THE EARLY CHURCH: A MODEL FOR TODAY
BIBLE PASSAGE: ACTS 2:41-44.
2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
INTRODUCTION. A close study of the daily life of the first Apostolic Church reveals certain peculiarities worthy of note. Acts 2:42 Gideon Bible says “All the believers continually and faithfully devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, to eating meals together (including the Lord’s Supper) and to prayers”.This seems to run contrary to some trends noticed in the believers of our time, and our assemblies today. We need to examine what the early church looked like and practiced in order to re-align ourselves with the will of God for His Church.
OUTLINE 1:- SOME SHORT COMINGS OF THE PRESENT DAY CHURCH.
i. Human philosophies and motivational talks have replaced Apostles doctrines. 1Cor.2:4, Col.2:4,
ii. Monetary rewards and other forms of compensations have replaced selfless services. Acts20:35; Gal.6:9.
iii. True , genuine and agape love has been replaced by suspicion. 1John3:18, Heb.10:2
iv. Sacrificial giving is gradually fading away. Acts2:45, Ps.69:9
v. Pride ,competition, egoistic tendencies, rivalry among leaders and followers have replaced complementary and true submission to one another and God. 2Cor.10:12; phil2:5.
vi. Envy and strife, suspicion and hatred have found their ways to the church. James3:14,16.
vii. Gimmicks resulting in fake miracles, lies, exploitation, intimidation, evil packaging, deception, etc. 1Tim.6: 3-7; Eph.4:14; 2Cor.12:16-17.
OUTLINE 2: THE QUALITY OF THE EARLY CHURCH.
i. Steadfastness in Apostles doctrines, fellowship, prayers and breaking of bread from house to house. Acts2:42-44.
ii. Warm, truthful and loving fellowship. 2Cor.2:13; Phil.4:10
iii. True signs and wonders were common in early church. Acts2: 43, 4:14; Mark16:20.
iv. Unity in love and togetherness. Acts2:44; John17:21.
v. The early church members were generous. Acts2:45; 4:34-37.
vi. The early church enjoyed favour with all people. Acts2:44.
vii. The early church experienced tremendous growth on daily basis. Acts 2:41; 4:4; 5:14.
CONCLUSION: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever. Heb.13:8. The standard of His church MUST NOT CHANGE. While we cannot rule out the need for innovations and creativity that make the assemblies of God lively today, the present day church must be modeled after the early church in order to experience, manifest same and greater revival, power and the move of God through the Holy Spirit.