Dr. Oscar T. Moses
Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church of Chicago
W.A.R. Bible Study
November 5, 2019
Christian Family Value System – Part 4a
Establishing Christian Responsibility to God’s Church – (Maturation)
One of the mantras of my life is “clear expectations”. When expectations are clear confusion is minimalized. Today, I want to teach about what is clearly expected by God of every member of the Church. The pastor has a responsibility to teach. However, I want to be clear that members of the church share vital responsibilities also. Church members often hold the belief that the pastor is solely responsible for the health of the church but this belief is not biblical.
The critical question is; What are the biblical responsibilities of the members of the church and how should these responsibilities be imparted as a Christian Family Value? It is fundamental that we are clear on this question because our responsibility to God’s Church constitutes our values as Christians.
Our overall responsibility to God’s Church is maturation. We have a responsibility to mature in the faith as believers. However, maturation comes as a result of what one does over a given period of time. Today’s lesson depicts a continuous lifestyle of the Christians that made up the early church. Their responsible, continuous lifestyle resulted in a growing and maturing church. Spiritual maturation is a core principle in establishing a Christian Family Value System.
Acts Chapter 2 is the Birth of the Church. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirited descended upon the believers in an upper room. They began to speak other languages that they had never spoken before. The people were amazed that Galileans were speaking foreign languages. Some thought they were drunk but Peter explained in the church’s first sermon. He reminded them of the prophet Joel saying in Acts 2:17-21- “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Peter’s sermon caused a reaction. They were pricked in their hearts and asked Peter, “What shall we do?” (Verse 37). Peter made an appeal to those who were present saying, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Peter’s appeal was that they would be saved. That day 3,000 people joined the church and birthed a Christian movement. However, the movement was not intended to cease because verse 42 says, “And they continued steadfastly.” What does “continued steadfastly” mean? “Proskartereo” is the word rendered for “continued”. This word means to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a specific thing. It means to continue all the time in a place, to persevere and not to faint. The early Church Christians valued the Church and they also valued their responsibility to the Church. The following verses outline their responsibilities:
- Verse 42 – They were continuous steadfastly in the TRUTH: The Apostles Doctrine, the TIE: Fellowship, the TABLE: Breaking of Bread and the THRONE:
- Verse 43 – And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. Because of the commanding display of power and miracles rendered through the Holy Spirit there was a deep reverence for God. The apostles were empowered with special gifts to establish the foundation of the infant church.
- Verse 44 – And all that believed were together, and had all things common; They believers joined themselves together because they embraced similar values.
- Verse 45 – And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. They made sacrifices for the common good and goals of the church and each member was deemed necessary to be healthy.
- Verse 46 – And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. The temple was apart of their daily concern and existence. Fellowshipping with other believers became essential to the success of the church.
- Verse 47 – Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. The early Church had a clear understanding that all blessings were attributed to God and God alone was worthy of public adoration and thanksgiving. Because the infant church valued these principles, God responded daily with souls being saved.
- What is meant by the apostle’s doctrine, fellowship, table and throne?
- Why did fear come upon every soul?
- Why were many signs and wonders done by the apostles?
- What does verse mean “They were together and had all things in common”?
- What is the significance of verse 45?
- Why is “one accord” essential in verse 46?
- What does, breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart mean?
- Why do you think it is important the writer describes the church “praising God and having favor with all people?”
- How does the Lord respond to what the people valued and took responsibility to do?
Group Study Questions
How do the following attributes define our responsibilities to the church?
Prayer (Acts 1:14, 24, Acts 2:42, Acts 3:1, Acts 4:23-31, Acts 12:5)
Presence (Acts 2:42, Romans 10:17, Hebrews 10:25, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Corinthians 14:1, Ephesians 4:11-13)
Providing (Proverbs 3:9-10, Malachi 3:8, 2 Corinthians 9:7, 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Luke 6:38, 1 Timothy 6:10)
Protection (Romans 16:17, Ephesians 4:29, 1 Corinthians 11:18, 1 Corinthians 10:2, Acts 8:3, Acts 12:1, 3 John 1:10
Praise (Acts 2:47, Hebrews 2:12, Psalm 68:26, Psalm 150:1-6, Psalm 95:1-11, James 5:13, Psalm 100:1-5, Psalm 34:1-2)
Promotion (Psalm 66:16, Psalm 40:9-10, Revelation 12:11, 2 Timothy 1:8, Romans 1:16, Acts 11:22, Acts 15:4, Acts 18:22, Ephesians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 14:12, Ephesians 3:10)
What is your response to the following statements?
- Christian growth is based off of our interaction with other people.
- Every confessing Christian should be a part of the movement that Christ died for.
- The Church is the vehicle in which true believers find expression for their love of Christ.
NOTE: Next week we will address how the following topics relate to a Christian Family Values System and what is the Christians responsibility to the Church.
Worship, Evangelism, Fellowship, Discipleship and Stewardship
Dr. Oscar T. Moses
Rights reserved by Dr. Oscar T. Moses – “Christian Family Value System” – W.A.R. Bible Studies – 2019