Writings on Christianity

Acts 4:32-5:16 Sermon Outline

Here’s the notes for my sermon on Acts 4:32-5:16 “Great Works of God” preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville. You can find the audio here.

“Great Works of God” (Acts 4:32-5:16)

INTRO: Much of the Christian life, is what we would consider ordinary seasons of God’s grace in our lives.
        -God sustains us, helps us fight temptation, nourishes us through his word/prayer/fellowship
                    -I think this is typical experience for the Christian.
-But, God does also bring about seasons of extraordinary blessings: to build up his people & establish his church
        -These seasons are not common, but do happen and are wonderful.
             -Great visible blessings, revival, mass conversions, repentance, powerful movements of God on His people. Examples: -Exodus: God’s extraordinary blessing in bring his people our Egypt: parting of sea, manna,
                    -Joshua: God’s extraordinary blessing in giving the land: sun standing still, massive hailstones (Joshu 10:11)
                    -Jesus: God’s extraordinary blessings through the Messiah: healings, miracles.
Today, we see a season in the church with a series of extraordinary blessings & experiences
        –Great power in preaching; Great grace in the church leading to radical generosity;
        –Great reverence for God; Great growth in the church; Great miracles
-Rejoice in God and in the great works he did then—isn’t God amazing?
        -God, do it again: do a great work in our midst for your glory.

 *Considering the great ways God worked in the past, leads us to rejoice in the present and hope for the future!*  CONTEXT Reminder
        -Jesus gave his church commission and promise of H.S.; Jesus ascended into heaven
                    -H.S. came on Pentecost and filled believers. Apostles preaching, church expanded
                                -Acts 3-4: Miraculous Sign, Sermon, Arrest, Prayer to Keep preaching: 4:29-30.
                                            -Today is further answer to 4:29-30.
                                                        -Great power in preaching, signs, miracles, blessing.
                                                                    -“Great” is word/concept that ties this section together (4:33a, 33b, 5:5; 5:11)
*Considering the great ways God worked in the past, leads us to rejoice in the present and hope for the future!* 

1. Great Power in Preaching (4:33a)
PREACHING was an essential ministry of the apostles—and Christians today.
        -Jesus called us to ‘be his witnesses’ and that means we are called to bear witness to Jesus.
                    –GREAT POWER: “with GREAT power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
                                -God blessed the preaching of the apostles in a special way.
                                            -George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham
                    -GREAT POWER SHOWS ITSELF: Conviction of Sin, Faith, Repentance, Renewed Joy in God
TODAY: We can pray for “great power” in the preaching: God is the one who bring it about!
        –APPLICATION: pray for our Sunday morning gathering; pray for your heart, children’s, visitors.

2. Great Grace in the Church (4:32, 33b-37)
: “Great grace was upon them all” v 33b.
        -GREAT Grace in unity: 4:32the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul
               -Manifested in sacrificial, generous sharing: 4:32b, 33-35.
                    -Note, does not mean we need to embrace a communist shared attitude
                                -But does show beautiful picture of generosity in local church.
        -GREAT Grace in Barnabas (36-37)
                    -Introduction to Barnabas, who later went on missionary journeys with Paul.
TODAY: This challenges us to radical generosity.
        ENCOURAGEMENT: I see a lot of generosity already (sharing cars, possessions!)
                    –CHALLENGE: How can we grow in this?
                                -CURRENT NEEDS: Citylights Church in Chicago is ministering to homeless immigrants
                                                                                -Partnering with other A29 churches to help.
                                –ANOTHER NEED: FMSC
                                            -We sponsored an a pallet of food at FMSC? What if grew even more in this? Sponsored pallet?
-God bring about great grace in my life.
                    -Bring about great grace in our church

3. Great Reverence for God (5:1-11)
Here we have the sad story of Ananias and Sapphira, who were dishonest and lied about how much they sold their property for and experience God’s swift judgment. But one thing that came of this was a renewed GREAT REVERENCE for God.
        -Husband and wife, who sold piece of property (1)
                    -Together theykept back part of the proceeds” and only brought part to apostles (2)
        -Peter confronts Ananias (3-4): “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
-Ananias did not have to give it or give all proceeds (4a), but chose to lie about amount.
                                -Perhaps they wanted the benefit of looking like they gave a lot? Or agreed to give all. We don’t know.
                                            –Main point: they lied about what they gave.
        SIDE POINT: Note the DEITY of Holy Spirit: v 3 ‘lied to Holy Spirit’ and v 4 ‘lied to God’
                    -Here we are reminded of full deity of the Holy Spirit.
        -Ananias Experienced God’s Judgment for Sin (5a)
                    -God took his life.
                                -If he was not a Christian, then this was a judgment on sin.
                                -If he was a genuine believer, then this was discipline. See 1 Cor 11:27-32
                                            -Note: NOT all sickness, disease, death is discipline for sin, but some is!
        -Beholding Justice of God Led to great fear (5b): “And great fear came upon all who heard of it.”
-This is “fear of God”=a holy reverence, awe, deep awareness of God utter greatness/power/majesty
                                -Right and proper attitude for Christians: Prov 1:7 ‘fear of the Lord beginning of knowledge’
        -Ananias is buried and then Sapphira Experienced Same Judgment (6-10)
-GREAT FEAR (11): And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
                                -Though Satan wanted this to sidetrack and ruin the church, God used it GREAT fear of Him instead.

*APPLICATION: We live in a time where there is little reverence for God. We fear man more than God.
        -How do you tend to fear man more than God? Or fear circumstance more than God?
        -We were made to fear God and reverence Him as king. But because of sin, we don’t.
                    -In love, Jesus came to deal with our sins.
                                -He lived a righteous life, and died on cross for our sins, including not fearing God.
                                            -Now, through faith in Him, we rejoice and seek to live out the fear of God.

4. Great Growth in the Church and Great Miracles by the Apostles (4:12-16)
There are seasons of revival, mass turning to the Lord. And this was one of them!
        -Season of Signs & wonders (12a): Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles.
-Miraculous events to SHOW truth of the gospel & strengthen faith of the church
                                -“regularly done” show extraordinary season.
                                –“by the hands of the apostles” = unique to the apostles, should not expect them now.
                    -Sense of awe of the apostles (13) None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.
Season of GREAT Growth (14) And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,
                    -“MORE than ever” highlights the extraordinary season.
                                -Church does go through these during times of revival (Great Awakening)
                                            -Wonderful seasons, we should pray more this to happen again!
        -Season of GREAT HEALING MIRACLES (15-16)
-15b “so that they even…[Peter’s] shadow might fall on them”
16: Surrounding towns are bringing people.
                                -“they were ALL healed”=extraordinary and wonderful!
        –ASSURANCE: we are meant to be reassured of how God truly did establish his kingdom on Earth.
                    -God still establishing & expanding his kingdom today, and we hope in him as he brings it about!
                                -Pray for GREAT power in preaching, GREAT grace in our lives, GREAT fear,
                                            -GREAT WORKS of God, and GREAT faith to trust in Him.

*Considering the great ways God worked in the past, leads us to rejoice in the present and hope for the future!*

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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