Sermon:  Beyond Salvation  

Summary:  The example for the type of people and church we are to be in the apostolic 
church is a teaching church that is grounded in the word of God, a fellowshipping 
church expressed in Christian brotherhood, mutual support, encouragement, and ministry, 
a worshipping people that honors the Lord as the creator and redeemer, and an 
evangelistic church that carries on the mission of Christ.

Know:  Christians are to be a united fellowship in God as revealed in his word

Feel:  A desire to grow deeper in fellowship

Do:  Sign up for a Life Group with the intent on growing deeper in fellowship, ministry, 
and spiritual growth

Text  Acts 2:41-47

Scripture Reading:  Ps 133

Intro: 
1.  How many of you have responded to the Gospel?
	a.  That means you are a Christian
	b.  Is that it, or is there more?
2.  Acts 2:47 - Says the Lord "added" the saved
	a.  Added to what?
	b.  Added to the church, family of God, holy priesthood, body of Christ
	c.  Being saved is a new birth, and just the beginning
3.  Acts 2:41-47 - Shows us that it was just the beginning
	a.  They were "continually" devoting themselves to several things
	b.  This is the apostolic church, and an example for us
	c.  What kind of church is the 1st century church
	d.  What kind of church is the church always to be?
4.  Text shows us several characteristics

I.  Teaching (v.42) 
	A.  Apostles were obeying Christ's command
		1.  Make "disciples" of all the nations
			a.  Disciple is a student/apprentice
			b.  They were to learn Christ & the Christian life
		2.  Teach them everything I commanded you
		3.  We don't have the 12 apostles any more
		4.  But, they have passed on God's word in writing to us
	B.  We are talking about teaching from God's word
		1.  Many metaphors for the word 
			a.  2 Pet 1:19- Pay attention to it like a lamp in the dark
				- Word of God guides us in the darkness
				- Reveals what is good and what is bad
					-- In the dark, can't tell
					-- In the light, can avoid what is bad
					-- Evaluate every message, activity, 
 					   relationship, in light of word
				- Guides us to our destination
			b.  Eph 6:17 - Sword of the Spirit
				- Offensive part of armor of God
				- We are in a battle, battle of the mind & soul
				- Fight off false messages of the world 
			c.  Heb 4:12 - A living, active surgical sword
				- Can cut and lay bare your mind and soul
				- Able to discern thoughts and intention
				- Word is God's tool to carve the cancers out of your 
   				   soul so you can grow healthy
			d.  But the metaphor I like is the next one...
		2.  (1 Pet 2:2) - Like newborn babes, long for pure milk of the word
			a.  I used to get the wrong idea about this passage
				- Used to hear about certain teaching being milk
				- We have to move from milk to meat
				- That is not what Peter is saying
			b.  Talking about how we should long for the word
			c.   Like a baby, longs for milk
	C.  ILL:  I was noticing my granddaughter "longing" for milk
		1.  She let's everyone knows when she "longs" for milk
		2.  First she will start to try, and if she doesn't get it, gets louder
		3.  You can try to talk to her, let her know it is coming
			a.  Until she gets it, nothing else will do
			b.  Her eyes are clenched shut, her mouth is open
			c.  As soon as the nipple gets to her mouth...
				- Quiet, content
				- Eyes are open again
			d.  And she continues to grow
		4.  We need to long for the word of God that way
			a.  Desire it regularly and often
			b.  Col 3:16 - Let the word of God "richly" dwell in you
			c.  Then we will grow
	D.  (Eph 4:20-24) - Learning the Word is about learning Christ
		1.  Lay aside the old self, with its worldly corruption
			a. Not me first any more, but God and others
			b. Not about trying to be happy, but being godly
			c.  Not about building a home here, but about the home 
 			    Christ is building for us
			d. We are no longer of this world
		2.  Put on the new self, which is in the likeness of God
			a.  We imitate Christ
			b.  We lay our lives down daily for Christ
			c.  Our joy, life, love is all in Christ
		3.  It is not about learning Bible facts, but about growing in 
  		    godliness like Christ 

