A Covenant Community for the City: Part 1

By David Robinson/ September 4, 2016

Series  Christian Discipleship

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  The Church

Scripture  Acts 2:40-47

A healthy church is one which follows the biblical model and not merely one which exhibits sound institutional management. The early Church in Acts 2 gives us four important congregational activities to reflect upon and challenge us.

Speaker:  David Robinson

Scripture:  Acts 2:40-47

Sermon Notes:

  1. We tend to think of the church in institutional, organizational terms. Organization and administration are good – God is a God of order (cf. Gen. 1:3ff; 1 Cor. 14:33), but the heart of the church is our life together.
  2. God operates in the particular, not the abstract. He is at work in history, in the particulars of each of our lives.
  3. Broadly, Scripture lays out how we ought to live, and that is worked out particularly in our day-to-day activities.
  4. We have fellowship with one another because of our fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  5. God’s people are marked by two things in Acts 2: a people who are saved, and devoted.
  6. The church in Acts 2 devoted itself to four things: the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42).
  7. The apostles’ teaching is the Word of God, it defines and governs who we are and what we do.
  8. Scripture is central to the shared life of God’s people (Ps. 119:105). The rest of the church’s activities are informed and defined by God’s Word.
  9. The fellowship, or community, exists because of the common life that we share in Christ, and the salvation that God is working in each of us.
  10. We live in fellowship by looking out for one another in terms of physical, material needs as well as spiritual needs (cf. 1 Jn. 5:16).
  11. Small group settings are a way to build deeper and more intimate fellowship with our brothers and sisters.
  12. Our fellowship is itself a gift.
  13. The breaking of bread is a particular expression of the fellowship we have as believers. This refers both to the Lord’s Supper/ communion table on Sunday, as well as informal gatherings in our homes (Acts 2:46).
  14. The office of deacon was developed to make sure the church enjoyed fellowship in an orderly and abundant way.
  15. Christ is with us in our fellowship meals, and so we are to be devoted to the practice.
  16. Luke’s use of the definite article (the prayers) is a reference to a time of formal, deliberate worship (Acts 2:42).
  17. Lots of people get together, but Christians are those who gather in a spirit of fellowship with God, aware that we are in Christ.
  18. Prayer is the expression of our fellowship and communion with God in Christ, and it is fitting that our time together is marked by prayer.
  19. We are not only saved from a crooked generation, but for a crooked generation, to bear witness to Christ.

Application Questions:

  1. What does it mean to describe the believer as one who is being saved?
  2. What are some ways we can look out for the physical and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ this week?
  3. Why should we build deeper and closer relationships with members of our church family?
  4. How do we prepare to come to the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner (1 Cor. 11:27)?

Sermon Notes