DEMONSTRATION OF GRACE IN THE CHURCH
ACTS 2:41-43; Acts 4:32-33
July 25, 2007 Wed p.m.
Grace—no other word could best describe the working of God in the life of our church and in my life as a Christian. Year after year, day after day, God’s grace has sustained me in every situation. Whether I am flying down the hill of blessing or climbing slowly up the
slope of struggle—God’s rewarding grace is always there.
Perhaps no other church in human history ever experienced the rewarding grace of God quite like the church at Jerusalem. The Bible records in Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
It is obvious that there was something very special about this church. God’s hand was upon them. Souls were being saved. People were being baptized. Lives were being changed. What was the reason for all of this? The Bible tells us in Acts 4:33, “...great grace was upon them all.” The answer is found in the grace of God. I hope that if someone were to write about your life’s history they would be able to say, “Great grace was upon his life.”
Notice three manifestations of the rewarding grace of God in the lives of His people. As you read these three demonstrations of grace, take a test, and see if they are present in your own life.
I- GRACIOUS SPIRIT
The grace of God caused the believers in Jerusalem to have a gracious spirit. The Bible says in Acts
4:32, “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul…” Instead of division, strife, and biting we let our heart, soul, and mind filled by the controlling power of the Spirit.
We hear of organizations that talk a lot about company unity, but this is not the unity the Bible is referring to in this passage. This unity was a result of the graciousness in their spirit.
Look again in Acts 2:44, “And all that believed were together;”. If you are a believer, you must not be out of place.
And in Acts 2:46, “And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple,” Unity must be a continuing practice in our Christian life and service.
II- GREAT SOUL-WINNER
The grace of God will also cause a believer to be a great soulwinner. Acts 4:33 says, “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” This church was so filled with the Holy Spirit and so yielded to His leading in their lives that they did not go anywhere without telling someone else about Jesus Christ. And you will know that you are filled with the Holy Spirit not because you speak in tongues, but rather, because you will tell others about Jesus everywhere you go. The grace of God was manifested in their desire to win souls.
III- GENEROUS STEWARDSHIP
There is no greater evidence of the grace of God in the life of a Christian than the evidence of generosity in their giving. Jesus said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave…” When God’s grace is at work in the heart of a believer, one of the manifestations is a giving spirit. Back in Jerusalem church, in Acts 2: 45, “And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” They were part of giving projects in their local church.
2 Corinthians 8:7 says, “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith,
and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us,
see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by
occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your
love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was
rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might
2 Corinthians 8:7 says, “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
The book of Acts records that people were becoming spontaneous in their giving. If you want a church like the first-century church at Jerusalem then be generous in your giving. It is often said that in most churches 20% of the people do 80% of the giving. What a tragedy! You will never experience the rewarding grace of God in your life until you first learn how to be generous in your stewardship.
The rewarding grace of God is seen through a gracious spirit, generous stewardship, and a desire to be a great soulwinner. How are you doing? Are you experiencing God’s grace in your life?