Life Together in Christ
"Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common" (Acts 2:44)
One of the most important observations that could be made of the early church was their distinction to live differently from the world and their dedication to live life together. To sincerely believe in Jesus resulted in a sincere love of the brethren. These realities were inseparable for the first followers of Christ and it should be true of us today.
This idea of "being together" begins with the nature and will of God, who eternally exists as a tri-unity of: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God is one and yet mysteriously more than one. Since God is a perfect community of holy unity, His desire for His covenant people is to share into this same union and fellowship. Jesus prayed for our unity with Him and one another just before He went to the cross in
John 17:21-22, "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one" Therefore, those who have put their trust in the Lord are not called to live in isolation but in close fellowship with their local church community. The first time that God revealed something was "not good" was when man was alone as He had not yet made His bride. We see that God created the oneness of marriage to reflect our future union with Him in glory. God commanded "the blessing" when He said, "O how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity" (Psalm 133:1,3).
There is a wise saying of Solomon that says,"A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment" (Prov. 18:1). It is never wise to detach from the brethren since they represent the rest of your spiritual body and the object of God's unconditional love.
This is why Jesus taught us to pray with a full consideration of the rest of the brethren in His model prayer: "OUR Father...give US this day OUR daily bread..." and so on. It should be noted that the four core priorities of the early church require the body being together.
The Apostles doctrine has to do with teaching and learning together in community... Fellowship involves us sharing Christ’s life together as we submit to one another and edify each other...Breaking of Bread requires us to be together and wait for one another before eating and drinking in remembrance...And Prayers are most effective when we agree together in faith and unity as we pray with and for one another.
When believers are truly living as Christ called them to live, they cultivate and imitate a Jesus culture. The descriptions given in Acts 2:40-47 show us what this culture looks like:
A Jesus Culture: A Way of Living Life Together in Christ v. 40 - Separate from the world (A Pure Lifestyle) v. 42 - Steadfast (A Devoted Discipline) v. 46 - Daily (An Ongoing Community) v. 46 - One (A United Heart and Mind) v. 46 - Gladness (A Joyful Spirit) v. 46 - Simplicity of heart (A Singular focus)
This Jesus culture will overflow in practical works, public and house meetings, praise and worship, and outreach and mission. As the Church community faithfully focuses on the quality, they can leave the quantity up to God. The end result of these priorities being practiced is that the Lord adds to His church "daily those who are being saved".
"ACTS IN ACTION" CHALLENGE POINT:
Commit to praying for your whole church weekly.
Always have someone to invest in and to serve.
Take time to hear a new testimony each week.