Acts 2 describes the beginning stages of the Church. So many amazing things happening, people hearing and sharing the gospel, lives are being transformed and hundreds and even thousands believing is Jesus every day. We also see a picture of believers living in biblical community and functioning as a body of believers should. What were they doing differently than we do today?
Let’s take a look into Acts 2 and see what is different:
Acts 2:41-42, gives us a picture of community where we see Christians being baptized, being taught, and showing high devotion to loving one another.
41So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 42And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
If we look further to v.47, people were hearing the gospel and were responding “as the Lord added to their numbers.” What happened after they became believers?
Verse 42 says they “devoted” themselves to each other and did not appear to have much of an agenda. Devotion and commitment are difficult today in a world where we have multiple ways to connect, but can simultaneously be lonely and without community.
They were ordinary and imperfect groups of people, just like us. They, like all other people living in community, experienced conflict as we see this play throughout the rest of the Acts 5:1-6; 6:1. Biblical community is messy, but that is where we see the gospel play out in amazing ways.
Many of us have heard the gospel, believed it, repented of sin and been baptized in faith, similar to those we see in Acts 2:41, but those in Acts 2 didn’t stop as many of us easily do. We gather for Sunday service and are blessed with incredible preaching, amazing worship through music, witness baptisms, and take communion. The problem is, for many of us our connection to the body of Christ stops there. We stop short of fully engaging in biblical community.
To be fully engaged, we need to see our Sunday gathering as much more than an event. It is the entry point to connecting to a community of people— the church. It begins on Sundays and continues throughout the week as we devote ourselves to smaller groups of people known as Gospel Communities (GC). Jesus died for the local church and He is leading those who claim Christ as savior to be devoted to one another, as He is to us. TJC is passionate about these because they provide vital opportunities for us to grow in Jesus together and experience the freedom He offers at a much fuller capacity. You simply cannot do this when disconnected from weekly, on-going community. This is where true ministry and discipleship will happen.
Let’s work to not get stuck between vv. 41-42. There is only more joy and grace to come in pursuing v. 42. I challenge all who have remained in v. 41 to take the next step in obedience and connect to a GC. I plead with you to taste the sweet grace and love experienced in community.