The New Church

The Early Church
Acts 2:42-47 NIV

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

As you read this passage from Acts again, ask God to guide your understanding of the passage.  

  • Read the passage once silently. Pay attention to any words or phrases that stand out to you. 
  • Read the passage a second time aloud.  Focus on the words or phrases you noticed in the first reading.  Ask God what He is guiding you to see or understand.
  • Read the passage a third time, either aloud or silently.  Meditate on a word or phrase that seems to grab your attention.

Do you think this passage from Acts is prescriptive?  In other words, do you think the passage is a prescription for how churches should operate? What evidence leads you to this conclusion?

Could this passage be descriptive?  That is, is it describing how the early church operates? What  evidence leads you to this conclusion?

Could the passage contain both prescriptive and descriptive elements?  How do we know the difference?

Lord, forgive us for worshiping what is not You. Direct our hearts to understand the fullness of Your character, Your heart, and Your truth. Open us up to fully live out our adoration of You, as a church family. Help us to honor You with our lives, and within the life and ministry of the church. Teach us how to worship You in spirit and in truth. You are holy, You are righteous, and You are absolutely worthy. Amen.
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