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The First Christians

Acts 2 records the initial preaching of the gospel, as Peter announced the beginning of Jesus’ reign and the opportunity for salvation in Him. 3,000 people obeyed the gospel that day, being baptized into Christ. What was next for these people?

They worshiped. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (v. 42). Learning, praying, and remembering Jesus’ sacrifice (breaking bread denotes eating the Lord’s Supper [cf. 20:7]) were priorities. The word fellowship sometimes refers to the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 10:16), sometimes to the contribution (2 Corinthians 8:4), or it may more broadly include other spiritual activities. Either way, this verse points to frequent, consistent participation in worship together.

They shared. They were together and had all things in common (v. 44), even to the point of selling property to give to others (v. 45). Some of this sharing was doubtless done on an individual basis, but they also acted collectively, contributing into a treasury and then distributing from that to the needy among them (4:34-35). Their giving reflected their sense of oneness and their interest in their spiritual family.

They visited. V. 46 says “breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.” In some cases eating meals together may have been a means of providing for the poor among them, but more broadly it expressed their unity and provided an opportunity to build bonds between them.

Christians who regularly worship together, contribute together, and visit with each other are constantly nourished by these activities. They grow and they endure. This great chapter that presents the solution to sin also presents the antidote to backsliding!

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