Acts 2:42-47 (AD 30)
“THEY [emphasis mine] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (v.42).
Who is the “They”?
A group of very mature Christians?
Unusually keen Christians with plenty of time on their hands?
No. The “They” refers to ALL the 3,000 people who had just been converted, and the behaviours and attitudes we see described in this verse were what EVERYONE was doing – it was normal, everyday, basic, Christian behaviour.
“devoted” (literally, ‘belonged to’) is a strong word, which doesn’t give us a specific standard we are obliged to reach, but provides an attitude for us to emulate. The Lord’s Supper, meaningful relationships with our Christian siblings, and Bible study, are not the only things we must focus on. But, in commending the early church it’s no coincidence that Luke mentioned those three things.
Note that those behaviours and that culture provided the context into which “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (v.47). God didn’t need the Christians to be like that before he could work, but it was no coincidence that he saved people who were then immersed into that familial atmosphere.
If God saved 3,000 people around you tomorrow and a chunk of them descended on your family and your church, what would they think you were devoted to? What behaviours and habits would they start to copy, assuming that they were the traits of a God-follower?
Luke expanded on this theme, saying that “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” (v.45-47).
Live life with your Christian family – not merely colliding on Sundays but being a part of their lives, as time and circumstances allow. We start with the gathering of the family on Sundays (COVID-allowing!). And we use that as a launchpad, cultivating a lifestyle in which we spiritually and practically find space and time during the week to serve each other and give thanks and praise to God. In-person when we can, speaking when we can’t, and messaging when even that isn’t possible.
It’s the normal, basic, regular, Christian thing to do.