The Fellowship of the Believers
 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.  And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.  And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV)
- The early Church was devoted to the teaching of the Apostles.
The Apostles served a very unique and specific role within the early Church. One of the most important roles was that of establishing doctrine and theology. This did not mean that the Apostles created new theology out of nowhere. Rather, they worked to help the Church understand the life, work, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and all of the implications of the Gospel. The early Church recognized and submitted to the authority of the Apostles, especially in the area of doctrine and teaching.
- The early Church was committed to fellowship.
You can’t read this text and not feel your heart being warmed and even filled with a desire to experience something similar to what Luke is describing. People in the Church were sharing their lives with each other, visiting in homes, sharing meals, and learning to live new lives in light of the Gospel. Being reconciled to God the Father through God the Son made the believers brothers and sisters with each other. This objective Gospel reality transformed their relationships with each other.
- The early Church was committed to taking care of one another.
Too many people misunderstand the common sharing of goods in this text as an argument for Communism. It is not. Communism requires the forceful taking of goods from others and fails to acknowledge personal ownership of property and goods. The exact opposite of that is taking place in this text. People who owned personal property and goods were choosing of their own accord to sell what was rightfully theirs in order that they might share with their new Christian family. This is a very practical outworking of the Gospel grace. Jesus gave of himself for us. Therefore, we can give of ourselves and our goods to others in need.
- What does it look like today for you to be devoted to the Apostle’s teaching?
- How much of a priority is Christian community to you? In what ways does this text encourage or challenge you?
- This text makes it clear that financial generosity was one of the unique marks of the early Church. How are you doing in the area of financial generosity? Does your giving reflect the heart and the actions of the early Church?
Call to Worship
 I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever;
with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.
 For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever;
in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”
 You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn to David my servant:
 ‘I will establish your offspring forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’”
 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,
your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! (ESV)
Prayer of Confession
Loving Father, be merciful and forgive our sin. Cleanse our unrighteousness. Heal our hurts and reconcile our broken relationships. Pour Your Spirit upon us with renewing grace. Restore to us the joy of our salvation. Forgive our excessiveness and ingratitude. Make us a thankful people with charitable hearts, who drink from the well of Your grace, that this broken world will taste the new wine of the gospel. Through Jesus, Amen.