The Day of Pentecost was an amazing day! On that day, the Holy Spirit was given to the church in a very special way. The church that came into existence that day was a sight to behold. It was a church operating in the power of the Holy Spirit. It was a church on a mission, taking the gospel to a lost world. It was a church excited about its Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. It was a church committed to holiness, obedience to the Word of God, and to worship. It was a church steadfast in the face of horrible persecution. It was a church that was growing, as God added to it daily. It was a church that enjoyed the presence and power of God.

Today’s church, the church with which we are all familiar, is far removed from what that church was. The church in Acts was united (Acts 2:44-46; 4:32-37). The people loved one another. The people in the church rallied together, sold their possessions, and gave to meet the needs of other believers.

The church in Acts was committed. We are told that “they continued daily” (Acts 2:46). They were so committed to their worship of the Savior that they came together every day to worship and honor the Lord.

The church in Acts was powerful. The early church enjoyed the power of God in their midst. They saw people saved on a daily basis (Acts 2:47). They witnessed miraculous conversions.

The church in Acts was militant. They carried the gospel to everyone they met. They sent out missionaries to carry the gospel to the world. They witnessed where they lived and everywhere they went.

The modern church is so fractured that there can be little cooperation on issues that matter. Denominations, doctrines, problems real and perceived—all combine to divide the church into small, isolated groups that refuse to accept those who are different.

There is no real commitment to the mission of the church, the worship of the church, the outreach of the church, or the needs of the church. Members’ commitment to the church is conditional, dependent on schedules, routines, convenience, and the whims of the moment.

In many cases, the people in the pews are not so different from the lost people in the world around them. Church members give little attention to prayer, daily worship and devotion, and personal holiness. The church today is doing everything in its power to make itself more attractive to the lost world.

The book of Acts reveals God’s pattern for His church. It speaks about the characteristics that should be the distinguishing marks of God’s church.


A. What it says about the Savior (verses 22-37): This message affirms that Jesus is God in the flesh. It affirms His crucifixion and resurrection.

B. What it says about sin (verses 23, 36): This message is crystal-clear regarding sin. It exposes the terrible nature of sin (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23). It warns sinners to turn from their sins (verse 40). It is a plain message that confronts sinners where they live (verses 23, 26).

C. What it says about salvation (verses 38-40): This church points a lost world to Jesus Christ and to Him alone. It does not preach salvation through religion or ritual (Eph. 2:8, 9). It holds Jesus up as the final and only solution to the problem of sin (John 14:6; Acts 16:31). It preaches a transcendent message that speaks to all social classes, races, and sinners (verses 5-12).

D. What it says about sovereignty (verse 39): This church understands and proclaims that God is sovereign in salvation. God is the author and finisher of salvation.


A. Its members are saved (verses 37, 40, 41). This church is made up of people who have had a “new birth” experience with Jesus Christ (John 3:3, 7).

B. Its members are separated (verse 42). This church walked in “the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship.” They broke off all ties to their old lives. They came to Jesus Christ by faith and were transformed by the grace of God (2 Cor. 5:17).

C. Its members are steadfast (verse 42). They were faithful! They showed up when it was time for worship. They each did their individual part for the common good and for the glory of God!

D. Its members are servants (verses 44, 45). This church was marked by selflessness. The members cared about the needs of others, and they did everything in their power to meet the needs of their fellow believers.


A. They worship together as a family (verses 42, 46, 47). This church met together for prayer, for instruction in the Word of God, and for worship. Their common goal was to grow in faith and to praise and worship the Lord.

B. They work together as a team (verses 44, 45). The goal of this church was the common good. They worked to benefit the group. God has not called us to sit by and do nothing (Eph. 2:10; James 2:18).

C. They walk together as friends (verses 42, 46). This church enjoyed “fellowship,” “breaking of bread,” and “singleness of heart.” A church is not a social club, but few things create a bond like good Christian fellowship.

D. They witness together as saints (verse 47). This church was not ashamed of its message, and its members all worked to spread the message to a lost world. The Lord still desires that for His people (Acts 1:8; Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19, 20).


A. Their Lord is powerful (verses 41, 43, 47). This church was made up of the right kind of people carrying out the right kind of ministry. Thus, they enjoyed God’s blessings on their efforts. He “added” to their number daily. He manifested His power through “wonders and signs.”

B. Their Lord is personal (verse 47). This church didn’t worship an abstract, unknowable God. They worshiped a Lord who personally redeemed them from their sins. They were in a powerful, saving relationship with Him (see Rev. 2:1-7; Matt. 22:37-39; John 13:35).


How well does our church fit this pattern? Are we the kind of church God can use and bless for His glory?

I challenge you to look inside yourself right now as part of His church.

Have you surrendered to the Lord? Are you faithful to the church? Are you committed to the ministries of the church? Are you a servant of the Lord and His church? If you are in a position of leadership, are you doing what you need to be doing?