Pastor's Pen
Marks of a Mighty Church - Acts 2:41-47 (Part 5)
A mighty church remains faithful to the Word of God.  Acts 2:42: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Doctrine is the teachings and instructions given by the apostles.  We are blessed to have the same Word of God today.  In spite of persecution, Christians through the ages have remained faithful to God’s Word.
What does the Bible say about itself?
Psalm 119:89: “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.”
Psalm 119:105: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Jeremiah 15:16: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.”  Jeremiah said God’s Word was the joy and rejoicing of his heart.  
Matthew 24:35: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
God’s Word changes lives
2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
In 2 Timothy 4:1-5, Paul charges Timothy to preach the word.  Timothy (and all who preach the Word of God) will one day be judged.  Therefore, he must be faithful.  He is to preach (herald forth) the word, be instant (ready) in season, out of season; reprove (admonish, convince, convict, chasten, confront with conviction), rebuke, exhort (invoke, beseech, come along side).  This is to be done with long suffering and by teaching doctrine, knowing a time will come when many will turn away from the truth.  We see evidence today of those who will not endure sound doctrine and do not care about the truth.  It is important to remain faithful.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.5/17/2020 8:07:52 PM

Marks of a Mighty Church - Acts 2:41-47 (Part 4)
Acts 2:41: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”  A mighty church dramatically affects others and reaches out to a lost and dying world.  It exhibits an evangelistic heart by faithfully preaching, professing, and practicing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  A servant’s attitude is also evident in a mighty church.
Matthew 5:13-16 tells us to be salt and light in the world.  “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
We are encouraged to minister to and serve others in Mark 10:42-45: “But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
In Galatians 5:13-16, we are reminded to serve others and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
What affect does your life have on others?
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.5/2/2020 9:19:13 AM

Marks of a Mighty Church - Acts 2:41-47 (Part 3)
A mighty church commits to doing the will of God.  The Christians in the early church believed in Christ and were baptized as a testimony of their salvation.  Acts 2:41: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”  There are three different methods of baptism practiced today: sprinkling, pouring, and immersion.  Baptism comes from the Greek word “baptizo” which means “I immerse”, such as in dyeing fabric.  The early church in Acts 2 obeyed God.  Coming from a Jewish society, this often meant being disowned and shunned and the loss of one’s inheritance.
Mighty churches obey God because they love Him.  Jesus said in John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  His love should constrain us and compel us to do His will even if it leads to persecution and martyrdom.  We can read the testimony of the apostles’ imprisonment in Acts 5:17-32.  They were beaten and warned not to preach (verse 28); however the angel of the Lord miraculously brought them out of prison.  When the guards went to bring them to the high priest, they were not there.  They were found teaching in the temple and brought back before the council.  Peter’s brave response is found in Acts 5:29-32: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”
Daniel was forced to choose between being faithful to God in prayer or being thrown into the loin’s den in Daniel 6.  He refused to bow down and pray to the image of King Darius.  Without hesitation, Daniel “went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime” (Daniel 6:10).  He was caught and thrown to the lions, but God’s angel protected him.  King Darius gave recognition to Daniel’s God and promoted Daniel.  He willingly faced the lions rather than stop praying.  What would you have done?  
Early church history is filled with the persecution and martyrdom of faithful Christians.  Only those who love God and are committed to doing His will are willing to suffer for Him.  Matthew 10:39: “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”  Are you willing to live your life for God and do His will?
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.4/12/2020 1:10:04 AM

Marks of a Mighty Church - Acts 2:41-47 (Part 2)
A mighty church is not found in numbers or dollars, but is a place where God is glorified and men are edified.  A mighty church will gladly receive the Word of God (Acts 2:41).  The church grows as its members grow spiritually.  Growth is centered upon the constancy of God’s Word.  It never changes.  Hebrews 10:25: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Christ established the office of pastor to build up and equip the saints (Ephesians 4:11-12).  Well-equipped believers (set apart, fully prepared) are unified by a proper understanding of doctrine (teachings from God’s Word).  There are four basic tools for equipping the saints.  The first is God’s Word.  The pastor is called to faithfully teach the Bible.  2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto good works.”
Prayer is the second tool.  A pastor’s responsibility is outlined in Acts 6:4 : “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”  He sets the example for others to follow.  All believers are to pray.  1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.”  We have the example of Epaphras who was one that was “always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” (Colossians 4:12)
The third tool is testing.  God uses testing, a purging or cleansing experience, to perfect us.  James 1:2-4: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  When you consider a tea bag, it is only when hot water is added that the flavor in enhanced.  God’s testing or “hot water” is used in our lives to build Christian character.  
Suffering is the fourth tool that God often uses to spiritually strengthen us.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.3/13/2020 4:40:16 PM

