“And they continue steadfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers.” — Acts 2:42
BIBLE TEXT: Acts 2:42-47
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
A close study of the daily life of the first apostolic church reveals certain peculiarities worthy of note. This seems to run contrary to some trends noticed in some churches today. We need to examine what the early church looked like and practiced in order to realign ourselves with the will of God for His Church .
- Some short-comings of the present – day church.
- The qualities of the early church.
SOME SHORT-COMINGS OF THE PRESENT – DAY CHURCH
- Human philosophies and motivational talks have replaced sound doctrines (1 Corinthians 2:4; Colossians 2:4,8).
- Rather than rendering selfless services. People now seek for immediate reward /compensations (Acts 20:35, Galatians 6:9).
- True love, as well as genuine fellowship (i.e Inter-personal relationship) is not just missing among members but has been replaced with suspicions (1 John 3:18, Hebrew 10:25).
- There is also the lack of sacrificial giving and commitment to kingdom projects (Acts 2:45, Psalm 69:9).
- Pride, egoistic tendencies and unhealthy rivalry among leaders and followers are quite noticeable (2 Corinthians 10:12, Philippines 2:5).
- Some members even engage in a life of suspicion, envy and strife (James 3:14,16).
- There are also gimmicks in some churches today resulting in exploitation, intimidation, faking of miracles, lies and deceptions in the name of packaging ; etc (1 Timothy 6:3-7; Ephesians 4:14, 2 Corinthians 12:16-17).
THE QUALITIES OF THE EARLY CHURCH
- Steadfastness in ‘apostolic’ doctrines
- Breaking of bread from house to house (Acts 2:42-46,12:5).
- The early Church featured warm, truthful and loving fellowship (2 Corinthians 2:13, Philippines 4:10).
- Real signs and wonders took place in the Church (Acts 2:43, 4:14, Mark 16:20).
- They were united with brotherly love and had all things in common (Acts 2:44, John 17:21).
- The members of the early Church were also generous (Acts 2:45, Acts 4:34-37) and enjoyed Favour (Acts 2:47).
- The church had tremendous numeric growth on daily basis (Act 2:41, Acts 4:4, Acts 5:14).
While we cannot rule out the need for innovations and creativity that make the Church of God lively today, the present day Church must be modeled after the early Church.