They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he 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. (NIV) Acts 2:42-47
Luke tells us in Acts 2:42 that the early church was distinguished by 4 things. The were devoted to:
- The apostles’ teaching,
- Fellowship with one another,
- “Breaking of bread,” and
It is just as important today for us to be devoted to the Word of God as it was in the 1st century. Chuck Colson says: “When the people of God, united in His name, proclaim the Word of God, they can turn their world upside down.” The early church definitely turned their world upside down! But, they were not only devoted to the Word, but also to fellowship with one another. Authentic Biblical fellowship assumes and requires face-to-face communication, whether in New Testament times or in today’s Internet era.
Why are relationships so important? Apart from God himself, there will only be two things in eternity: God’s Word and God’s people, living in relationship with Him. This reality alone should serve as a wake-up call to all of us. We should be striving to have God-honoring relationships in our lives. I know people who are looking forward to Heaven to “get away from certain people” (often in our own churches). What they forget is that many of those people they are longing to escape from will be with them for eternity!
Luke’s reference to “the fellowship” implies that there was something distinctive in the gatherings of the early believers. One of those distinctives is found in
Acts 4:32: “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” The whole congregation was united to one another in their allegiance to Jesus.
What about you? Are you striving to have God-honoring relationships? Are you diligently striving to be of one heart and mind with other Christians?