanies His presence then you must Continue Steadfastly.  You must strive for it, you must move towards it, you must hunger and thirst for it.  Our Lord said,] 

[Matthew 5:6 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. ]

[You have two courses in your spiritual life,]

[You can be vexed by this world and its allurements and vices,]

[2 Peter 2:7-8 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) ]

[Or you can nurture your spiritual growth,]

[1 Peter 2:2 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: ]

[James 4:8 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.]

[These Continued Steadfastly, they pursued with purpose the knowledge of and presence of God.  They wanted to walk very close to God with all their heart and they refused to neglect those things that would bring them into God’s presence.]

2.      They Worshipped It (vs 42-43; James 4.8; Matt 18.20) [- . . . and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: . . . – Not so much worshipped it as worshipped in it.  They found what they were looking for in their pursuit.  They found the very presence of God.  God kept his promise,] 

[James 4:8 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.]

[God also said, ] 

[Matthew 18:20 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. ]

[Fear came upon every soulπάσῃ ψυχῇ φόβος (Gk) – Upon every soul fear. -   φόβος (Gk) 1. LN 25.251 fear, state of terror (Mt 28:8; 2Co 7:5); 2. LN 25.254 source or occasion of fear (Ro 13:3); 3. LN 53.59 reverence, a worshiping respect (Ac 9:31; 2Co 5:11)[3]]  

[Every soul experienced this incredible fear.  This fear was the result of their worship.  They broke bread and prayed, they sought God with diligence and purpose and then the fear came.  What fear?  The actual presence of God in all His holiness and purity, in all his justice and power, in all His omniscience and sovereignty; God made himself known among them.] 

[Friends this is true worship!  We call ourselves worshipping when we sing our favorite songs, pray, and open the Bible.  But true worship is a worship the brings God into our presence and strikes holy fear into our hearts and lives.] 

[We need the same worship they knew!] 

[Perhaps we need to ask ourselves, are we just going through the motions of worship?  Or are we experiencing the presence of God among us?] 

3.      They Worked It (vs 43) [-  . . . and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. – As a result of their desire and true worship God was demonstrated through their ministry.  The apostles were anointed by God and the community was touched by God.  They were able to do the work of the ministry in powerful and persuasive ways.] 

[My friends if we would see God’s kingdom gloriously manifested through the kingdom work of our Church, this Church then we must want His fulfilling presence, worship in His presence, and work through His persuasion.] 

B.     New Observance (vs 45-46) [- The new outlook of these early born again Christians also transformed their observances.  Many call our Christian Churches religions because we do religious things.  We come to worship at the same time each week, we do the same things in our worship each week, and we wander away in the same way each week.  But for these first Christians their faith was anything but religious.  These people were different, very different, and their conduct proved it.  Notice how the presence of God among them changed them.  His presence changed them in,] 

1.      Their Treasures (vs 45; Mal 3.7-12; Matt 7.11) [- And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. – This was profoundly unexpected.  We all know that if you are a part of a religious sect you are expected to give to that sect.  Someone has to support and pay for the work! ]  

[In the Bible we are taught,] 

[To give our tithes – 10 % of everything you are prospered.  We are even told that if we don’t give our tithes we are robbing God and God will eventually judge that neglect.] 

[Malachi 3:7-12 7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? 8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.]

[The Bible couldn’t be more clear, we must faithfully give our tithe to God and that tithe must be given to your local Church or it’s not a tithe.] 

[To give our offerings – Now an offering is something over your 10% tithe that God burdens you to give for some kingdom cause.  Offerings are an important part of God’s work and must never be neglected.] 

[Sacrificial Giving - But these Christians gave sacrificially.  They gave over and beyond what one might consider reasonable.  They gave all that they had.  They even sold their worldly treasures and gave the money to the Church to meet the needs of everybody in the Church.  This is unparalleled hilarious giving.  This is what Paul wrote about,] 

[2 Corinthians 9:7-11 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful (hilarious) giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he [God] that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. ]

[Why did these Christians give like this?  Because they were walking in the presence of Almighty God.  When you walk in the very presence of God everything in this world diminishes and dims.  The things that matter in mortal life don’t matter as much any more.  Your treasures become less important because you realize that they aren’t really much in comparison to God and His bounty and your Heavenly Father gave them to you to use for His glory anyway.] 

[Secondly, we often hang on to what we are given so that we can take care of those things that might come up in our lives.  When you walk close to God you realize that He is fully able to take care of your needs and you need only to trust and obey Him.  After all your Heavenly Father has said,] 

[Matthew 7:11 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? ]

[Show me a Christian who will not tithe or give sacrificially to God and his Kingdom work and I will show you a Christian who is not walking in the presence of God.] 

[Not Foolish Giving – I’m not talking about foolish giving here, I’m talking about guided giving.  That is yielding everything God has given you back to Him and doing with it what He asks you to do.] 

