A healthy church is one which follows the biblical model and not merely one which exhibits sound institutional management. The early Church in Acts 2 gives us four important congregational activities to reflect upon and challenge us.
Speaker: David Robinson
Scripture: Acts 2:40-47
- We tend to think of the church in institutional, organizational terms. Organization and administration are good – God is a God of order (cf. Gen. 1:3ff; 1 Cor. 14:33), but the heart of the church is our life together.
- God operates in the particular, not the abstract. He is at work in history, in the particulars of each of our lives.
- Broadly, Scripture lays out how we ought to live, and that is worked out particularly in our day-to-day activities.
- We have fellowship with one another because of our fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- God’s people are marked by two things in Acts 2: a people who are saved, and devoted.
- The church in Acts 2 devoted itself to four things: the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42).
- The apostles’ teaching is the Word of God, it defines and governs who we are and what we do.
- Scripture is central to the shared life of God’s people (Ps. 119:105). The rest of the church’s activities are informed and defined by God’s Word.
- The fellowship, or community, exists because of the common life that we share in Christ, and the salvation that God is working in each of us.
- We live in fellowship by looking out for one another in terms of physical, material needs as well as spiritual needs (cf. 1 Jn. 5:16).
- Small group settings are a way to build deeper and more intimate fellowship with our brothers and sisters.
- Our fellowship is itself a gift.
- The breaking of bread is a particular expression of the fellowship we have as believers. This refers both to the Lord’s Supper/ communion table on Sunday, as well as informal gatherings in our homes (Acts 2:46).
- The office of deacon was developed to make sure the church enjoyed fellowship in an orderly and abundant way.
- Christ is with us in our fellowship meals, and so we are to be devoted to the practice.
- Luke’s use of the definite article (the prayers) is a reference to a time of formal, deliberate worship (Acts 2:42).
- Lots of people get together, but Christians are those who gather in a spirit of fellowship with God, aware that we are in Christ.
- Prayer is the expression of our fellowship and communion with God in Christ, and it is fitting that our time together is marked by prayer.
- We are not only saved from a crooked generation, but for a crooked generation, to bear witness to Christ.
- What does it mean to describe the believer as one who is being saved?
- What are some ways we can look out for the physical and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ this week?
- Why should we build deeper and closer relationships with members of our church family?
- How do we prepare to come to the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner (1 Cor. 11:27)?