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The Fellowship of the Church

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The early church growth


The Fellowship of the Believers

1: COMPANIONSHIP, COMPANY//looking for the fellowship of friendly people
2a: community of interest, activity, feeling, or experience//their fellowship in crime— A. J. Ayer
b: the state of being a fellow or associate
3: a company of equals or friends : ASSOCIATION//a youth fellowship
4: the quality or state of being comradely//meaningful communication for building trust and fellowship
2. (Acts 2:42) Steadfastness: the early believers were a devoted people who continued steadfastly.
(2:42) Continued steadfastly (proskarterountes): to continue, persevere, endure, stick, persist.
A person does not quit, back off, fade away, or slip back.
He continues on steadfastly.
(2:42) In doctrine (didache): the teaching, the instruction of the apostles.
The teaching would include both what Christ taught and His actual death, resurrection, and ascension (or exaltation).
It would be the same teaching and instructions …
The teaching would be no different.
There is only one message, only one Word, that saves, roots, and grounds people in the Lord—the Word of God Himself, the message of the New Testament.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Mt. 28:19–20).
The Fellowship of the Church
Acts 2:42–47
1. The Continuing In Doctrine
1. Teaching
2. Truth
3. Training
(2:42) Fellowship: the fellowship wrought by the Spirit of God means more than the association existing in secular groups such as civic clubs and community bodies.
There is a vast difference between community participation and spiritual participation. Community participation is based upon neighborly association.
Spiritual participation is based upon a spiritual union wrought by the Spirit of God.
II. The Communion In Duty
1. Partners
2. Participate
3. Prayer
“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Ro. 12:5).
“For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread” (1 Cor.10:17).
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).
(2:42) Lord’s Supper: the phrase “breaking of bread” means the early believers observed and remembered the Lord’s death.
They set aside some time to observe what churches call communion, or the Lord’s Supper, or the Eucharist.
Note they observed the Lord’s Supper daily (v. 46).
Why did they observe it so often?
1. The Lord’s Supper was the one ordinance Christ had given to symbolize His death.
And it was His death that had saved them. Because of His death, they were now …
• reconciled to God
• in fellowship with God
• made new creatures in God
infilled with the Spirit of God
• bearing all the fruit of God (Gal. 5:22–23)
“This do in remembrance of me” (Lk. 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24–25).
“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he comes” (1 Cor. 11:26).
(2:42) Prayer: the early believers were a people who persevered in prayer—the idea is church prayer, united prayer with the whole body of believers.
1. Through prayer they were brought into the most intimate fellowship and presence of God.
They could get no closer to God than when they were drawing nigh to God through prayer.
“The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth” (Ps. 145:18).
“But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works” (Ps. 73:28).
III. The Church Added Daily
1. Innocence
2. Inspires
3. Increase
3 (2:43) Fear, Godly—Church: the early believers were a people who stirred souls with a godly fear.
Fear (phobias) does not mean terror or fright
. It means …
• a godly fear, a fear of God, of His displeasure and judgment
• a holy sense of God’s presence
• a consciousness that God is working
• a reverence for God and for what is happening
• a sense of awe and wonder
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