Committed to the Basics: Part 3
One of the reasons the Church was able to grow from a handful of disciples to an unstoppable force of Christians is because of the early church’s dedication to the basics of discipleship. These basics are essential for us as individual Christ Followers as well as for our church families as a whole. We cannot fully become who God created us to be if we are not committed to these basic fundamentals of faith.
We find this basic fundamentals in Acts 2:42: And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers (ESV). The example of the early church provides us with four disciplines that need to be part of our lives. The first discipline is that we must be committed to studying. The Bible must be part of our lives, whether it is individual study or learning for Christian teachers, we must have a commitment to God’s Word.
Th second discipline the early church was committed to was fellowship. We in the modern church have a weak understanding of what fellowship means. Fellowship isn’t about dinners and hand shaking. It is about being united in a common love, purpose, faith, and situation.
These first Christians were thrown together. Through the apostle’s teachings they came to understand that they were in this together. They were a family and they needed to help each other. They were the Body of Christ and were on a mission together. They were in a hostile world and needed a safe place. In some ways it was only natural that a strong sense of fellowship emerged. Not only did it come from living out the two great commandments but it came from the difficult situation that they were in.
William Barclay in his commentary on Acts wrote; “The Church is the real Church only when it is a band of brothers” (The Daily Study Bible: The Acts of the Apostles; p. 30). The image of a band of brothers is the image of men who have bonded through the common mission given them during war. A bond that few of us have experienced that have not been in that situation.
It is something similar to that comradeship that we need to have in the Church. We need to be committed to each other. It is about meeting each other’s needs, encouraging one another, helping each other, and teaching one another. We are held together by a common love for God through Jesus Christ and a common purpose for our church family. Without a common purpose, an objective that we can all set our hearts and minds and strength to achieving, then it is impossible to have true fellowship, even if we share that common love for God. Fellowship is the life blood of the Church.
The writer of Hebrews urges us to stick together:
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25; ESV)
Life is tough and in order to make a difference we need the encouragement and love of other people. I am certain you know the importance of Christians relationships in your own life. There are certain people you thank God for because you don’t know if you would have made it if they weren’t there. We need each other!
- Point to Ponder: Fellowship is the life blood of the Church.
- Passage to Remember: Hebrews 10:24-25
- Question to Consider: What relationships do you value most in your life?