The Real Thing
"And they . . ." Acts 2:42
Life is a fight and a problem. But the message of Jesus is Good News. It's the remedy for the sin-sick, separated heart. The tragedy is many don't know it because their idea of church and its message are as about as far removed from the real thing as they could possibly be. Many have tangled their personal perceptions with the revelation of God. There's a great urgency today to know what the church was like in its early stages.
Luke puts pen to paper and recounts the six spiritual qualities of this young church. Through the ministry of the apostles, new believers were maturing into Christ so rapidly that the church grew exponentially.
They learned about God.
". . . they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching . . ." v42
They were teaching what Jesus had taught and instructed them in the ways of the kingdom. The early church was evolving by learning how to live and move in the authority Jesus had given them, to take the gospel to the world through life in the power of the Spirit.
Friendship with one another
". . . and the fellowship, . . ." v42
This was no superficial handshake and move on, rather it was deep. It was vital. They had become one through the indissoluble bonds of the Spirit of Jesus. Their love for each other was so great they would not allow another to suffer if they could help it. The love of the community of faith is one of our greatest needs today.
They worshiped together
". . . attending temple . . . and praising God . . ." v46, 47
They had found a love in Jesus, they praised God for the same reason every believer praises God. It's all God, from beginning to end, new life, power and strength all flow from the work of the Spirit.
They prayed together
". . . and the prayers." v42
Their belief in Jesus led them to pray together. They were well aware they needed grace and help amidst the trying days.
They experienced Power
". . . many wonders and signs were being done . . ." v43
The new normal of the early church was healing and deliverance from sin, sickness and struggle. Their view of God was not clouded by doubt and skepticism, they knew God could not be limited.
They reached out to others.
". . . the Lord added to their number . . ." v47
It would've been easy to turn inward, but they never forgot those around them who had not encountered Jesus.
Are you personally connected to the church?