Summary: To look at characteristics of the early church in order to become more like them

Characteristics of the Early Church

Acts 4:13,27-33

Purpose Statement: To call the church to renew it’s vision to be a New

Testament Church


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

same phrase is used in Luke 1:15; Acts 4:8; Acts 13:9

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