II.  Fellowshipping 
	A.  Like all these other things, fellowship was not optional
		1.  They devoted themselves to it
		2.  Fellowship was just as important as teaching, and prayer
	B.  What does Christian "fellowship" look like?
		1.  What can we get from the text?
			a.  They were "together"
			b.  Sharing with those in need - service
				- Much deeper that just casual foyer fellowship
				- They had all things in common
			c.  In each other's homes
				- Breaking bread, not in temple, but house to house
				- They were involved in each other's lives
		2.  They were a reflection of the spiritual reality
			a.  Eph 2 - Christ brought them together as one
				- They are one body, one church
				- Jesus is building His church, it is his creation
				- Therefore, fellowship is not optional
			b.  This is why we have all those one another passages:
				- Ones that talk about service to one another
					-- 1 Cor 12:25 - Same care for one another  
					-- Gal 5:13 - Through love, serve one another
					-- Gal 6:2 - Bear one another's burdens
				- Ones that talk about encouragement, comfort
					-- Rom 12:15 - Weep with those who weep
						Rejoice with those who rejoice
					-- 1 Thess 5:13 - Encourage one another, and
						build each other up
					-- Heb 10:24 - Stimulate one another to love 
						and good deeds
				- Ones that talk about attitude toward each other
					-- Eph 4:32 - Be kind to one another, 
 					   tenderhearted, forgiving
					-- Eph 5:21 - Be subject to one another
					-- Col 3:1`3 - Bear with one another
					-- 1 Jn 4:7 - Love one another
				- One that remind us of why
					-- Rom 15:7 - Accept one another
						= As Christ accepted you
						= God accepted brother, so should you
					-- Rom 12:10 - Be devoted to one another in 
 					   brotherly love
						= Not just love, but brotherly love
						= We have all been adopted as God's 
 						   children
					-- God created the fellowship of believers
					-- We are to live up to it
		3.  Therefore, fellowship is not optional  
		4.  Goes much farther beyond what happens in the foyer
	C.  ILL:  It is like when you are born into your family
		1.  Being a son or daughter is not optional, you just are
		2.  Don't always act like it, but what do parents say?
			a.  That is your brother or your sister
			b.  You are family, act like it
		3.  You don't just decide whether to be family, you just are
		4.  What you decide is if you are going to act like family
	D.  God wants us to act like family
		1.  He adopted us into his family
		2.  We are all brothers and sisters

III.  Worshiping  
	A.  There are several indications of this in the text
		1.  Text said they were devoted to prayer
		2.  They continued with one mind in the temple
			a.  Temple was a place of worship
			b.  Get the idea that worship was a regular occurrence
		3.  Last verse said they were praising God
	B.  Worship is response to God
		1.  First act of individual worship, Cain and Able 
			a.  They brought the produce as offerings to God
			b.  This was appropriate, since God is giver and sustainer of 
 			     life
		2.  First act as a people, Israel on the banks of the Red Sea
			a.  They offered up singing, praising, and rejoicing
			b.  Appropriate, God redeemed them from oppression
			c.  This was a dim preview of what was to come
				- Jesus would become our deliverance from 
 				  oppression of sin
		3.  See worship to God the creator and Jesus the redeemer
			a.  (Rev 4:11) - Worship to God the creator
			b.  (Rev 5:8-10) - Worship to Jesus the redeemer
	C.  ILL: Heard about a congregation who did things backwards
		1.  Message was at the beginning, singing and praying next, 
 		    communion last
		2.  Reason - Worship is response, so began with a message from 
 		    God's word
			a.  Response was worship, singing, prayer, praise
			b.  Sometimes it was songs and prayers of repentance
			c.  Sometimes it was songs and prayer of praise and joy
		3.  Toward the end of the service was communion around the 
 		     Lord's table
	D.  Worship is response to God
		1.  Remember that when we come together to worship
		2.  We are not initiating anything, we are responding to God
		3.  He loved us first, and we respond

