Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
I want everyone to understand that in wrapping up a series, you have to try to end as well as you began. After basically nine weeks of preaching on the church. It can be tiresome but in this sermon I wanted to get across the main goal which is to realign our local church with the culture of the church that was there right at the beginning. It was a culture that understood the importance of being a pillar of truth and listened intently to the apostles teaching. It was a culture that witnessed and shared the gospel being about the business of God’s kingdom. It was a culture that was in awe of the power of God as they worshiped Him and had fellowship with one another. That culture in some shape or form has survived the centuries to the present day.
The real issue in generating a permanent culture that stand the test of time in the local church is to align itself with the culture that was established on that first day of the church and then implement it in a way that is understood by the local body and the people around that are touched by that local body. As a wise old minister once told me: ‘the gospel never changes and it cannot be compromised, but the means of getting it across to people and communicating and enacting the gospel changes as is needed.” In short the culture remains the same in its most basic sense but we are still in the world and that culture must adapt so it can deal effectively with the culture around it.
The permanent culture of the church is supposed to be revolving around worship, fellowship, discipleship, outreach, evangelism and proclamation. The rest is details that have to be worked out to be effective in all the above. This means living an a state of keeping your core values intact while at the same time ministering effectively to the world around you and the world within you. Once you do that the culture of a solid core with an outward side that adapts becomes a generated permanent culture.