The crux of last week’s study on biblical salvation was the passage just before this where Peter preaches the Holy Spirit fueled gospel for the first time and 3,000 people get baptized and “added to their number.“
Well, Luke (the author of Acts) follows that up by telling us how the brand new church in Jerusalem lived out its newfound faith in Christ. That’s the inspiring description you just read. That’s what our church is aiming to become as we go with God. Let’s break down some key points from their example:
- They were devoted… Do we want to be a part of a Christian club or do we want to be a part of God’s church that can change the whole world? Devotion is the difference maker.
- There was an atmosphere of awe… God’s true church can’t be faked. He’s doing big things in people’s lives and it’s incredible to be a part of it.
- The were together and had all things in common… This doesn’t mean they were alike (we talked about this in 1 Corinthians 12, remember?) This means that they decided to consider others better than themselves. They decided that their first allegiance would be Jesus and Jesus’ people instead of themselves. When you do that you end up seeing that we have a lot more in common than we ever imagined.
- Distributing the proceeds to all… We practice tithing as a church (Matthew 23:23). We also take up a yearly special missions collection to help third world churches. And when people are in need we try to find a way to help them. That all sounds pretty Christian doesn’t it!
- Day by day in the temple and in their homes… That is so awesome. The first church met all together in the temple and they also met in their homes in small group house churches. That’s what we do too! That’s one reason we call ourselves a first century church for the 21st century.
- Received their food with glad and generous hearts… I don’t know about you but I’m always feeling glad and generous when I’m eating! They took communion together (like we do every Sunday) and they ate together. This must have helped them build the kind of deep relationships we read about in Hebrews.
- And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved… One way that the church keeps from being reduced to to a Christian club is by sharing the gospel so God can add to the church. There’s no such thing as a Christian that’s not on the mission and there’s no such thing as a church that God doesn’t want to grow. Churches have seasons of pruning and growth (just like people) but we should always look to go with God so the church can grow with God.
Take a moment to answer the questions in your field guide that will help you take first century faith into your 21st century life.
We’ll conclude this study on the kingdom life by looking at how the king and his kingdom meets us wherever we are in life. Anyone can Go With God.