Summary: The early disciples were devoted to the Apostles Teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer.
Series – looking at the early church. Acts 2:43 says, “Everyone was filled with awe…” The early church was awesome!
Truth In Review:
• The local church can be awesome or it can be awful. The church is awesome when God’s Spirit is prominent and is leading the hearts and minds of His people. The church is awful when God’s Spirit is not listened to or followed.
• The significance of the Day of Pentecost is that that was when God’s Spirit took up residence in the hearts of His people. What’s supernatural about the church of Jesus Christ is that God lives in us and among us.
• The disciples of the early church were together! They not only were close in proximity, but they were close in purpose. They were one in heart and mind.
There were 3000 people who heard Peter’s message on that day. They were cut to the heart, they repented and were baptized for the forgiveness of their sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This was the day that the church was born! God was dwelling with His people!
The church was awesome because God was in it! He was creating a people for Himself, people that would bring glory to Him. He was taking ordinary, sinful people and creating the church! These people were saved through the blood of Jesus and were given a hope and a future!
The church was awesome! In this awesome church the people were TOGETHER (last week). They were also DEVOTED.
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
If we’re going to have an awesome church and not an awful church, we must be devoted.
I love the word “devoted!” Of course we talk about having “devotions” which are an expression of our love and commitment to Christ. We spend time with Jesus. We are devoted. As with any relationship that we are devoted to there is love and loyalty involved.
The Acts church was certainly devoted that way, but there is another sense to the word here in Acts 2:42. They were devoted in that they were “steadfastly involving themselves.” They were not just loyal; they were intensely committed.
• Love and Loyalty = the heart
• Steadfast and Committed = the actions
These people were involved with this new Kingdom brought to earth in these significant ways! They were loyal and committed, with their hearts and actions.
They were devoted to these four things that are mentioned:
• Apostles’ Teaching
• Breaking of Bread
We’re going to consider each of these, but the question I want us to think through is “WHY?” Why were they devoted to these things? Why were they emotionally connected and steadfast to them?
The early disciples fully gave their hearts to the Kingdom of Heaven. And for many of them it meant being cut-off from their early families. When some of their Jewish parents found out they were following Jesus – they were considered dead to them. It cost the early believers to follow Jesus. But they fully gave their hearts to the Kingdom. They made the Kingdom of Heaven the priority of their lives. And their love for other disciples grew because, although they may have lost their earthly family, they had been given a new family called the church.
So WHY were they so devoted to this new Kingdom of Heaven?
God had saved them! They had heard the Apostle’s message. They recognized their need for a Savior and as they came to faith in Jesus, repented from their way of life without God and were baptized for the forgiveness of their sins – salvation flooded their lives! They received something they never had before – cleansing from sin and the indwelling of God’s Spirit in their lives!
Salvation is so miraculous, so amazing, that the event itself propelled them into this kind of devotion. Devotion where their hearts were fully engulfed in the love of God and love for one another. Devotion where their lives became expressions of worship as they steadfastly lived out the gospel they were learning about.
The church in 2007 would do better if we allowed Salvation to flood our souls like that! Too many Christians are not amazed by the Love of God that has saved them. This love that Paul wrote about that surpasses knowledge!