Acts 2:41-47. 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
On the day of Pentecost 3000 people received Christ. More people were saved in Jerusalem in that one day than in the next three years combined. It was truly a great work of God by the Spirit. We can only imagine the excitement and the stress the Apostles must have felt that morning. Church membership just went from 70 to 3,070 in a couple of hours time. There are now over 3000 believers who are indwelt by the life of Christ. There is now a physical manifestation of Christ’s life in Jerusalem – the church.
But now what?
What will “to live is Christ” look like for these 3,070 saints? What will the Apostles tell them to do next? What discipleship program will they establish? Will they send everyone home and tell them to start having personal devotions? A daily quiet time? Will they tell them to work on their personal relationship with the Lord? Read your Bible and pray every day and we’ll see you next Sunday.
Acts 2:42-47 paints a much different picture. What does a community of people that are indwelt by the life of Christ look like? It looks like complete and full devotion to one another – and they devoted themselves to the fellowship. They gave themselves wholeheartedly to the church.
What are you devoted to? What have you given your life for? Is Christ at the top of that list? Is his church? Is your local church?
If you’ve received Christ’s life, then wholehearted devotion to the church should come naturally. It should be easy to be devoted to the church. Why? Because the church, like Christ himself, offers us everything our hearts need. Worship, love, peace, unity, purpose, intimacy and impact, and even physical needs. All are designed by God to be met in the church fellowship.
But church life isn’t all about you getting what you want. Our hearts also need to learn to submit, to give, to care, to listen, to learn, to compromise, to fellowship, to humble ourselves. And this attitude should also be natural for those that are in Christ. Isn’t this the mind of Christ? The heart of Christ? The very life of Christ? And isn’t his life now in us, being lived through us?
“To live is Christ” is to live together. Why? Because that’s how the gospel begins to shape our lives. Meeting our heart’s needs while teaching us to meet the needs of others. Spiritual growth is always measured relationally. Spiritual growth is relational growth. Therefore, spiritual growth only happens in community. A community that is dedicated to truth and love. But how?
they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching – The gospel. The truth of Christ with which the Spirit has filled the Twelve. Each of these new believers was Spirit filled but they still had to learn the gospel and allow it to grow its roots down deeper and deeper into their lives.
Are you devoted to learning the gospel?
They devoted themselves to… the fellowship – They didn’t just attend Bible studies; they did life with one another. They shared a common existence. They shared not only beliefs but also burdens.
Are you devoted to sharing life with others?
They devoted themselves to… the breaking of bread and the prayers – These two phrases imply a liturgy for worship. Breaking bread is most likely the Lord’s Table. And THE prayers implies specific common prayers that they prayed together. It wasn’t every person for himself/herself. It was a shared worship experience that they had to individually submit to for the sake of the group.
Are you devoted to the worship service of your church?
Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
“To live is Christ” is never isolation, independence, or individuality. It is always a shared experience with the body of Christ. Sharing the word of Christ and the life of Christ. Full devotion to Christ and therefore to his church. Resting in his full devotion to us, allowing his Spirit to both satisfy and transform our hearts daily in his presence. Together.
What are you devoted to?
You in Christ
In Christ you have been saved into the church family. Does this change how you see your church at all?
Christ in you
What is one way you can be devoted to Christ and his church today?
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