David Collins – Acts 2v41-47
Bible Study 22nd March 2020
Acts 2:41-47 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
• As soon as they heard the word they were baptised and the church grew!
o We need to continue to be a church of the word
o How often do we spend in the word of God?
o Should we set aside more time to hear what God is saying to us?
There are 4 characteristics that set the early church apart and laid the foundation for how we are today:
• The Apostles teaching
a. God designed the church to be a place where His Word is proclaimed and explained.
b. Paul describes it like this, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2Tim. 2:2).
c. A commitment to the apostles’ teaching is foundational to the growth and spiritual health of every church.
Peter wrote, “Like new-born babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).
d. Paul writes in romans , “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2).
e. Paul then goes on to explain this process in Ephesians 3:3-5, “how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I wrote before in a few words, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets.”
f. The disciples saw the importance in continuing in the teachings of the apostles to grow in their faith and keep from sins.
• How important do we see the teaching of the word of God?
• The breaking of bread
a. They were a Christ centred church. Following the command of Jesus to do this as often as you eat/drink in remembrance of me.
b. When we take communion we meet each other at the foot of the cross since all are sinners saved by the grace of God in Christ (Eph.2:16; Col.1:20).
c. Communion acknowledges the amazing work of Jesus on the cross
d. Communion demonstrates the unity of believers, since in it all partake together symbolically of the same Lord (Eph. 4:5).
e. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:16–17, “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.”
a. They were a praying church. The importance of intersession was evident in their actions.
b. Programs, concerts, entertainment, or the testimonies of the rich and famous draw large crowds. Prayer meetings, on the other hand, attract only the faithful few. Maybe one of the reasons for the weakness in the church today?
c. The first fellowship knew the critical importance of pursuing spiritual duties.
d. They knew the church must be made up of saved individuals, devoted to studying the Word, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer
e. Pray at all times Ephesians 6:18 “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
f. Go into your quiet place and spend time with the Lord today.
• A people who worshipped and praised God daily
a. “Praising God… having favour with all the people…” (v.47a).
b. They were an attractive church. They had to be as many were being added to their number daily! What did they have? Do we have it?
c. They were still going to the Temple and being open about their faith, so that all could see and experience their transformed lives. The intense persecution by the Jews came later.
d. They lived the words of Jesus in John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
e. Their unity was an answer to our Lord’s high priestly prayer "that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17:21, NASB95)
• And then you see the people are in awe as the boldly proclaim the gospel walk in unity and look after each other. The community in which they lived and worshiped with one another and the church grows!
• This is the church the world needs to see, let’s pray that when they look at us it is the church they see.