The Church As It’s Supposed To Be: Acts 2:42-47
A continuation of our study of the Church As It Was Supposed To Be
The Fellowship of A Growing Church Acts 2:42-47
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
This last part #3 is a glimpse at the early church in its communal practice of living within the family of God. The key word in this passage is “Devoted.” It has the idea of “Present Constantly.” It’s in a present active tense, which places the action in the lap of the church. They wanted to be there, they made it a priority. It is easy to get caught up n a legalism that says we can’t guilt people into coming to events at the church. The flip side is also true; we take our freedom to ignore the body of Christ altogether. Obviously missing church is not wrong, but if the Church is not a place to go, but is a family of called out believers, then there ought to be a natural inclination to get together regularly to corporately worship God, to hear the preaching of the word, and use the gifts that God gives us to bless one another. The gifts that God has given the Church (Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-13) demonstrate to us that we need one another. We simply cannot grow on our own. I have been asked what about those imprisoned for their faith. I’d say to things, when you are imprisoned for your faith, I’m sure God gives us a special grace to draw upon His strength, and secondly, the prayers of the “Saints” do help sustain those in prison. Paul thanks the Philippian Church for being a “Partner” in the Gospel, including in his imprisonment (V. 6).
Another issue that is always brought up is time. We assume the early church had nothing better to do than meet with one another, and maybe that has truth to it, but being a family on mission together is more than a time thing; it’s a priority thing. Again, this isn’t always true, but we have to ask ourselves, why do we have such a crowded schedule? Why don’t we have time for the things scripture seem to say is important (Fellowship, prayer, evangelism, etc.)? I have also heard it said that we shouldn’t just hang around Christians, since we should be with non-Christians. This is also partly true, but if we really examine passages such as Ephesians 3:10 we’d realize that our witness is also corporate and maybe we should find ways to be creative and bring the Church and our non-believing friends together.
Questions For Study
- What keeps me from “Devoting” more time to God’s mission and God’s people?
- In what way(s) is the ‘witness’ of the Church corporate?
- Why has God called us to one another? What are its benefits?
- What can you and Anchor do to improve in this area?