acts-242

 

The first model of a local church was not only an evangelistic or harvesting church but a discipleship church. We often read the first part of Acts chapter 2 about the outpouring of the Holy Ghost and 3000 souls being saved and not relate it to the last part. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and in prayers… Acts 2:42‑46.” We should also note that God had disciples (or we could say a skeleton of disciples) in Jerusalem before the outpouring on Pentecost. There were already 120 discipled and in place before the 3,000 and 4,000 converts (putting flesh on the skeleton) in Acts 2 and 4. God is interested in disciples, not just converts, those who continue and not just start.  We cannot build the church without disciples.

 

A disciple is one who realizes a quality relationship to Jesus involves a cross of self-denial Luke14:27. A cross means crucifying or putting to death ones self-interest and self ambition for something better. A cross is a place of death, denial, execution but also what one is free to pick up or free to lay down. A cross is a place flesh dies on and Luke 9:23 says it is a daily effort. It is a place of execution for the self life to do what pleases God. A disciple must deny himself, no one can do it for him Matthew 16:24, 25. It is letting go of the lower life to gain the higher life or like letting go of rungs on a ladder so you can climb higher. It is not just to forsake things but to embrace more of God. Letting go of what you like because of what you love more.

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Pastor John Rasicci is the founder and Pastor of Word of His Grace Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where we are building people who are building the Church. Pastor's ministry mission is to help people discover God's dream for their Life, the Local Church, and the Last Days' Harvest. With a strong emphasis on the grace of God and with a prophetic voice, Pastor John preaches and teaches in churches, conferences, and crusades both locally and throughout the world. He has produced books, tapes, and other teaching materials to empower, enable, and equip Believers with the Word of God. Pastor John is married to his wife Candy who with their three children, Krista, Joanna, John Anthony, and two son-in-laws, Matt and Doug, serve together in the ministry. After graduating from Kent State University, Pastor John pursued a career in professional baseball before accepting the call to the ministry. He and his wife, Candy, received their ministry training from Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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