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The Pentecost Believers

November 14, 2013

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42 (ESV)

On the day of Pentecost, Luke documented the new believers numbered over three thousand. Quite a large number for one day that begs the question, what happened next? In Act 2:42, Luke tells us what happened to these three thousand.

  1. They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching. The apostles teaching? Most commentators and theologians agree the teaching referred to here is the teaching of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. This teaching would have seemed incredible to the new believers. They devoted, or surrendered, themselves to it. It does not say they went without question, but that they singularly believed and surrendered to it.
  2. They devoted themselves to the fellowship. In some ways it would be helpful for it to read “The Fellowship” as in a proper noun. This fellowship is not the verb, as in a gathering to eat dinner or watch a ballgame. It is referring to the gathering of believers and their activities. It is referring to the early church before they knew what the church was.
  3. They devoted themselves to the breaking of bread. Again, this is not about dinner. This is talking about celebrating the Lords’ Supper with each other. This is a moment when the devotion to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship comes together. You could express it like a math equation: Apostles Teaching + Fellowship = Breaking of Bread
  4. They devoted themselves to the prayers. There is a lot of question as to what exactly the prayers mean specifically. But when considering they were still meeting in the Jewish worship centers it could be considered they were devoted to worship.

If you are a new believer, this verse is asking you four questions: Are you devoted to the cause of Christ, are you committed to a church, are you celebrating the Lords supper with the church, and are you committed to communicating with God through prayer? These are the initial steps the followers of the day of Pentecost took on their walk in a new life with Christ. This is a tradition over 2000 years old which still applies to you as a new believer.

If you have been a believer for some time, are you teaching new believers these things? Are you still practicing them yourselves? If you say, “I am not,” on either point, you are in need of a change of course. Remember your devotion needs to be to Jesus, not just as your Savior, but also as you King. You are to be attached to a church, or fellowship. Then return to celebrating the Lord’s Supper with other believers. And pray. Communicate with God. You don’t have to have fancy words or formulated formal prayers, but just talk and listen with God.

The church will grow strong if we return to these basics the early believers found so important that they used them to create a foundation for a lifetime of strong and devout faith. Let’s take a step back two-thousand years and return to our basics.

 

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