Acts 5:29-33 (NIV) 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” 33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.
Luke 1:1-4 (NIV) 1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
A three-part truth:
• God has manifested himself in the person of Jesus Christ.
• He died on the cross for our sin and then proved who he is by rising from the dead.
• His sacrifice has made possible a regenerative work of the Holy Spirit that now changes everything.
Joel 2:28 (NLT) “Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.”
Ezekiel 36:26-27 (ESV) “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
What are the “signs of life”?
1. They united into a congregation.
2. They shared to meet each other’s needs.
3. They worshiped in the Temple courts.
4. They met in small groups in homes for fellowship.
5. They celebrated communion.
6. They ate together.
Revelation 3:20 (KJV) “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Acts 2:42, 46-47 (NIV) They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. …They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.
7. They gave generously and joyfully.
Acts 2:45 (NIV) They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
Deuteronomy 26:4-10 (NIV) 4 The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God. 5 Then you shall declare before the Lord your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. 6 But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, subjecting us to harsh labor. 7 Then we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. 8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; 10 and now I bring the first fruits of the soil that you, Lord, have given me.” Place the basket before the Lord your God and bow down before him.
8. They built a reputation for love.
9. They built a reputation of self-control.
Hebrews 12:2-3 (NIV) …fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Heroes followed character over appearance.
Heroes had fidelity to something greater than their own hearts.
10. They brought people to Christ every day!
Acts 2:47 (NIV) …And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Growing Deeper Together
Use these points throughout the week as part of your quiet time, in your small group, or over coffee with a friend to help you apply what you learned in today’s message.
• Do you believe the three-part truth Shane laid out?
If you do, tell someone! Talk about it with a friend or family member.
If you aren’t sure yet or have questions, stay after service and talk with someone on the Prayer Team today.
• Review point #8. Are you building a reputation like the early Christians?
Meditate on these verses this week and ask God how you can show his love to others. Proverbs 3:27-28; Matthew 5:14-16; Matthew 25:40; Galatians 6:9-10; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 3:23-24; 1 Timothy 6:17-18; Titus 3:8; Hebrews 10:24; Hebrews 13:16.
• Look over all ten “signs of life” we see in Acts.
Where are you thriving and flourishing? How can you come alongside someone and encourage/support them in these areas? Will you welcome people into your home for a meal and conversation? Can you host or lead a small group? Who can you invite to church next week to hear the good news of Jesus?
With a passion for Christ that is undeniable, Shane directly involves his listeners in each message. He speaks with high energy and delivers powerful teaching that is relevant to current life issues.
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