Summary: What if a church lived like the first church? What would that look like? Can we be such a church today?
The Unity of the Believers
Opening Reading: Luke 24:36-49
This past week was for so many of us a week of celebration and affirmation. We belong to those who are called Christians or in a larger context “The Church”.
We recognize only one head of the church and that is Jesus. Only Jesus has proved by His Birth. Life, Death and Resurrection that He is “The Messiah” – “The Savior” of all who will put their faith in Him.
Our Bibles record the events giving us all aspects of this Resurrection including those who Denied Him and Tried Him and Executed Him. We get the full picture of the Political, the Religious and the Faithful in this most momentous of events in human history.
An event that echoes into Eternal History. Think on that a moment.
Two Psychologists Hardin & Higgins were part of a study in 1996 that discovered that when we have a shared experience that is real our trust and reliance on one another is strengthened.
Sounds like an obvious conclusion but it is important when applied to our group called “The Church”
“Also, the account by Hardin and Higgins 1996 suggests that the process of shared reality creation may serve two main functions, that is, rendering representations or views of the world reliable and rendering these representations or views valid. Furthermore, an interpersonal consequence of reality sharing is the strengthening of trust and reliance between those participating in a shared reality.”
With the Resurrection of Jesus we have yet another reality event that cements the group of followers of Jesus like nothing else could. This group of core followers; the 12 Disciples and their families and friends become the nucleus of the Early Church.
As a result of being with Jesus and witnessing 3 years of miraculous events one after another and then to witness His Resurrection these people become indomitable in their faith. They possessed a courage that transcended death.
These Christians were united from here to eternity forever more.
Human government lost its hold on them, their social order had been replaced by a new paradigm. The Church.
Can we say the same about us in our present “Church Age?”
Listen to how they expressed their faith in their own words;
“1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
4 We write this to make our[a] joy complete.
These statements back up what they had experienced in Luke 24:36-49
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.
4 Who ever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.
5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:
6 Who ever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”
Dear ones living out our faith in Jesus Christ as a body of believers should be the easiest and most natural way for us to live but today we find the Christian Church falling apart instead of being built up.
It does not have to be this way. All we need do is to return to the original model of the Church.