Chapter Four — Part Seven: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 05/02/2021
1. One Family.
a. Acts 4:32 AMPC — Now the company of believers was of one heart and soul, and not one of them claimed that anything which he possessed was [exclusively] his own, but everything they had was in common and for the use of all.
b. When the Church is full of the power and presence of God, this is what we look like.
c. We are filled up and overflowing with the love of God toward each other.
d. We become open-hearted, kind, caring, selfless, gracious, hospitable, and exceedingly generous.
e. This is how you would expect family to behave toward one another.
f. We are not merely fellow believers, but we are family (Eph. 3:15).
g. 1 Peter 4:9 KJV — Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
h. Romans 12:13 AMPC — Contribute to the needs of God’s people [sharing in the necessities of the saints]; pursue the practice of hospitality.
i. It is just as important for the last-days Church to be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, love, and power, as it was for the Early Church!
a. Acts 4:33a AMPC — And with great strength and ability and power the apostles delivered their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus…
b. Resurrection is a key doctrinal pillar of the Church.
c. The resurrection sets Christianity and the Gospel apart from any other religion.
d. The essence of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ was crucified and died, and that He was raised from the dead, on our behalf.
e. Which is why Jesus Christ is the Only Way!
f. 1 Peter 3:18 AMPC — For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit.
g. We were IN HIM when He died and was raised up again.
h. We were raised up with Him and, therefore, are partakers of this resurrection life.
i. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 NKJV — But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
3. God’s Resurrection Plan.
a. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was foretold by the prophets.
b. Psalm 16:10 AMPC — For You will not abandon me to Sheol (the place of the dead), neither will You suffer Your holy one [Holy One] to see corruption.
c. They even prophesied our resurrection with Him!
d. Isaiah 26:19a KJV — Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.
e. Jesus Christ fulfilled every requirement for our complete salvation and redemption—spirit, soul, and body.
f. Romans 1:3-4 KJV — Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
g. Luke 24:44-48 NKJV — Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things.
h. The apostles and disciples were eyewitnesses to all these things and they testified to the Truth of the Gospel.
4. Raised to Life.
a. Jesus was “delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25).
b. 1 Corinthians 6:14 KJV — And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
c. Without resurrection, there is no hope and no Gospel.
d. 1 Corinthians 15:17 NKJV — And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
e. 1 Corinthians 15:42-45 KJV — So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
f. The new birth is a resurrection in spirit—we become a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17).
g. Our physical resurrection will come later.
5. Bearing His Image.
a. 1 Corinthians 15:49 NKJV — And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
b. Through this mighty resurrection power, we bear His very image and reflect His nature and character.
c. Romans 6:4-6 KJV — Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.