The Power of a Loving Church: Acts 2:41-46

 

     Let’s meet the powerful first church that met in Jerusalem (Acts 1:5-8) . The promise of Pentecost was fulfilled and in Acts 2 we see thousands of people converted.  This may lead us to ask, what gave that church such dynamic power?  The members modeled God’s love to the world (I John 4: 7-8).  The love of God indwelt these believers and it changed their lives and gave power and credibility to their witness.

 

     The first thing we can note about these believers is that they loved the Lord.  Acts 41 and 42 state “then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” The people were happy to hear the message the disciples carried.  When they learned about  the love of God, they responded to the good news (the gospel).  They were baptized, which was outward evidence that they loved the Lord.

 

     The breaking of bread (communion) and baptism illustrate God’s love. When believers remember the Lord each Lord’s day the bread and wine speak of the death of Christ (I Cor 11:23-26).  The baptism speaks of the Lord’s burial and resurrection, (Acts 6:3-4) 

 

     When a believer is baptized they publicly declare and show their love for Christ.  Baptism is showing the world that we are going to follow the Lord Jesus (Matt 3:15-17).  It shows that we are obeying the Lord Jesus, Matthew 28: 19-20 states: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Baptism is identifying with the Lord Jesus. 

 

     In Acts 2: 42 -46 we begin to see that not only did the early church love the Lord but they loved each other.  We are told they they gathered together “in the apostle’s doctrine.”  The early believers loved to gather together to hear God’s word. Today we have a tendency to gather less. Hebrews 10:25 reads, “ Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” 

 

     We are told that they were in fellowship.  Fellowship is a great reason for gathering together and to worship. Christians should love one another, John 13: 34-35: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

 

     In 1 Corinthians 12 we are shown that our closest bond is that we are members of His body.  There is great unity in our diversity.

 

     The early church met for the purpose of breaking bread.  They were remembering the death of Christ, they were a united community with one voice and a focus on the one who had sacrificed his life on their behalf.  The death that Jesus died on the cross speaks of God’s great love for mankind. 

 

     They were meeting “in prayers.” As they prayed the bond of love between them grew.  The prayer was building and uniting the church.  The Christians came together and they shared their needs with each other and rejoiced and thanked God for His provision.

 

     Not only did they share love among themselves, they loved lost people.  These believers were constantly proclaiming and praising the Lord Jesus Christ.  As they continued to declare God’s love and concern for sinful humans, the church had interested people being added to their company.  The Lord added to the church daily, (Acts 2: 47). As a community we are all to be involved in reaching out to the lost.  We are a family, but we also are a team and we must use co-operation to reach the world with the good news (the gospel) Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

     So, what did the Jerusalem church have that we may lack?  Is the power of love something that is active amongst us?  What can we do to increase our love?  Our love for the Lord is what will cause us to have love one for another.

 

By: Brian McKibbin