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11—ACTS 2:41-42

STEADFAST IN THE APOSTLES DOCTRINE
Acts 2:41-42 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (42) And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

IN THE BOOK OF ACTS AS WELL AS OTHER NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES, WE GAIN INSIGHT INTO THE AUTHORITATIVE STANDARDS FOR A NT CHURCH.
1. First a church will be a people formed into a local congregation
       a. united by the Holy Spirit –

(Acts 4:33 ASV) And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
(Acts 13:2-3 ASV) And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. {3} Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
b. diligently seeking a faithful and loyal personal relationship with God and the Lord Jesus Christ
(Acts 16:5 ASV) So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
(Acts 20:7) And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight.

2. Through its powerful witness ––
a. sinners will be saved - born again –
(Acts 11:24 ASV) for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
b. baptized in water –
(Acts 10:44-48 ASV) While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word. {45} And they of the circumcision that believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit. {46} For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, {47} Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? {48} And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
c. added to the church –
(Acts 5:14 ASV) and believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of them and women;
d. they will partake of the Lord's Supper and wait for Christ's return –
1Cor 11:23-26; Col 1:27 (Acts 2:41-42) They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls. {42} And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.
3. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit will be
a. preached and communicated to new believers –
(Acts 2:39 ASV) For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him.
b. and His presence and power manifested.
4. The Gift's of the Holy Spirit's will be in operation
1Cor 12.4-11 (Rom 12:6-8 ASV) And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; {7} or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry; or he that teacheth, to his teaching; {8} or he that exhorteth, to his exhorting: he that giveth, let him do it with liberality; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.
(Eph 4:11-12 ASV) And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; {12} for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ:
a. including wonders, signs, and healings – 2:43; 4:30; 5:12; 6:8; 14:10; 19:11;
(Acts 28:8 ASV) And it was so, that the father of Publius lay sick of fever and dysentery: unto whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laying his hands on him healed him.
(Mark 16:18 ASV) they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
5. Believers will cast out demons – 5:16; 16:18; 19:12;
(Acts 8:7 ASV) For from many of those that had unclean spirits, they came out, crying with a loud voice: and many that were palsied, and that were lame, were healed.
(Mark 16:17 ASV) And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues.
6. There will be absolute loyalty to the Gospel
a. the original teachings of Christ and the apostles – Acts 2:42
(Eph 2:20 ASV) being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone.
b. the people will devote themselves to studying and obeying the Word of God –
Acts 6:4; 18:11; 2Tim 2:15; (Rom 15:18 ASV) For I will not dare to speak of any things save those which Christ wrought through me, for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed.
(Col 3:16 ASV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God.
7. On the first day of the week the local congregation will meet together for – [Acts 20:7; 1Cor 16:2]
a. worship and mutual edification through the Word of God –
(1Cor 14:26 ASV) What is it then, brethren? When ye come together, each one hath a psalm, hath a teaching, hath a revelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
b. and the manifestations of the Spirit –
(1Cor 12:7-11 ASV) But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal. {8} For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: {9} to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; {10} and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: {11} but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will.
8. The church will stand in humility, awe, and fear before the presence of the Holy God
Acts 5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
a. the people will be vitally concerned for the purity of the church.
b. disciplining sinning members and teachers not loyal to the Biblical faith –
1Cor 5:1-13 (Mat 18:15 ASV) And if thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
(Acts 20:28 ASV) Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood.
9. There will be an observable love and fellowship in the Spirit among the members
(Acts 2:44-46 ASV) And all that believed were together, and had all things common; {45} and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. {46} And day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,
(John 13:34 ASV) A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
a. not only in the local congregation, but also between other Bible believing churches – 
Acts 15:1-31; 2Cor 8:1-18.
10. The church will be a praying and fasting church
(Acts 1:14 ASV) These all with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
(Acts 6:4 ASV) But we will continue steadfastly in prayer, and in the ministry of the word.
(Acts 12:5 ASV) Peter therefore was kept in the prison: but prayer was made earnestly of the church unto God for him.
(Acts 13:2 ASV) And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
(Rom 12:12 ASV) rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing steadfastly in prayer;
(Eph 6:18 ASV) with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
(Col 4:2 ASV) Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving;
11. Believers will separate themselves from the prevailing world view and spirit of their surrounding culture
Acts 2:40 (Rom 12:2 ASV) And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
(2Cor 6:17 ASV) Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you.
(Gal 1:4 ASV) who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father:
(1John 2:15-16 ASV) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
12. There will be suffering and affliction because of the world and its ways
(Acts 4:1-3 ASV) And as they spake unto the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, {2} being sore troubled because they taught the people, and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. {3} And they laid hands on them, and put them in ward unto the morrow: for it was now eventide.
(Acts 9:16 ASV) for I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake.
(Acts 5:40 ASV) And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles unto them, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
(Acts 14:22 ASV) confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.
13. The church will actively help to send forth missionaries
(Acts 2:39 ASV) For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him.
(Acts 13:2-4 ASV) And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. {3} Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. {4} So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
14. No local church can truly call itself a New Testament church, unless these Biblical characteristics are in evidence.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Prayer requests: 1-918-224-3609
Mail: Pastor Ira L. Hargis
9238 Columbia St.
Sapulpa, Oklahoma USA 74066
Email:
pastoriralh@fireofrevival.com

Awesome links:
http://www.e-sword.net/, http://worldenglishbible.org/, http://www.jvim.com/, http://www.jsm.org/, http://www.netbible.com/

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