Acts 2:41-42. 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.
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 as Church membership went from 70 to 3,070 in a couple of short hours. 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 the Apostles do with these baby Christians? What discipleship program will they establish? Will they send everyone home and tell them to start having daily devotions? Will they tell them to work on their personal relationship with the Lord?
Acts 2 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. It looks like wholehearted devotion 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 do life together with other believers in unity. 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. Therefore, spiritual growth only happens in community. A community that is devoted. Devoted to what?
they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching – Are you devoted to learning the gospel?
They devoted themselves to… the fellowship – Are you devoted to sharing the burdens of life with others?
They devoted themselves to… the breaking of bread and the prayers – Are you devoted to the worship service of your church?
And what is the result of such devotion?
Acts 2:47. Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
“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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