All Things in Common
While human beings tend to complicate things, God keeps things pretty simple. For example, the church. We build grand cathedrals and mall-like mega-churches on sprawling campuses. We create hierarchies of leaders and committees for everything. We write lengthy bylaws, policies and procedures, creeds, and statements of faith. We have philosophies of ministry and fill the calendar with events and programs. It takes a class or two to get baptized or to become a member. But God is happy to use whatever building exists or none at all. As far as leadership goes, he gave us elders and deacons; those who lead and those who serve. The Word of God itself is the only governing document that was required. As for philosophy and classes and such: “Go and make disciples.” When you think about it, the church really isn’t that complicated.
The purest church ever, I believe, was that first church plant on the Day of Pentecost. Just 120 believers became 3000+ after one sermon by the Apostle Peter. Once they’d all been baptized, they did what churches do. What churches are supposed to do. They sat under the teaching of the Word. They met for worship. They prayed. They told others about Jesus. And they did these four things while living and caring for one another in a way that was unheard of. Uncommon. We’ll look at the character and practice of that first church as we study Acts 2:42-47. And we’ll see how our local church is called to exemplify the same character and practices.
If you have missed any of the previous six messages in this series, you can access the audio podcast or watch the videos online. Continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to use last week’s message to bring many to Christ and to a decision to be baptized.
October 20, 2019
When I’m saved and join with God’s people in the local church, I’m committing myself to…
• Unapologetic preaching (v. 42a)
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
• Unashamed worship (v. 43, 46a, 47a)
• Unceasing prayer (v. 42c)
• Unafraid witness (v. 47b)
Luke’s summaries present an ideal for the Christian community which it must always strive for, constantly return to, and discover anew if it is to have that unity of spirit and purpose essential for an effective witness.
John B. Polhill
• Uncommon community (v. 42b, 44–45, 46b)
The growth of a church happens when the church has the right priorities. This is not a question of strategy or method, but a question of reckoning with the power of God.
Eckhard J. Schnabel