IV.  Evangelistic 
	A.  Lord was adding to their number daily those who were being saved
		1.  Imagine having daily conversions!
		2.  On campaigns I have seen daily conversions.  Fantastic
	B.  God has always called his people to be evangelistic
		1.  (Ex 19:6) - Called Israel a kingdom of priests
			a.  Not just Levites, but all of them
			b.  What does that mean?
			c.  Function of a Priest?  
				- Mediate the presence of God to the people
				- (Mal 2:7) - Preserve knowledge, messenger of Lord
				- The priest's are to know what God requires and pass 
 				  that knowledge on
		2.  (1 Pet 2:9) - We, the church, are a royal priesthood
			a.  So that we may proclaim his excellencies
			b.  Bring people to God through Jesus the High Priest
		3.  This is why we, the church are called...
			a.  The Light of the World
			b.  Pillar and Support of Truth
			c.  Body of Christ
		4.  We carry out God's mission  (inv)
	C.  ILL:  Being an evangelistic people is a reflection of our Lord
		1.  Jn 8:12 - Jesus said "I am the Light of the World"
			a.  Mt 5:14 - Says, "You are the Light of the World"
			b.  We want to be godly, want to be like Christ
		2.  Phillip Bliss wrote "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning" in 1871
			a.  Not sure if it is in the hymnal we have
			b.  Inspired by a story he heard in one of Dwight Moody's 
  			    sermons in Chicago
		3. Story:  Dark stormy night as ship coming toward shore  
			a.  Captain only see light from lighthouse
			b.  Asked, pilot, "You sure this is Cleveland?"  Yes
			c.  Then were are the lower lights?  (Needed them to see the 
 			     opening of the channel to the harbor)
			d.  Must have gone out sir.  Tried to go into harbor, but smash 
				against the rocks, many died
	D.  Jesus is the lighthouse and will take care of that light
		1.  But we must take care of the lower lights
		2.  We must keep them burning
		3.  The church is to be an evangelistic people

Concl: 
1.  Like the first century church, we are a teaching, fellowshipping, worshipping, evangelistic people
2.  Want to highlight fellowship.  
	a.  Fellowship is something created by God 
	b.  Like teaching, worship and evangelism, it is not optional for the church
	c.  We have a meeting time devoted to worship and to teaching
	d.  We also have one devoted to Fellowship - Life Groups
3.  Explain what Life Groups are:
	a.  8-12 people to meet in a small group to discuss personal application of 
     	    the Sunday morning sermon
	b.  A place to "share" life, using SHARE acronym...
		1.  Service - We minister and serve together as opportunities arise
		2.  Healing - Emotional and Spiritual healing
			-  Involves praying & relying on Godís power
		3.  Apply - Focus on specific personal application of the word
		4.  Relationship
			a.  Auditorium great for worship and sermons
			b.  Not a very good place to build relationships
			c.  Life Groups a great place to do this
			d.  Many connected in a way they would have otherwise
		5.  Evangelism - Not closed groups, encouraged to invite outsiders
			- Visitors witness Christianity in action, empty chair
	C.  Format - 8-12 people in homes weekly
		1.  Sign up lists
		2.  Each group have at least one trained facilitator
	D.  Why Life Groups?
		1.  Because we value fellowship, it is not optional
			a.  As we have devoted meeting times for worship and study
			b.  We also devote meeting time for fellowship
			c.  We recognize it takes more than what happens in foyer
		2.  Helps us be more like a family
			a.  A sick person in family not go unnoticed
			b.  A missing person will not go unnoticed
			c.  Not left to fend for self. 
		3.  Better way to learn
			a.  Combines Sunday morning and evening into one
			b.  Sunday evening is practical application of the message
		3.  Ministry happens naturally
		4.  Evangelism happens naturally
4.  I strongly urge you to sign up for a group