READ: Acts 2
THINK: In 1773 the young pastor of a poor church in Wainsgate, England, was called to a large and influential church in London. John Fawcett was a powerful preacher and writer, and these skills had brought him this opportunity. But as the wagons were being loaded with the Fawcetts’ few belongings, their people came for a tearful farewell. During the good-byes, Mary Fawcett cried, “John, I cannot bear to leave!” “Nor can I,” he replied. “We shall remain here with our people.” The wagons were unloaded, and John Fawcett spent his entire fifty-four-year ministry in Wainsgate. Out of that experience, Fawcett wrote the beautiful hymn, “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.”
Peter’s words pierced their hearts and they questioned what they should do (v. 37). Notice how the Holy Spirit took Peter’s message to cause the listeners to be angry about their sin. He told them they must repent, turn to God, be baptized so their sins would be forgiven (v. 38). Repenting means to change our mind, which results in a change of life. This promise is also for us and our children. It is for everyone our Lord God will choose, no matter where they live (v. 39). Peter told them many other things and about three thousand believed his message and were baptized (vv. 40-41).
The characteristics of the early Church are listed (vv. 42-47):
1. It was a learning Church; it persisted in listening to the apostles as they taught (v. 42).
2. It was a Church of fellowship; it had the great quality of togetherness (v. 42).
3. It was a praying Church; these early Christians knew that they could not meet life in their own strength and that they did not need to (v. 42).
4. It was a reverent Church; in verse 43 the word translated “fear” has the idea of awe in it.
5. It was a Church where things happened; signs and wonders were there (v. 43).
6. It was a sharing Church (vv. 44, 45); they had a feeling of responsibility for each other.
7. It was a worshiping Church (v. 46); they never forgot to visit God’s house.
8. It was a happy Church (v. 46); A gloomy Christian is a contradiction in terms.
9. It was a Church whose people others could not help liking (v.47).
PRAY: The early church attracted people because of the way the members loved each other, and served each other, and served the Lord. Ask God to help you be that kind of person, and ask him how you can help serve your church to help it be more and more like that.