“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2.42-47
If there is one verse, besides Acts 1.8 or 2.4, which would be my favorite in this book, its these collection of verses. They have become so popular among church planters and those who hope to redeem the early formation of the church. When people say, ”Let’s be a New Testament Church,” this is what they mean. For in these verses, we see health, sustainability, grace, sharing, and intentionality of ministry and of the Holy Spirit.
What do we see here specifically? First, devotion. ”They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer. Looking from a spiritual formation/discipline model, we notice commitment, teaching, fellowship, the sacrament of holy communion and prayer. We see things a vibrant healthy church needs to be successful .
Continuing on, we read about people ”filled with awe,” amazed at the miracles performed by the apostles. God was working and was doing it through the twelve and the people had faith and believed.
They also shared. There are communities in Israel called kibbutz where people live and work together and essentially do what was happening in Acts by ”sharing all things in common.” These people sold and shared possessions at the modern kibbutz as they did in Acts. And yet, the early Christians did not remain isolated. They were together in one place, still worshipped in the Temple in Jerusalem, broke bread in homes, ate together and ”had glad and sincere hearts!” Sounds like the best family reunion ever!
Lastly, these people praised God, enjoyed the favor of the Lord and most importantly, people came to faith in Jesus. ”The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” This is a preachers dream come true.
This seems like an ideal circumstance for ministry. God was moving and the people were obeying and not bickering. I wish every local church could have this model. It is ideal and maybe that’s the point. We know there were issues but the focus was not on our problems but on the Lord and his mission.
In this day and age, and over history, churches have split, denominations have fallen a part, Christians have been unfaithful. But there is still the dream where God grows the ministry, we put our differences behind, and strive for the greater goals of bringing God glory and building his kingdom.
My prayer is that every church might have a glimpse of Acts 2 and that we might regain that which we have lost. That God might be mighty upon his throne and that we might grow in love. By his grace and for his glory.
“Dear Lord God, you are good. Even when we fail, you remain faithful. Come now, Holy Spirit, reveal your will for our churches. Allow us to grow in grace and find sustenance in your hand. Help us fulfill the Great Commission and be the church you have called us to be. For you are good and you love endures forever.” Amen