Chapter Two — Part Six: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 02/14/2021
1. Continuing Steadfastly.
a. Acts 2:42 KJV — And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
b. When you are truly saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, He does a mighty work in your heart and life.
c. You fall in love with Jesus and all you want to do is please and obey Him.
d. When you allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in you, the fruit of the Spirit will be plainly manifested for all to see.
e. Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
f. We can clearly see this powerful impact of the Holy Spirit on the Early Church in their unity, commitment, obedience, and faith—and this is the pattern that was set for each of us to follow.
g. They continued steadfastly.
h. Steadfastly (proskartereo) means:
- to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted
or constant to one.
- to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting
care to a thing.
- to continue all the time in a place.
- to persevere and not to faint.
- to show one’s self courageous for.
- to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly.
i. These early Christians were on fire for the Lord—devoted to Him and unashamed of the Gospel message.
j. They gave all their time and attention to the things of God.
k. They were constant and consistent.
l. They persevered through trials and persecution and did not give up.
m. They were courageous, even in the face of death.
2. Fear of God.
a. Acts 2:43a KJV — And fear came upon every soul…
b. When people see Almighty God show up in power, the fear of God comes upon them.
c. For the believer, it is a reverential fear—respect—for God and His Word.
d. Sinners do not understand what is happening but are afraid to touch it, when they see Him move in power.
e. When the Church is doing its job, then the world will know that there is a God in heaven!
3. Signs and Wonders.
a. Acts 2:43b KJV — …and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
b. Before Jesus was received up into heaven and seated on the right hand of God, He gave a great commission to the Church (Mark 16:15-20).
c. He told them: Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature and these signs shall follow them that believe:
- In My Name they shall cast out devils.
- They shall speak with new tongues.
- They shall take up serpents (see note below*).
- If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.
- They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
d. “Take up” (airo) means: to lift; by implication to take up or away; remove; to destroy; to put away; do away with or kill; remove.
e. They shall take up serpents*—which means that they will have power over serpents (Lk. 10:19; Ps. 91:13) and immunity from snakebites (Acts 28:1-5).
f. The Church has power over regular serpents and also power over the devil and demons.
g. Luke 10:19 KJV — Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
h. Psalm 91:13 AMPC — You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.
i. They went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.
j. When believers preach the Truth of the Gospel, God bears witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will (Heb. 2:4).
4. Generosity and Hospitality.
a. Acts 2:44-45 KJV — And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
b. Hospitality was normal in Jewish Society, especially for the duration of any feast, but this was a new level of generosity.
c. The two Great Commandments, given by Jesus, are that we love God and love our neighbor.
d. This brand-new Church, on fire for God, reached out in love, unselfishness, kindness, fearlessness, and generosity to their neighbors.
e. Many sold their possessions and property (not necessarily their homes) to provide for those who needed it.
f. It appears that this was for a season, and not a permanent practice.
g. Later, specific offerings were raised to help the poor, proving that not all the Church was poor.
5. Unity and Multiplication.
a. Acts 2:46 AMPC — And day after day they regularly assembled in the temple with united purpose, and in their homes they broke bread [including the Lord’s Supper]. They partook of their food with gladness and simplicity and generous hearts.
b. They continued daily, in great thankfulness, joy, generosity, and unity.
c. There is great power released when God’s people are assembled with a united purpose.
d. They were in one accord when the Holy Ghost fell on the day of Pentecost.
e. After the day of Pentecost, as they continued as a unified body, they had great favor with the people and the Church continued to rapidly grow.
f. Acts 2:47 AMPC — Constantly praising God and being in favor and goodwill with all the people; and the Lord kept adding [to their number] daily those who were being saved [from spiritual death].
g. They were constantly praising God and lifting up Jesus—they were unashamed, bold, and humble before the Lord.
h. When the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ submits to the Father in obedience, holds to the Truth of the Gospel, and reverences the presence of the Holy Spirit, people are attracted, and great revival takes place.
i. Acts 9:31 KJV — Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.