Summary: Family, church, fellowship, connection
THE FAMILY OF OUR FAITH
Acts 2: 42-47 (p 772) April 15, 2012
Your faith cannot be healthy if its isolated…you cannot grow to be the servant God wants you to be on your own…
Spiritual maturity, real discipleship can only happen by understanding the real reason Christ left His church…
Last week was Easter Sunday…the glue that held these original followers together was “the resurrection” …as they greeted each other with “Maranatha” which means “He is Risen” the appropriate response was “He is Risen indeed!...The resurrection held together…men, women, Jews, gentiles, slaves, free, rich and poor….None of the normal stereotypes made any difference for people bonded together by a Savior who died…and now lives…Jesus has clearly proved His claim to authority…
So what did they do…these early followers of Jesus after He ascended back into heaven with the promise to return...what happened to these and women after the Holy Spirit clearly manifested himself, one Pentecost and 3,000 respond to Peter’s preaching…Our text says…”they devoted themselves”
These individuals…filled with the Holy Spirit, freshly washed of their sins, bonded together with others who believed the same thing.
“Devoted themselves…made a deep commitment to finding out what all these meant…and they made a deep commitment to the other individuals who believed.
I THE CHURCH BECAME THEIR LIVES
There were great leaders and teachers in this early band…Peter, James, John….the Apostles…Individuals that had been with Jesus in his ministry and had witnessed His resurrection began to share His teaching and what they now knew those teachings meant.
They prayed together…took communion together, ate together…shared their lives with others who had questions could answer some of those questions…and could understand what it meant to be a follower of Jesus.
Originally the Greek word for fellowship is the word “Koinonia”…it carries in its meaning a giving of yourself to others a sharing of your life with others…Koinonia can’t be done just on the 1st day of the week…It can’t be done at a distance. It can’t be done at arm’s length with your defenses up…
It implies getting in touch…opening your heart…Koinonia and real compassion are almost identical twins. Masks have to come off…fences torn down. Welcome signs hung…the front door left open…it’s got to be genuine and authentic.
The example of what “Koinonia” really meant was set by the Apostles…It was modeled by the churches earliest leaders.
They become examples…not of CEO’s or C.F. O.’s, but “Fathers” “Brothers”…this was not an invitation to be administrated (although that gift was needed)…this was a “family” to be lead and loved.