All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals including the Lord’s Supper, and to prayer. NLT
If there ever was a success story, the FIrst century church was one such! This church was successful in terms of growth, signs and wonders, social welfare, spiritual gifts, leadership development and uncommon influence, among other things. Today’s church would do well to emulate them. So what made them so successful? The Holy Spirit caused four commitments in the church.
Firstly, believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ TEACHING. So should we today. We cannot match the early church’s power and fire if we downplay solid biblical teaching. It is interesting that true Pentecostals are known by their love for the Word before anything else. Remember that the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit! See Ep 6:17.
Secondly, they devoted themselves to FELLOWSHIP. That means they valued gathering with fellow believers in the name of Jesus. They knew the power of dwelling together in unity (Psalm 133:1). Do you? Beloved, true faith is not exclusively personal, but is also communal. When your passion for meeting with other saints diminishes, beware!
Thirdly, they shared MEALS. That means they ate together and also shared the Lord’s Supper together. Now, eating together doesn’t quite sound “spiritual”, does it? Yet it took a meal to get Zacchaeus to repent (Luke 19:2-10). Beloved, sometimes the most spiritual thing for us to do is to simply have fellowship around a meal!
Fourthly, they devoted themselves to PRAYER–corporate prayers. To the early church, prayer wasn’t the preserve of selected individuals. It was their secret weapon. Through prayer, their loved ones were delivered from prison, needs were met, the sick were healed and people were baptised in the Holy Spirit. Prayer wasn’t a special ministry for special prayer-warriors. Every saint was an intercessor. Why not today?
Let us recommit ourselves relentlessly to theses fundamentals as the first century saints did. Then we will replicate their success story in the twenty-first century.