The Partnership of the Triumphant Church

Bible Book: Acts  2 : 42-47
Subject: Church Life; Unity; Partnership in Church; Church Fellowship
Introduction

A Triumphant Church is a church in unity and faithful partnership in the King’s business. So, our subject tonight is partnership or unity within the church. Unity is a beautiful and vital part of God’s work in His people. In a world where people are at war with each other, God’s people should show the nature of God’s love in their unity with each other.

A man went to his doctor to get some medicine to calm his nerves. He had been on edge and was short with almost everybody he talked. The doctor gave him a prescription and the man filled it. Two weeks later he went back to the doctor and asked him to change the prescription. The doctor asked, “Is the medicine not working?” The man replied, “Oh yes, it is working, it is just that I’m beginning to be nice to people at church that I don’t even like.”

Some people in the church family are simply crabby, touchy and cantankerous. They usually have a conflict with every that comes to the church and every leader who holds a position of authority in the fellowship. Others simply clash in personality. Some differ over decisions that the church members make.

Church division is a major cause of people dropping out of church attendance and participation. Certainly that is no excuse for departing for the work and ministry of the church, but it is true that any pastor who has led a church very long will find people who say, “Well, preacher, I just quit because I got my feelings hurt. “ What a shame! It seems that people like that have forgotten what our Lord suffered to save them. Also, they have never learned or pushed aside the memory of the precious saints who were martyred for the faith. Bruised feelings do not qualify as a reason to forsake the local church. Christ died for the Church and gave Himself for her.

The early church, as described in Acts 2, was a church of wonderful unity. Tonight we are going to look at that unity and see the Nature of their Unity, the Cause of their Unity and the Results of their Unity.

I. The Nature of their Unity

A. The Same Deficiency

All of them were sinners saved by grace and they knew it. They were alike in the fact that each one had to admit he was no good in order to get into the church. Look at Psalm 53:3. All have gone astray. There is no one who is righteous. This is a basic principle by which we must come to unity in the church. We are all nothing without Jesus! John said that we are liars if we say that we have not sinned (1 John 1:8). Unity begins at the Cross where we all kneel before the Master and admit our likeness in being sinners.

B. The Same Deliverer

Jesus creates our unity. Acts 4:12 states that there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved. John reminded us of Jesus’ own words, “No man comes to Father but by me.” We are united in the One who redeems us. The Christian life in the kingdom is like a triangle. No matter how far apart we are on the horizontal lines of difference, we are united when the vertical lines bring us to a point – to Jesus! Christ loved Simon Peter even after he had denied the Jesus at the time of his greatest need. We are to love just as Jesus loved. When we are united in Him, it removes the minor, and even major, things that divide us.

C. The Same Divinity

The Spirit of God resides in each of us. Look at Romans 8:9. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-14. The Holy Spirit dwells in us. We have the same Lord in our very being. We are all of one family. We are all of one body. We are the Body of Christ and He is the Head! The same Holy Spirit that resides in me resides in you. He can lead us to a unity of love, fellowship, service, worship and church participation.

D. The Same Destiny

We are all on our way to heaven. We are going to live together over there so we ought to get along with each other down here. It is easy to see that the things that separate the people of God are not nearly as important as the things which unite us.

The poet mused:

“To dwell above with those we love,

That will be glory;

But, to live below with those we now,

Now that is another story.”

Well, it shouldn’t be! We are one people, with one Lord and we are all going to live in one heaven. The early church members seemed to know that and it helped them unite in the great work God had given them.

II. The Cause of their Unity

The New Testament Church had three things that helped draw them together. There are others I am sure, but these three are significant. When we get our attention off ourselves and onto the right things, unity is the result!

A. Devoted to Learning

There focused on the Word of God. My dear friends, the Word of God unites God’s people. We study together, worship together and learn together around God’s Word. The early Christians were devoted to the Word. Now, remember, they didn’t have the New Testament we have. They had the word of the Apostles, to be sure, but they mostly studied New Testament truth by discerning the application from the Old Testament. They saw Jesus on every page. They knew He was the Serpent on the Pole in the day of Moses. They knew He was the Water from the Rock in the Wilderness. They knew He was the Lamb of sacrifice as the people left Egypt. That devotion to Him and His Word united them.

B. Determined in Loving

They loved each other. This was not any easier for them than it is for you. They had to be determined to make this a way of life. They remember that our Lord had given them a New Commandment – that they should love one another as He loved them. Oh, that we could re-learn that lesson among the members of the churches that make up the congregations in this modern day.

C. Dedicated in Looking

They looked to God faithfully. They did not get their focus on the world, and not even on each other. They were faithful in pray and praise – twin ways to focus on God. We have two eyes and they should remind us to pray and praise. One is worship and the other is fellowship with Him.

They were also looking for His coming. They had their eyes on the skies. We ought to live as God’s people as if Jesus were coming today. We would want Him to find us in loving, united fellowship, if He should come today.

III. The Results of their Unity

A. Joy for the Church

This passage resounds with joy. A united church is a church of joy and happiness. Disunity brings pain and sorrow. We are promised a joy unspeakable and full of glory, and it is impossible to know that joy if we are in conflict. The Lord prayed in John 17 for us to know His joy. That joy was so wonderful that we are told in Hebrew 12:3 that it gave Him strength to endure the cross of Calvary. If it could do that for Him, it can do that for you. You can bear any cross He gives you with joy, if you will submit to the joy He provides.

B. Influence through the Church

The world sat up and took notice of them. Why? We are told that the people recognized how they loved one another. The world saw them working together and accomplishing great things in unity. Look at verse 47. It says clearly that they had favor with all the people.

It is a terrible thing that Christians within some congregations actual take one another to court for control of the organization. Beyond the local church, we discover some leaders suing each other over control of denominational issues. What a sad and defeating activity! The New Testament shocked the world with their love and we ought to be doing the same.

I thank God for this church. There is an unusual unity here. Members mention to me often that they have never been in a fellowship that is as unified and sweet as this one. How it gladdens my heart to hear that and see. That is one reason we are growing in faith and in numbers. It is a credit to your commitment to our Lord. But, we must never take this unity for granted. We must always remember that our influence on our city and area is limited to our unity in God’s work.

C. Growth in the Church

The Lord added DAILY to their number. People were being saved everyday! What a church. Since someone was being added to the church (the Body of Christ) daily, it meant that the church was winning a minimum of 365 people a year to Christ. Oh, that we had such a goal. We should never be satisfied with 100 baptisms a year. There are people to reach and we must lock hearts and arms to reach them.

Conclusion

These early church members were unity in nature, in cause and in results. Let us go and do likewise. God still blesses a unified church and He always will.