The word renewed or renew means to restore back to its original state or to revive.
One of my granddaughters has a doll that she has a sentimental attachment to. Recently one of the doll’s arms, that could rotate and lift up, broke off. Her mother told her that the arm probably could not be repaired to where it would move like it used to and would most likely just have to be glued stationary. My granddaughter excepted that, but obviously that would leave it in a broken state.
I hated for my granddaughter not to be able to enjoy her doll like she once did, so I got it to see if I could renew it. After a little experimenting, we were able to get it back to operating like it did in its original state. It was no longer broken, it was renewed.
Within Christianity and the church today, sometimes it seems like the church is broken and needs to be renewed and revived to its original state. To renew or revive the church, we need to go back to the origin of the New Testament church and see how it functioned. Then we can see what is broken and needs to be renewed.
Let’s look at the what God did with the original 120 disciples and what the original New Testament church looked like in Acts 2:36-47 NKJV
- They were sensitive and responsive to the word of God. V.36-37
When they heard Peter preach truth to them, they were cut to the heart and asked, what shall we do? They agreed with the word of God and they acted on it to change their lives. The Bible tells us to not be just hearers of the word but to be doers. We must be sensitive to what God is trying to say to us and make changes in our lives.
- They were filled with the Spirit. V.38
Peter told the earlier believers to repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was what filled them and sealed them as child of God. The functioning of the New Testament church was not to just follow some regiment or religious routine, but to follow the Holy Spirit. They were filled with the Spirit, worshipped in Spirit and truth and were guided by the Spirit.
- They were sensitive to the spiritual condition of their children. V.39-40
Peter told them that the promise of God’s Spirit was for their children and to save them from this perverse and crooked or corrupt generation. They understood that it was up to them to make sure that their children and the next generation was changed and grew in the ways of God.
- They were reaching the lost for Christ. V.41, 47
The church wasn’t just worshipping as a group, they were reaching others with the Gospel of Christ. They knew what they had experienced and they didn’t want anyone else to miss out on Heaven as well.
- They were committed to growing in God’s word. V.42
They continued learning God’s word as a large group and as a small group in homes. They realized the importance of growing in God’s word and living it out on a daily basis.
- They believed in and experienced miraculous acts of God. V.43
They believed that nothing was too difficult for God. Any need that they had, they knew that God could provide. These miracles accorded because they believed in the priority of prayer.
- They cared as much for each other as they did for themselves. V.44-45
They could not stand the thought of one of their brothers or sisters suffering when they had plenty. They took care of each other. No one was going to go without.
Maybe we need a little renewal and reviving in our lives and in our church! We need to pray that God will raise us up and resurrect His church!