Yesterday we found that the early church were with one accord in prayer and as the waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:14, 2:1). After the early believers were filled with the Holy Spirit in the upper room, Peter boldly proclaimed the gospel to the devout Jews gathered from every nation in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost. Those that “gladly received his word were baptized” and the same day, three thousand souls were added to the church (Acts 2:41). If you do the math, the church grew from 120 to 3,120 in one day!
From the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the growth explosion, let’s note what the early church focused on. Luke specifies in verse 42 that they continued steadfastly in:
-the apostle’s doctrine
-breaking of bread
Verse 46 and 47 adds that “they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and”
-breaking bread from house to house
-praising God, and having favor with all people
With all these purposes in proper balance, verse 47 concludes with: “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
To summarize the main purposes or focuses found here at the birth of the Church, we get: 1) teaching God’s Word, 2) fellowship (this probably would be getting together in small groups to study and encourage one another), 3) breaking bread together (this would be like church socials or small group outings), 4) prayers, and 5) praising God in the temple or coming together for worship. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Church, combining the purposes listed here in Acts 2 with the Great Commission and the Great Commandment explains it this way: “Every church needs to grow warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through worship, broader through ministry, and larger through evangelism.” This is nothing new, but we sure do need a constant reminder so we do lose our focus.
Yesterday we prayed that God would unite us in prayer again and with each other. Today, on Day Two of our fast, let’s add to our prayer that God would make us one again in studying his Word together.