Summary: The church must learn from the 1st century church on how they grow exponentially... Learn their secret and follow their example.
“Explosion & Multiplication”
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers”.
If we desire Gospel Explosion and Believers Multiplication, it would be good for us to look at the pattern set by the early church in Jerusalem following the Day of Pentecost. The church experienced phenomenal growth and had the power of God flowing through virtually everything they did on a daily basis.
I believe that they had set four enduring principles that would insure God’s blessing. Each of these points is reinforced by the phrase "they devoted themselves". That is to say they persevered in or endured in each of these areas.
First of all, they devoted themselves to…
I. Sound Principles
The Apostle’s doctrine - teaching, instruction, or the Apostle’s manner of life.
They were diligent and constant in their attendance upon the preaching of the word. They continued in the apostles' doctrine, and never disowned nor deserted it; or, as it may be read, they continued constant to the apostles' teaching or instruction; by baptism they were discipled to be taught, and they were willing to be taught.
II Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
II Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Many churches across our country have sought various ways to address growth in the midst of a changing culture. Unfortunately many have compromised and have failed to maintain a strong stand on doctrinal truth. Many have gone so far as to condone activities of the culture that clearly violated the precepts of Scripture.
E. A. W. Tozer (1897-1963) - Great saints have always been dogmatic. We need a return to a gentle dogmatism that smile while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God.
II John 1:9-11 (ESV) “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
Secondly, they devoted themselves to…
II. Strong Partnership
Fellowship - a sharing in common, partnership
They kept up the communion of saints. They continued in fellowship (v. 42), and continued daily with one accord in the temple, v. 46. They not only had a mutual affection to each other, but a great deal of mutual conversation with each other; they were much together.
I Corinthians 1:9 "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord."
For the early Christians, koinonia was not tea, cookies, and sophisticated small talk in Fellowship Hall after the sermon. It was an almost unconditional sharing of their lives with the other members of Christ’s body.