Marks of a Mighty Church - Acts 2:41-47 (Part 1)
Acts 2:41-47 indicates that God has called believers to build a mighty church; a place where God is glorified and people are edified. Acts 2 tells us of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the birth of the church. The one hundred and twenty people who had gathered in the Upper Room were suddenly filled with the Holy Spirit, which gave them the ability to speak clearly in languages of all the people who had gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 2:4-12). Amazement, astonishment, and mocking caused many to question what was happening.
Peter rose to tell the people about Jesus. His sermon in Acts 2:14-39 was given at the birth of the church and was given mostly to the Jews who were there to celebrate the Passover. Acts 2:41 says: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” The foundation of the church, then as now, is Jesus Christ. It is He who establishes and builds the church.
One mark of a mighty church is godly leadership. Leadership for the church is pastor, deacons, and lay leaders. The Bible gives specific guidelines regarding the character of a pastor (bishop). Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and study carefully through the list of admonitions and requirements. The first important requisite that stands out is that it is to be a man (not a woman), and he is to be the faithful husband of one wife. The church is not built around a man, but a pastor gives direction to the church and answers to God on behalf of the church. 1 Timothy 3:8-13 lists the qualifications for a deacon. Lay leaders are those in the church who have no official office but serve in areas of ministry because of their love for Christ and the church.
Leadership affects the entire church. We are all to be an example to others, and the qualifications given for leadership is expected to be the standard for all who serve Christ. Failure to accept God’s standard in leadership is sin. A mighty church must have godly leadership for God to be glorified and for believers to be edified.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.2/28/2020 6:18:34 PM

Give Glory To The Lord - Psalm 96 (Part 2)
As believers in God, it is important for us to give praise to the Lord. In Psalm 96, believers are instructed in ways they can praise God.
5.  Reverence the Lord (verse 4).
Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The fear of the Lord is a healthy reverence for the Lord and the things of the Lord. This transforms our actions by making us cautious to avoid offending the Lord.
The book of Job records the suffering of Job. He lost all of his earthly possessions. He lost his children. His wife began to let him know he would be better off dead. He lost his friends. They told him he must have been a horrible sinner. He even began to question God and calls for an audience with God to plead his case. When God finally answers Job with a series of questions, Job reacts by saying he would cover his mouth because he said too much. Confronted by Almighty God, Job realized he overstepped (Job 38-40). He showed reverence for the Lord.
6.  Give unto the Lord glory and offerings (verses 7-8).
2 Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” In Mark 12:41-44, an impoverished widow placed all she had in the offering for the Temple. While others around put in money which was in excess of their need, she took what was essential to her survival and gave it to the Lord. God took notice. He notices not only what we give, but how we give. We are called to give with joy.
7.  Worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness (verse 9).
God is holy. This means that He is separate from sin. We are to worship Him in the beauty of His holiness. This indicates that the worshipper must come to God with a pure heart.
In the Gospels, Christ appears as the beauty of God’s holiness. He is the answer to God’s holy character and His divine love. Christ came to make a sacrifice that we could not make. Christ became the means of salvation.
8.  Testify that the Lord reigns (verse 10).
Often, we use our tongues to complain, but God calls us to testify of His sovereign power. We are to speak of his sovereign control. This involves believing God reigns, as well as living like God reigns.
We sing the song “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” and yet we fail to glorify God with the one tongue we possess. We ought to testify of His goodness and His salvation wherever we go.
God is worthy of our praise (verse 4). All the gods of the world are nothing compared to our God (verse 5). He is a righteous judge and will judge in righteousness (verse 10). If even nature will praise and honor the Lord (verses 11-13), we as His people should give praise to His name.
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.2/14/2020 3:32:16 PM

Give Glory To The Lord - Psalm 96 (Part 1)
As believers in God, it is important for us to give praise to the Lord. In Psalm 96, believers are instructed in ways they can praise God.
1.  Sing unto the Lord (verse 1).
Ephesians 5:19-20: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Singing unto the Lord is a means of giving praise to God. Singing transforms the heart and the mind. Notice that the Scriptures never require us to be skilled musicians to bring God glory. We simply must give voice to our praise.
2.  Bless the name of the Lord (verse 2a).
Psalm 103:1-2: “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:”
3.  Show forth His salvation from day to day (verse 2b).
In Nehemiah’s day, the walls of the city were completed which secured a defense around the city. Like wolves, the enemies surrounded Jerusalem waiting for the right time to pounce. The people of Jerusalem worked non-stop for weeks to do the impossible. When the job was completed, they took the time to rejoice and give praise to the Lord. Exhausted, emotionally and physically, they needed the joy of the Lord to be their strength.
Nehemiah 8:10: “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Choose to rejoice in the Lord.
4.  Declare His glory among the heathen (verse 3).
It is not enough to simply give praise to God with other believers. We are called to praise God before those who are not believers. Others must see how wonderful a relationship with God is.
Romans 10:13-15: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Posted By: Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.1/30/2020 10:31:52 PM