Does the church today look like the church of the 1st century?
Acts 2: 42a
In the first century church, they focused on one thing above the rest, and that was “They dedicated themselves to the teaching of the apostles” (Acts 2: 42a), what then was the apostle’s doctrine. I think these would be the things Jesus commanded them to teach others (Matthew 28: 19-20), so the apostles’ doctrine comes from Jesus and is really not theirs. If the church were to grow, in the knowledge of the Lord and in size, it would have to be dedicated to the scriptures.
Is the doctrine of the apostles the same as scripture?
What does it mean to be “consecrated” to “the teaching of the apostles?
Is it more beneficial to study alone or in small groups such as in a Sunday school or Bible study?
Acts 2: 42b
Since the church was devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ, they would naturally continue in “Fraternal communion, to the breaking of bread and to prayers” (Acts 2: 42b). The breaking of bread could be a reference to eating together and sharing a meal, but Luke seems to separate communion from the breaking of bread, so it could refer to the Lord’s Supper or the Lord’s fellowship. Anyway, they were people of prayer, and prayer helped the early church seek the will of God, and part of God’s will for His children is to have fellowship with Him, but also with each other, and of course, being devoted to the scriptures. .
What do you think Luke meant when he spoke of “the breaking of bread?
How does communion help the church?
What do you think the atmosphere was like in some of these “exchanges”?
Acts 2: 44-45
A man told me that he had attended a Christian conference for pastors in Romania, and that was the strangest feeling. Here he was on the other side of the world, and yet he felt at home among a people he had never met and had little in common … but they had a thing in common; God was their Father, and so they were brethren in Christ, and so it was in the early church, as it says, “All those who believed were together and had everything in common. And they sold their goods and their goods and distributed the product to all, as each one needed it “ (Acts 2: 44-45). If a need arose, someone would cover it. That’s what the individual members of the Body of Christ, the church, do. We have all things in common (i.e. John 3:16; Acts 4:12; Rom 10: 9-13) and therefore we share with each other, even if it is sharing their sufferings.
Have you ever met someone and found out almost immediately if they are a Christian?
What signs made you come to this conclusion?
Were there things that made the church attractive to those who were not (Acts 2:43)?
The church was apparently eager to worship in the early days because they were, “And day after day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with a joyful and generous heart” (Acts 2:46), so it was daily worship, then breaking bread in the other’s house, or having a meal together, so being together gave them “a joyful and generous heart.”
Does worship and fellowship (as with meals) make a difference in their lives?
In what ways is joy related to worship and meals?
Why is it said that they received their food with a joyful and generous heart?
How can someone who receives have a generous heart?
Acts 2: 47a
Towards the end of chapter two of Acts, it says of the church, “praise God and have grace with all the people” (Acts 2: 47a), so part of the passion of the 1st century church was that they praised God and perhaps, by leading a godly life, they were favored by “everyone,” but of course that does not mean that the Jews accepted Jesus Christ and the teaching of the gospel. In fact, under severe persecution, the church has always praised God, as the old song “Praise Him in the Storm” says because it is very pleasing to God because when you praise Him, even during difficult times, He sees you worshiping Him and trusting Him. You don’t praise what you don’t trust, so the early church trusted the sovereignty of God no matter what was going on around it.
How can we learn to praise God even in the storms of life?
Does the Christian community still retain some of these attributes of the 1st century, and if so, which ones?
Why did others favor the early church?
Acts 2: 47b
Now we are finishing the week-long view of the early or early church. It seems to have been passionate because they studied and were “Consecrated to the doctrine of the apostles”, they communicated together, they shared what they had, and had all things in common and even those outside the church favored them, at least to some extent. What happened when the church did all of this? God answered it by adding “To their number day after day those who were saved” (Acts 2: 47b). God added to the church because the church had a solid foundational teaching of the apostle’s doctrine, which was really the doctrine of Jesus that he commanded the disciple to teach others (Matthew 28: 19- 20), and the Word of God has the effective power to change lives and save souls, so the early church did as it was told to do and God gave the increase.
Which of the following is missing from your church listed in Acts 2: 42-47?
Can you do something about the missing items?
Why did God bring growth to the early church?
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is the pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the host of Spiritual Fitness and lead writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. . You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.