BACK TO BASICS
ACTS 2:42-47 PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH 30 APRIL 2023
Sometimes, in our lives, we lose sight of what is important and which is most important. We seem to get lost in details and the expansion of ideas and events which happen in our lives. We forget, sometimes, even where we came from, who we are as a people, and sometimes where we are going on our trek through life.
So, it is good at times to find our way back to our roots. To find our way back to the basic realities and purposes of our lives.
And, as we think about that I believe it is of utmost importance that we go back to the basics – to the simple things in life. After all, life can become so complicated, so busy that, if we are not careful, we will begin to make poor choices and begin to live in a manner not so much focused on our Lord as it should be, or once was.
So, this morning we are going to go back to the basics concerning our life in the church. Our life in Christ. The basics of biblical doctrine and the basics of why we exist as a church.
It is always a good thing to look at ourselves on occasion. We need to do that to see where we are. We need to remember what brought us here, and where we need to go in the future.
Maybe we need to cut back on activities that cause stress in our lives. Maybe we need to “stop and smell the roses” occasionally. Doing that may allow us to assess where we are in our Spiritual walk with Christ and allow ourselves to continue to grow in Him. Refocusing our activity can result in spending more time in the Word and also spending more quality time with family, which God approves of, by the way.
The reason for doing this is primarily because we can take a look at the basics of life and realize what is truly important. And, what should be the most important things to each of us who call Jesus Christ our Savior? I believe we must include God, serving Him daily, and our family. And, for most of us, those three things can keep us busy enough daily to keep us out of trouble and very busy. In our Christian life, those three things are the basis of life that we should be about the business of mastering the most. But most of us, including me, are still a work in progress.
That reminds me of a song Bill Gaither wrote several years ago. It was a time when my daughters were young girls and they learned the song. It was titled “He’s Still Working on Me.”
The song says: “He’s still working on me, To make me what I need to be. It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars; The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be; ‘Cause He’s still working on me.” The idea is that we are never, in this life, going to be perfect. But God, every day is working on me to bring me into a right relationship with Him.
So, now let’s look at some basic things of the church which must be a part of our daily lives.
As we begin, we will look at Acts 2:42-47 as we view the purpose of the church. The basics we will look at are Worship, Fellowship, Discipling, Prayer, and some others as well. I am hoping that we will look at these over the next few weeks. Specifically, we will be taking a look at Worship, Fellowship, Discipling, and Prayer.
Acts chapter 2 tells of the beginning of the church. At the beginning of the chapter, the apostles had just chosen the replacement for Judas (the one who betrayed Jesus) and the chapter begins with them being together and the Holy Spirit descending upon them as tongues of fire.
Because of the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in other tongues. There was a purpose in this because people from many different languages were in attendance. The different tongues allowed all to hear the same message in their own language. This was at Pentecost, one of the Jews’ celebrations they came to every year and there were people there from…
Acts 2:5-13 lists the areas these people were from Parthians, Medes, and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues! Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” And look at verse 13. There are always the naysayers – the doubters – those who refuse to see God working in the lives of His people.
And just 2 verses down from this (verse 14) the recording of Peter’s first gospel begins. At the end of Peter’s message, the people were pierced to the heart and asked what shall we do to be saved. Peter tells them in verse 38 what they must do to be saved: to repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus and they would receive forgiveness of sin and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:41 tells us that about 3,000 people were baptized that day so they were the first people ever to become Christians. Hence, we have the beginning of the church. Now what do you do when something new comes into your life? You do everything you can to grow it and nurture it.
ILLUS: Kind of like when you bring a new baby into the world. You put a hold on what is going on in your life and you make every effort possible to give the baby the best start to life possible.
But that is what it is about. Learning and growing - doing what you know you need to do to give life the best possible opportunity for success. So, you do the basics and grow from there.
That’s what these new Christians did in Acts 2. And this brings us to Acts 2:42-47.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 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, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Everything in their life had just changed. They had just received new life in Christ and they had just received the Holy Spirit inside them. They had just become the new temple of God because God has now taken up residence inside them in the form of the Holy Spirit.
And the most wonderful thing that you now see happening is that they are doing exactly what God wants them to do and expects them to do.
They were not allowing the world around them to influence them. They had just died to the influence of the world. They gave up this world when they went to the watery grave of baptism, and they came up a new creation in Jesus Christ and now — now they are just allowing the Holy Spirit, who now lives in them, to guide them; to lead them.
That is such a great thing to read about and to see still today when Christians come together and simply do what God is leading them to do.
We cannot stress enough that reading the Word of God and prayer are vital to the new Christian as he/she begins a walk with Christ. These are the first things the first Christians did. The very first thing was devoting themselves to the apostles’ teachings. They didn’t have the Bible like we do today, but they had the oral teachings of the apostles, those who gave us the New Testament.
The first Christians devoted themselves to finding out more about God, more about Jesus, more about the Holy Spirit, and more about how they were to live now that they have come to God through Jesus Christ. It is no different for us today. This is what we do when we devote ourselves daily to God’s Word.
The fact that they devoted themselves to God’s teaching through the apostles is the first thing listed. I don’t know if Luke put the things they did down in order of importance or not. Maybe there is no significance about the order in which he wrote these things down, but one thing is for sure — if we don’t know God’s Word, we will not know how to be a Christian. And learning God’s Word includes learning here, while we are gathered together as the Body of Christ, but also on our own, in our homes, hopefully on a daily basis.
And, of course, we are to be about the business of sharing our life in Christ with others, especially those outside of Christ wherever we meet them.
It is important to note that being devoted to the Apostle’s teaching is listed first and prayer is listed last. That can mean for us that we should develop a pattern for our day – Start the day by spending some time in God’s Word and for nourishment. Then, end that time by talking with Him for a time to energize our day.
Everything these new Christians are doing in these verses are acts of worship.
Devoting themselves to the Apostle's teaching
Devoting themselves to fellowship
Devoting themselves to the breaking of bread.
And, devoting themselves to prayer. All of these things are part of our worship of God. But not just these things.
Being filled with awe as they were in verse 43 is part of worship. All the believers coming together with a common purpose as they did in verse 44 is part of worship. Taking care of the needs of others and especially of other believers is part of worship as they did in verse 45.
Continuing to meet together with other believers in the church building or in homes is a part of worship. And eating together, being glad together, being sincere from our hearts together, and praising God together as found in verses 46 and 47 are all parts of worship.
Worship is what brings Christians together. But personally, in our personal time is also worship. When we are not together corporately, we can also worship alone, as we devote ourselves to God daily. And worship is something every one of us do. We worship what is most important to us whether that be things in this world or God.
Worship really is basic in the life of a Christian. All of us worship something or someone. What do you worship? Who, or what is the object of your worship?
We are going to talk about worship next week as we get back to the basics. Worship really is a basic of life because everyone worships something. Worship is what we were created to do. It is in our DNA. God created us to worship Him, but we don’t always do that because of all the other things in this world, but we will worship something.
This week, make a point to do an act of worship to God each day of this week. You may already do that, but if you don’t, what a great thing to do every day to keep your focus on God.