This week, Damion Walker continued in our “Empowered” sermon series through the book of Acts. Damion shared how the Lord dwells richly within the context of community. Before Jesus’ death and resurrection, He prepared His disciples by calling them to unity through the Holy Spirit. We want to emulate the early church as we seek to come closer together and experience the fullness of God among us.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
1 Corinthians 12:12
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
3 Characteristics of a Community Empowered by the Spirit
- Spirit Enabled Generosity & Concern for Another (Acts 2:44-45)
- God is our Supplier – Are you constrained by the limitations of your own capacity? Or are you filled with the knowledge and hope that you have access to the unlimited resources of Heaven? Choose faith in Him over fear of your insufficiency and lack.
- Generosity goes beyond money – Be generous with your life, influence, expertise, and time. Our overall generosity will reveal our heart posture.
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:10
- Commitment to Learning Together (Acts 2:42, 46)
- Renewed Minds by the Word of God – The Word of God must reign supreme over all our other thoughts. We have to recognize that we are wholly inadequate without His Word.
- Community-Centered Learning – We need to reframe how we learn about who God is by studying the word of God in humility and vulnerability together.
“As Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
- Persistence in Humble Fellowship (Acts 2:42, 44)
- On the day of Pentecost, the entire Christian church expanded from 120 to thousands. It had to be God bringing and holding them together. In the same way, it has to be Him through His Spirit holding us together today.
- The early church experienced racial tension, cultural misunderstanding, slander, and false accusations. Thenew testament writers exhorted believers to remain united, humble, patient, and quick to listen.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.
- What do you think is the primary roadblock that stands in the way of genuine Christian community?
- What causes us as believers to lack generosity (with our time, money, gifts)?
- How does being vulnerable with one another in community sharpen our faith?
- Damion said, “The Word of God must reign supreme over all our other thoughts.” How can we live in a way that elevates God’s Word that way?
- Be honest: What role do self-protection and entitlement play in keeping you from being in Christian community? Answer this question honestly this week.
- Damion said that we often cannot receive the fullness that God has for us because of the baggage we often carry (offense, rejection, etc.). Is there anything you need to repent of and release to the Lord in order to join community?