Acts 2 is a beautiful chapter in the Bible. It is the beginning of God’s Church.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42–47, ESV)
The beauty of what God did in the lives of the people shows a perfect example of God’s power in His Church.
What did the first church look like?
Notice what the people devoted themselves to: the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship of the believers. They also ate together and prayed together. Just to be clear this wasn’t meals after church and praying during service. This was a way of living outside of what we would call a church service.
Next, notice what the first church members did: “those who believed gathered together and had all things in common” which means they lived closely together and closely supported each other. They then went a step further. They sold what they had to share with those in need among them.
The first church lived this way day-in and day-out.
Then what happened?
This is important to understand for believers today so think deeply about this. God added new believers to their number daily.
So what do these verses mean?
We could attribute the growth to the teaching or the fellowship or the love that everyone had for each other. But we shouldn’t miss the real reason that the first church grew and people joined it. Notice the verses say that “the Lord” added to their numbers. The “secret” of the success in the lives of the believers and in the first church was not the church it was the Lord!
How the Church goes wrong?
When we read these verses we shouldn’t focus on what the people did in the first church. It would be easy to mistakenly praise the apostles or the members of the first church but the truth the people were following God in what he was doing.
The truth is because the church is physically before us (the building, the people, the ministries, the pastor, etc.) we get tied up in basing our opinions of church on the physical instead of the God of the church.
People will fail you, buildings will get old, ministries will end, and pastors are all too human. This is why the New Testament never, ever talks about following or trusting any of these things. The New Testament says that these things are sustained and made better by following God. We can’t base our lives on the Church. We must base our lives on the Savior of the Church! He will not let us down.
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Check out 1 Corinthians 12:12-27