Thoughts from the Bible – 01/29/20
The Jerusalem Church – The Model Church – Acts 2:41-47
by Terry Broome
Thoughts from the Bible
- Friday, 31 January 2020 16:39
According to Acts 2:1, 41-47 the church began in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost after the ascension of Jesus.
In many ways, under the supervision of the apostles, this new church provides us with a model of how God’s church was intended to be. Let’s focus on attributes and reactions in verses 41-47.
The first quality that is noteworthy is that they were United in Attitude Toward the Word of God as preached by Peter. We read in Acts 2:41 that many in the audience “Gladly received his word.” In the same verse we learn that they were obedient to that Word. “They that gladly received his word were baptized.” Furthermore, they adhered to the Apostles’ doctrine, Verse 42, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…”
Next, we look at their relationship with one another. They Were United in Fellowship: Verse 42 “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” The word “fellowship” comes from the original language, Koinonia – Mutual Sharing, joint participation.
In the same verse, we learn that this Fellowship Extended to Their Worship, Verse 42 “they continued steadfastly . . . in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” This “breaking of bread” here appears to be different than in verse 46 where they shared in common meals with one another (as well as Acts 20:11). In Verse 42 it is used in a sequence of worship events, likened to Acts 20:7 (KJV) 7And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” This breaking of bread refers to the communion of the Lord’s body, the Lord’s Supper. And in that regard the verse closes with, “and in prayers.”
Next, we note that they were united in a Sacrificial Spirit: Verse 44 – “Had all things common.” In Verse 45, This produced Liberality. They “Sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” Acts 4:32 (KJV) 32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
Other admiral qualities that are essential to the Lord’s Church are: United in Purpose: Verse 46 “With one accord…” “Singleness of heart…” Acts 4:32 (KJV) 32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
They Were Zealous: Verse 46 “continuing daily in the temple…from house to house.” Acts 20:20 (KJV) 20And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house.” They Found Happiness: Verse 46 “Took their food with gladness and singleness of heart.” They Were Loyal: Acts 8:4 (KJV) 4Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” And as a result of these qualities, The Church Grew: Verse 41 “3000 were added…” Acts 4:4 (KJV) 4Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
Acts 6:7 (KJV) 7And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Go back and read Acts Chapter Two. We can be a member of the Lord’s church by responding as they responded. (See Acts 2:38-42).
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489