Friday, September 19, 2014

A Church Formed Around God's Mission

The Fellowship of the Believers

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.
Acts 2:42-47

This Sunday I am preaching on the fellowship of the believers from the above passage with an emphasis on what a church formed around the mission of God looks like. The early church was known for being a movement that gathered around a mission as we should be, but often are not today. If we look back at Acts 1:8 the mission was given first and then the church was formed for the mission in Acts 2. 

In verse 42 it says that they were devoted to four things. Devotion is a strong word, and it would do us good in the Western church today to look at our own lives and the lives of our churches to see if we could say with the early church that we are devoted to these things that mark a church formed around the mission of God.

1. The Apostles Teaching
  • These people knew and loved their Bible.
  • Obviously included teachings of Jesus.

2. Fellowship
  • Encompassed participating and sharing in all aspects of life, including material things.
  • Both large and small group meetings.

3. Breaking of Bread
  • The Lord's Supper.
  • A larger meal of fellowship that likely included the Lord's Supper.
4. Prayer
  • The early believers expressed their dependence on God both at home and in the temple.
  • When faced with any issue these believers prayed.

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