10 SIGNS OF A HEALTHY CHURCH
TOPICAL: Being sent out by the Holy Spirit they encountered a sorcerer. ACTS 13:9 Then [Paul]…filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
1. Boldness and Spiritual Power” – you have to be bold in battle.
The Enemy is Full of Deceit – to gain control and pervert the right way.
13 Paul came to Perga…and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. 15 After the reading of the Law & the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”
2. Reading and Exhortation- urging someone to do something.
Sin is exposed and Grace abounds.
16 – 23 God brings deliverance from David’s seed, “according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus…26 “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent….28 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. 29 Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead. 31 He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. 32 And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers.
3. Feed the saints; warn the sinners.
A. PRIMARY: To those who fear God.
We’re not to be seeker-sensitive in avoiding truth, but we are to be sensitive in how we represent God.
B. SECONDARY: To those who need to fear God – “warns despisers.”
1 Cor. 14:24 [if] an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.”
…38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: 41 ‘Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you.’”
4. Centers on Jesus Christ – Have you been justified?
“This Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins.”
We can become so busy and miss why we’re really here.
42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
5. Spiritual Hunger – you either love it or hate it.
People are comfortable in dead churches because they don’t offend, alarm, or upset them.
William Still – “Many, who for the first time, come under the sound of Holy Ghost preaching are mortally offended…because they have never been exposed to the white light of the Spirit.”
44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
6. Growth – Numerically and Spiritually
*A sabbath day of rest [ceremonial] – Christians are not required to keep “the law ” (Acts 15); The covenant that God made with the Israelites is now obsolete (Heb. 8:13). ~ Circumcision, weekly showbread, Levitical Priesthood, etc.
48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
7. Salvations Follow – Are you saved?
Tasso – to properly arrange – to put in order. [PREPARED]
“Since you reject [the word of God], and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles” (v 46).
2 Corinthians 3:16, “…when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
STRONGS: “Indicating an immediate and decisive change, consequent upon a deliberate choice. Conversion is a voluntary act in response to the truth.”
After salvation: 2 Sacraments – why not get baptized?
49 And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. 50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
8. Filled with Joy and the Holy Spirit – not disunity and quarreling.
ACTS 14:1-2 Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.
9. There is Conflict – spiritual warfare
No gain without strain – Too many run from the heat before the refining process is complete.
CLOSING: How healthy are you spiritually speaking?
Corporate Fast: begin to remove hindrances. On July 2nd
10. There is prayer [communication] – restoration and renewal.
In Nepal, they would push pillows up against their faces to not be heard.
E.M. BOUNDS ~ “The little estimate we put on prayer is evidence from the little time we give to it.”
An Asian Harvest, “In Western Christianity the power of the importance of baptism has largely been lost. In other parts of the world, however, baptism remains the most vital and dangerous action a believer can take…Thousands of believers are murdered each year following their baptism; it is a clear cut declaration to the spiritual realm that an individual has crossed the line from death to life.”
EXCUSES MUST END if you want to be spiritually healthy!