A Dependent Church – Acts 4:23-35 (conclusion)

VI. A Dependent Church Trusts God with the Results (vv. 31, & 33)

We have seen five traits of a dependent church: 1) a dependent church prays; 2) a dependent church finds comfort in the sovereignty of god; 3) a dependent church boldly proclaims the God’s word; 4) a dependent church is unified; 5) a dependent church gives generously.  There is one more trait in the passage that I want to go back and look at.  Namely that a dependent church trusts God with the results.  Now I know I said earlier that the trust is synonym for dependence so this point is rather redundant.  But still I think that there is a helpful reminder here for us.  Look back at v. 31.  Here God answers the prayer of the people and look what happens, the began to preach boldly.  When the people prayed asking God for boldness they had no idea how He would answer that prayer, but they trusted Him.  Additionally, when they continued to speak the word with boldness they had no idea what would happen to them.  They didn’t know if a single person would accept their message, or even if the Sanhedrin would allow them to live.  But that didn’t stop them because they did not concern themselves with the results.  They were being faithful to what God called them to do, and they trusted Him to accomplish whatever results He intended to accomplish.

Now look at v. 33.  Here again we find the apostles testifying to reality of the resurrection of Christ.  But here Luke adds that they were doing so with great power.  I think that we can safely presume that this meant that they were experiencing great results.  I say this because the first time Peter preached 3,000 people were saved, and the second time he preached 5,000 people were saved.  One can only assume that when Luke says that they were preaching about the resurrection with great power that great numbers of people continued to believe.  However, I want you to notice why this was happening.  It was not because Peter knew his demographics well.  Or because the apostles had a great 10 year plan.  It was because “abundant grace was upon them all.”  In other words, as they were being faithful to their task the Lord took care of the results.

I want to be clear on this point.  I am not saying that God will provide thousands of converts to every preacher that faithfully depends upon him.  This is simply not how it works.  In fact, many of the prophets saw very few, if any people, respond to their message.  My point is simply that we must depend upon God for the results.  take this church for example.  Whether God fills up this building and we need eight services, or He keeps us where we are at our responsibility remains the same.  We cannot change the results, we can only dependently trust God with results.  This means that we don’t worry.  We are not anxious.  Instead, we trust in what God is doing.

Sometimes this is hard for us.  We worry about the results.  Rather than faithfully serve God we would rather manipulate the results.  This, however, reveals a heart that is dependent upon self rather than God.

Conclusion:

I this passage we have seen what a dependent church looks like.  Specifically, we saw 6 traits of a dependent:

  1. A Dependent Church God prays. (v. 24)
  2. A Dependent Church finds comfort in God’s sovereignty (vv. 25-28)
  3. A Dependent Church boldly proclaims His word. (vv. 29-30)
  4. A Dependent Church is unified. (v. 32a)
  5. A Dependent Church gives generously (vv. 32b, & 34-35)
  6. A Dependent Church trusts God with the results.  (vv. 31, & 33)

My prayer for our churches is that these traits would become prominent marks of everyday life around.  But the only that is going to happen if each of us individually seeks to live out these traits in our own lives.  So my challenge for all of us is that we would dependently look to God as our source of help in all circumstances.  That we would have a heart attitude that trusts God more than self.

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One Comment

  1. The church needs to be ‘provocative’.

    “Christians are not just meant to try to do good, be nice and help the world work a little better. They are instead to act as signposts to another order, another way of life, another kingdom which can only be glimpsed in this world, but has not yet arrived completely’ http://about.metrowest.cc/?p=112

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