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42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

 

The passage before us gives a picture of how the early church functioned in worship with four practices.

-they studied the Apostle’s doctrine

-they entered the fellowship of believers

-they partook of communion

-they prayed together

42 And they continued steadfastly [persistently]

Verses 42-47 is one of three passages in Acts that show the fellowship and significant growth of the church. They give us a picture of the early church, a church that functioned with simplicity but with four high priorities.

Acts uses the Greek word for “continued steadfastly” six times in (Acts 1:14; 2:42, 44; 6:4; 8:13; 10:7). The idea is to adhere or devote to. The church gave unremitting care to four godly practices. The Greek word for “continued steadfastly” carries the idea of to pay persistent attention to something. The Greek grammar shows the ongoing nature of what they were persistent about (periphrastic construction): the Apostle’s doctrine and fellowship. This group of believers focused on what they were doing; they never lost sight of what was important to them. First and foremost, they were diligent about learning the apostle’s doctrine.

PRINCIPLE:

Every church needs four least common denominators.

APPLICATION:

The least common denominator of church functions are the four listed in this verse: 1) the study of God’s Word, which is the Apostle’s doctrine, 2) fellowship with other believers in the local church, 3) sharing communion together, and 4) they prayed together. Without these priorities, the church is powerless.

Biblical churches are marked by apostolic teaching from God’s Word, engaging fellowship with God’s people (Jn 13:34-35), participation in the Lord’s Supper and fellowship in homes, and prayers, both public and private. 

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