2.      Their Time (vs 46; 1 Cor 15.33) [- And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, . . . Notice that these Christians were transformed in their Treasures and also in their Time.  Their worship was no longer a worship schedule but they developed a lifestyle of worship and fellowship.] 

[Once they got into the presence of God with God’s people, they wanted nothing else but to be in the presence of God.  They would gather together daily in the temple and in peoples houses.  Once, twice, or three times a week were just not sufficient for them, they would constantly get together and draw each other into the presence of God.] 

[These people still went to work and still cared for their families, but they had discovered something that they just could not deny and whole heartedly desired.  That something was the presence of God.] 

[Fellowship Matters – we need each other in our spiritual walk.  When you feel spiritually discouraged, or depressed by this world you need to get around God’s people.  Earlier I mention Lot who was vexed by this evil world.  My friend the Bible reminds us,] 

[1 Corinthians 15:33 33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. ]

[You need Godly friends and your spiritual family.  This world offers you all kinds of worthless things to distract you.  There is worthless music, worthless entertainment, and many worthless distractions.  Don’t throw away those things that will keep you right with God and in the presence of God for worthless things.] 

[Accountability Matters – Certainly these saints didn’t get together every day for nothing.  They got together and edified one another; they built each other up in the Lord and in their faith.] 

3.      Their Tenor (vs 46) [- . . . did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, - Two things stand out here,] 

[Their Gladness – These people were joyful and happy. They were Christians who walked in the kind of holiness that allowed them to walk with God and enjoy it.  They were Christians who sacrificially gave everything they had to the Lord and were glad about it.] 

[This is how our walk with God ought to be, it ought to be glad!] 

[Their Singleness of Heart – They were undivided in their loyalty to their Heavenly Father.  They were not afraid to be wholly God’s and distinct from the world.] 

[I wonder how many of us are miserable Christians?  We have received the Lord Jesus Christ, but we are sorry we did.  Oh, we would never really say that to anybody, but that’s the way we live.  There is everything but gladness in our lives because we are always wishing we had what those worldly folks out there have.] 

[Christian you need to be wholly and sacrificially given to God and be glad that you are?] 

C.    New Origin (vs 47) [– What really brought the metamorphosis into these Christians lives is the fact that their origins had changed.  They were once the sons of Adam, but were now the Sons of God.  The were once commanded and driven by sin, but were now guided by their sanctification.  They had been transformed by the renewing of their origin.  This new origin, found in the Lord Jesus Christ brought them,] 

1.      Their Fellowship (vs 47) [- Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord . . . – While they clearly gathered together in worship, their fellowship with each other does not grab my attention so much as their fellowship with their Heavenly Father.  They were praising God in the very, spiritual presence of God.]   

[Favor - χάριν (Gk)  - grace, kindness, mercy, goodwill (ἔχω χ. πρός have the goodwill of Ac 2.47); a special manifestation of the divine presence, activity, power or glory; a favor, expression of kindness, gift, blessing (κατὰ χ. as a gift Ro 4.4, 16; ἵνα δευτέραν χ. σχῆτε in order that you might be blessed twice 2 Cor 1.15); thanks, gratitude; graciousness (ὁ λόγος ὑμῶν πάντοτε ἐν χ. your speech should always be pleasant Col 4.6)[4] ] 

[They gave grace or favor because they were walking in grace.  They showed kindness because kindness pours out of the grace and presence of God.  When a born again Christian seeks God and walks near to God they are affected to their core by the grace of God.  They realize how unworthy they are, yet how blessed they are.  They realize what God gives them in each and every moment, of which they do not deserve, and it changes them to their core.] 

ˇ         [Show me a selfish Christian and I will show you a Christian who is far from God.] 

ˇ         [Show me a mean Christian and I will show you a Christian who is not walking in the presence of God.] 

ˇ         [Show me a sinful Christian and I will show you a Christian who does not listen for God.] 

[A spiritual Christian who desires to walk with God, and seeks the presence of God daily, will find God in intimacy.  The presence of God will so move upon that Christian that everything in his life will be impacted and changed.  A spiritual metamorphosis is the result of the supernatural presence of God.] 

[So the question is, what fellowship have you found in Church this morning?  Have you discovered the fellowship of your fellow Christian in this place?  This is good but it must not be the goal.  Have you discovered and known the intimate fellowship of your Heavenly Father in this place this morning?  That is God’s goal and that spiritual reality will change you at your heart.] 

2.      Their Following [- . . . And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. – Once we born again Christians are converted through the spiritual presence of our Lord, then this Church will become a magnet for those all around us.  Our Heavenly Father will bring multitudes to our congregation, because the Lord life is here, and He alone eternally transforms lives.] 

 

CrossRoads Baptist Church, September 20, 2009



[1] Greek-English Lexicon, Henry George Liddell & Robert Scott, (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1846).

[2]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G4342). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[3]Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.) (GGK5832). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4]Newman, B. M. (1993). Concise Greek-English dictionary of the New Testament. (197). Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft; United Bible Societies.

 

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