Summary: To look at characteristics of the early church in order to become more like them
Characteristics of the Early Church
Purpose Statement: To call the church to renew it’s vision to be a New
Many of the characteristics of the church in America today were not
seen in the days of the early church. We need to look back to see what the
original vision of the church was. I want to look at the purpose of the church
and it’s focus. I want you to consider if we are corporately anything like the
early church. If not, I want to challenge you to renew your commitment to
become all that Christ wants His church to become. We will look at several
characteristics in the next two messages about the early church.
1. Bold in their telling. When Peter spoke to the Jews in Jerusalem, His point
was very clear. He tells them in 3:14-15. “You disowned the Holy and
Righteous One” and “You killed the author of life.” He is very direct, bold
and aggressive. He very straightforwardly tells them who Jesus is. He tells
themt hat they must repent (3:19) The courage of Peter and John impress the
Sanhedrin. They took note that they were followers of Jesus. Normally, you
would expect Peter and John to be afraid. This was the same group that had
sent Jesus to Pilate. Days before, these same disciples were hiding from the
Sanhedrin John 20:19
The word boldness is parresia- openly, frankly, without ambiguity, free and
fearless confidence, used 31 times in Acts.
2. Devoted in prayer They had a devoted prayer life. They asked God for
boldness and poured out their hearts to Him. They had great expectations
that God would do great things (1:14) They shared their hearts desires with
God together (4:24)
3. They were of one heart and mind. This means a single-mindedness of
purpose. They devoted themselves to God and one another. Their love for
others compelled them to share their faith and to minister to others needs.
Their witnessing was actually a act of compassion and obedience. The
disciples loved one another. Their priority wasn’t the things of this world.
They put one another and other people’s needs first. They hung on to the
things of this world loosely.
The word “one” is omoqumadon- said hom-oth-oo-mad-on. with one mind,
one accord, with one passion
4. They were filled with the Spirit. This is different that being indwelled.
Being filled implies surrendering control. They had devoted their whole
hearts and minds to doing God’s will and were under His direction and
control. This only comes as I am spending time with the Father and seeking
His will and allowing Him to mold me into Christlikeness. So, ideally, I
reflect back to the world the light of God. I reflect that I know Him. The