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Summary: One evidence of conversion is a desire to be instructed in the doctrines and duties of the Christian religion, and a willingness to attend the preaching of the gospel. These young converts had embraced this doctrine gladly, and were not only believers....

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September 2, 2013

By: Tom Lowe

Series: The Early Church

Title: Unity Among the People

Acts 2.42-47 (KJV)

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Commentary

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship,

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine (In the things taught by the apostles.),” which is the same as the doctrine of Christ, and He is the author, teacher, and subject of His doctrine; the essential themes of which is peace with God, pardon of sins, righteousness, and salvation by faith in Him: this is system of belief the apostles received from Christ, and constantly taught in their ministry; for that reason, it is called “the apostles' doctrine.” The word “doctrine” now has a technical connotation, and means a collection and arrangement of abstract views supposed to be contained in the Bible. In the Scriptures the word means simply "teaching"; and the expression here denotes that they continued to be present when the apostles gave instructions. One evidence of conversion is a desire to be instructed in the doctrines and duties of the Christian religion, and a willingness to attend the preaching of the gospel. These young converts had embraced this doctrine gladly, and were not only believers of it, but resolute believers; they were constantly hearing it, continually involved in the ministry of the apostles, committed to memorizing the doctrines taught by the apostles, and stood firm in the faith of the Gospel, in spite of all the rebuke cast upon them by their countrymen, and the hardships they endured for it.

“Fellowship” does not mean the apostles' fellowship, but the “fellowship” of the Church (which would include the apostles)—that common life of close brotherhood in which they did everything together, and shared with the others all they possessed, so that there seemed to be one heart and one mind shared by all of them. Although fellowship in our day does not have the same depth of sharing, we still have many things in common with those first Christians, as well as having many things in common with our brothers and sisters in Christ. All Christians have the same hope of heaven; the same joys; the same hatred of sin; the same enemies to contend with. Consequently, they have the same subjects of conversation, of feeling, and of prayer; and they have spiritual union in these things. And thus the early Christians had their property in common. “Fellowship” here may apply to any or to all of these things: to their conversation, their prayers, their dangers, or their property; and it also means that they were united with the apostles, and participated with them in whatever happened to them. Christians feel that they are a band of brethren, and that, however much they were separated before they became Christians, now they have many important interests in common; they are united in feelings, in interests, in dangers, in conflicts, in opinions, and in the hopes of a blessed immortality. These first Christians became known for their constant contributions towards the support of the apostles and of the poor members of the church.


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