Matthew 7:24-29 – “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell — and great was its fall.” 28 When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” NASU
Ephesians 5:18-21 – “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” NASU
Even in a cursory reading of the New Testament, we see the incredible success and effect of the Early Church upon their world. The Sanhedrin were alarmed at this new movement and in Acts 5:28 lamented that the apostles had “filled Jerusalem with their doctrine.” In Acts 17:6 we find the declaration, “These that have turned the world upside down are come here too.”
I don’t know about you, but when I see that kind of success and the attention given by those who opposed their efforts, I take note. What was it about them that produced that kind of success? What did they have that many today do not seem to have? What did they do to achieve that kind of success and reaction?
According to the declaration of scripture, they were filled (crammed full and overflowing) with the Spirit of God. They walked in the Spirit, not the flesh. Their love passed all human reason and their prayers were effectual, fervent, and continual. They truly knew how to pray and were completely surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. He was first in their lives. They trusted God completely.
They had a foundation, a standard, and a goal and I believe that was key in their success. They believed all of God’s Words were true and depended completely upon the direction of the Spirit of God. They had learned to hear that still small voice that said, “this is the way, walk in it.”
- Their Foundation was Christ.
- Their Standard was the Word of God – (Based their lives on the Word).
- Their Convictions were God-given not tradition or man-made rules and regulations.
- Their Goal was Evangelization and Discipleship of the Entire World.
Their eternity depended upon the truthfulness and dependability of God’s Word and Promises. They were completely dependent on those words. A question I have been asked and asked comes to mind. Was the Success of the Early Church Reproducible? Can we see what they saw and experience the success and impact they enjoyed? The answer lies in what they did and who they were.
I hope you will journey with me in considering those thoughts. You may disagree but if you will hear me to the conclusion, I believe you might modify your disagreement a bit and hopefully, it will whet your appetite and instill a desire in you to experience more of God’s Presence and Fullness in this day.
We will pause here and pick this up next time as we consider their Foundation, Standard, and Goal.
May the richest of God’s blessings be yours as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!