Acts 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles'teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

 

I love fire - it is a little miracle.  

 

Fire is a word that we use to talk about something in the state of combustion - 

It is a chemical reaction where the fuel - whatever it is - is being transformed from one thing to another by being combined with oxygen.

I love fire because it is beautiful

I love fire because of what it does

 

Fire draws people in - whenever there is a fire people gather

 

I love the smell of fire - when you’ve been near a fire everyone around you knows it because you smell like a fire

 

Fire brings light it makes dark places bright

 

Fire brings heat it makes cold things hot

 

When I burned the side of the house

 

Fire is a powerful symbol in scripture - 

  • the most important fire symbol in scripture is kind of a complex one.
  • Fire in the Bible is almost always a symbol of the meeting place between God and man.

 

The First place fire is used as a symbol is in Gen 15

  • It is God’s first covenant he makes with Abraham - God meeting with man

 

In the covenant of Moses Fire was an incredibly important symbol

  • Moses relationship with God began with a burning bush
  • Fire descended on Mt Sinai when God came to make his covenant with His people
  • They were led by a pilar of fire by night
  • The fire on the altar of the tabernacle in the Holy Place was to NEVER go out. Lev 6:13

 

Now we are going to go to the New Testament - and spend our time there talking about New Testament Fire.

 

Acts 2

Day of Pentecost - the perfect setting for a fire that would never go out - the place of meeting between God and man.

 

1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filledthe whole house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

 

I think the reason why fire is used as a symbol of the meeting place between God and man is because of WHAT fire actually is.

 

I learned in my training in elementary school that fire needs three things

 

Fuel

Air

Heat

 

The same is true for the fire of the New Testament

Three things coming together - and something AMAZING HAPPENS - a chemical reaction begins - the fuel becomes consumed and changed from one thing to another as it combines with the air through heat.

 

42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of breadand to prayer.

43Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44And all those who had believed were togetherand had all things in common; 45and they [began] selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

 

The fire of the early church was

  • unquenchable - imprisonment, torture, and murder only seemed to fan the flame,
  • it spread like crazy “AD 100as few as 25,000 Christians - AD 310 up to 20,000,000 Christians” it multiplied by 800times in 200 years
  • it changed everything it touched - the Apostles were accused of turning the entire empire upside down - and they did!

 

Our verse for today Acts 2:42 states explicitly what elements came together to make this fire

 

fellowship and breaking of bread

Prayer/the Spirit

Apostle’s teaching - The Gospel

 

Fellowship is the fuel - the human element

  • you might just say people but that’s not enough
    • the “logs” have to be in close proximity to one another - connected
    • the logs in a fire have to be close to one another to burn
      • the different pieces of fuel in any fire keep each other burning - without each other the fire just stops
  • For CHURCH to happen there have to be people in relationship with each other - communion - koinnenia 
    • they have to keep each other on fire they have to lend one another their fire
    • To encourage means to give someone a heart
  • we are members one of another

 

The Gospel is the Heat

  • Fellowship and Spirit is enough? - Nope - you can blow on a log all day and nothing will happen
  • ONLY when Heat is present does oxygen begin to interact with the fuel and FIRE takes place
  • The Word of God - The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the catalyst for human connection with God
    • Romans 10:17 faith comes by hearing
    • Romans 1:16 - the Gospel is the power of God for Salvation of all who believe
    • The radical idea of loving one another just as Christ has loved us
    • The radical idea of grace - a people who are forgiven and who live as the pardon of God to the world

 

Prayer - the presence of the Spirit of God is the air

  • the word for Spirit in the New Testament is Pneuma - wind or breath - its where we get the word pneumonia
  • He is the oxygen - without him you just have hot fuel - no fire.
    • what do you do when you try and start a fire?  You blow on it
  • Fire takes the fuel and using HEAT as the catalyst chemically fuses the fuel with oxygen
    • When people come to the Gospel the Word of God acts as a catalyst to connect us with Christ to FUSE us with Him
      • we are changed completely from one thing to another
      • it takes time and process and everything must be exposed
      • fire leaves ash - the 

 

He wants a church marked by real fellowship - men, women, and children - huddled together to encourage, help and strengthen each other.  To keep each other burning no matter what

 

He wants a church that hosts His Spirit a people who go into the world carrying his Spirit filled with the BREATH of God A church that IS HIS HOUSE. 

  • Eph 2:21-22 - As we live together in community built together in unity we BECOME A HOUSE a dwelling place for the Spirit of God on the earth "21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God bye the Spirit."

 

He wants a church that is marked by the Word -  a people shaped and changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ

 

When these three elements come together a fire begins that CANNOT STAY CONTAINED and this is the point.  This Fire is meant to spread.  To go out from these four walls and change everything!  I want the people of Fremont Community Church to be accused of turning the whole world inside out and upside down!

 

The church is the fire of our age - 

 

The church is a miracle

the church draws people in

The church leaves it’s fragrance on everyone who gets near it

the church brings light into dark places

the church Makes cold lifeless things warm and living again

 

I want to start a fire! - God wants to start a fire!  Here at FCC

 

God is starting a FIRE HERE NOW.

Who will say yes to the Fire of God?

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