Summary: In this series we are looking at ACTS OF DISCIPLESHIP and we begin where Acts does. Disciples Get Together.
ACTS OF DISCIPLESHIP
Disciples Get Together
Acts 2 was called by J. D. Bales “The hub of the Bible”. Three thousand people responded to the gospel call, gave their lives to the Lord, were baptized and received forgiveness and the indwelling Holy Spirit. This infant church had some growing to do and they were ready to actively serve as disciples of Jesus Christ. The book of Acts is our historical record of the beginning and growth of the church that Jesus established. The first Christians should not be viewed as idyllic … they were real people with real struggles. What did that first community of disciples look like?
In this series we are looking at ACTS OF DISCIPLESHIP and we begin where Acts does. Disciples Get Together. Let’s ask God to build a fire in me to be that kind of disciple in our church! Initial Acts of Discipleship included:
1. THEY LEARNED TOGETHER
(Acts 2:42a They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching)
NASB: They were continually devoting themselves.
They were devoted to learning - listening to Apostles. We are also to be devoted to listening to the Apostles.
“If we are not continually growing to understand and apply the doctrines of God’s Word, we are not growing in devotion to the Lord.” (Cole)
Part of what we are doing here is to learn together more of what God’s Word says.
2. THEY SHARED LIFE TOGETHER
(Acts 2:42 and to fellowship)
Fellowship is not a meal - but the sharing, love, care, conversation, camaraderie offered as we gather together.
CEB The believers devoted themselves…to the community.
Part of what we missed most during the pandemic was the fellowship of spending time together as a Faith Family. Our life together is so important because it is one of the empowering realities of life in the church. We are individuals, but we share a common hope, a common Spirit. Christian fellowship is two-dimensional, and it has to be vertical before it can be horizontal. We must know the reality of fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ before we can know the reality of fellowship with each other in our common relationship to God (Packer)
3. THEY COMMUNED TOGETHER
(2:42 to the breaking of bread)
Jesus was always at the center of their fellowship… his body and blood a part of their daily life. Bread and Wine common elements at the Jewish table. It seems natural to me that they would recognize the power and presence of the Savior in this way.
4. THEY PRAYED TOGETHER
(Acts 2:42 and to prayer)
The initial Christians faced some heavy struggles. They were rejected by their fellow Jews. They would face deadly persecution from Romans. They would sacrifice their homes and lives for Christ. In very early days the saints in Jerusalem diligently persisted in the observance of the stipulated times of Jewish prayer at the temple. (Deff)
ESV: and the prayers (Acts 2:42, ESV).
Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time for prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon.
“They always went in to God before they went out to the world; they were able to meet the problems of life because they had first met him.” - Barclay
5. THEY REVERED GOD TOGETHER
(Acts 2:43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.)
NASB: Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe…
No doubt this related to the miracles of the Apostles. I believe it was much more - everything was new. Though we do not have the Apostles through whom the Holy Spirit did great miracles, God has not stopped working!
“If we expect great things from God and attempt great things for God things happen. More things would happen if we believed that God and we together could make them happen.” - Barclay
We remain in awe of God who loves and saves!
6. THEY SHARED TOGETHER
(Acts 2:44-45 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.)
They had an intense feeling of responsibility each other. The spirit of Care and Compassion finds it’s way throughout the NT.
7. THEY WORSHIPED TOGETHER
(Acts 2:46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.)
"God knows nothing of solitary religion." Things can happen when we come together. God's Spirit moves upon his worshipping people. When we gather today we are joining in an ancient heritage of proclaiming our devotion to God!
8. THEY REJOICED TOGETHER
(Acts 2:46 They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts)
Gladness was there. There was much joy in spending time together in their homes. This is the power of LifeGroups … time spent together getting to know one another on a deeper level.