Essential Elements for Every Church (Acts 4:8-23)Pastor Justin Pratt, September 17, 2017
Part of the Miscellaneous series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
Peter and John and a beggar had been brought before the Sadducees because the beggar had been healed. The Sadducees questioned Peter and John on how the man had been healed, and why. They didn't believe that Peter and John had the right to preach. They were aggressive and angry. But when they left, all three of them returned to a local gathering of believers; a church. But why did they return to that church in particular?
Today, churches are always looking for ways to grow their membership. They scratch their heads and wonder why they aren't seeing souls saved or why they aren't seeing growth in their church. It's not about gimmicks or programs. It's not about being "seeker friendly." It's not about walking softly to avoid stepping on toes or preaching a prosperity message.
That church in Acts must have had something! They must have had a welcoming spirit, kind members, and forgiving hearts. These are among the essential elements that every church needs. We can never go wrong following these principles.
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8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 17But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. 22For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. 23And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. (KJV)