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How The Early Church Began

April 25, 2015

Greetings,

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he 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 and enjoying the favor of all the people.  And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”  Acts 2: 42-47

Wow, the second chapter of Acts…I love the band and the book.  The book gives us a close up view of the Body of Christ in its infancy and tells how the Gospel spread beyond Jerusalem. What I love about the church is how simple it begins and grows.  It was a God thing and not really a man thing, but The Spirit spoke through and used many ordinary everyday people to get the message out.

The apostles’ teaching was a major focal point, but even it was not complicated.  The apostles’ teaching was not a real matter of doctrine and didactics.  It was simply those who had spent real time with Jesus, sharing what Jesus had said and done among and within them.  It was those who had been with Jesus telling real stories about Jesus.

Fellowship or koinonia was also crucial in those early days and this meant that mutual participation and partnership in the gospel was taking place among all those who believed. During this excellent fellowship the early believers broke bread together and prayed.  Because of what Jesus had done and the unity that they shared they were all filled with awe and many amazing things happened.

It says that all the believers were together and that they shared EVERYTHING in common.  To me this means that everything they had was freely shared, including leadership, their message, possessions and everything else.  No one in the early church there went without; they shared every good thing with each other.

The early church was NOT just a Sunday morning and Wednesday evening kind of thing.  They shared fellowship with each other EVERY single day.  They were out in public in the temple courts and they also met to eat and share Jesus everyday with each other in their homes. When they gathered for the fellowship meal they did so with glad and sincere hearts.  They were praising God 24/7 and because of this they also enjoyed the good favor of all the people in their community.  It is no wonder why people were getting saved everyday

That is the church that was, but what about the church today?  Where is the unity, The Spirit, the power and the awe of God in today’s church?  I hate to say it, but it is really practically impossible to find anywhere today.  We have very little unity because we have chosen uniformity of doctrine over oneness in Jesus.  Instead of flowing freely in the Holy Spirit we have chosen to be led by our understanding of the bible.  Instead of power and awe we have accepted complacency and rote religion.  And finally instead of making disciples in the manner of Jesus, we make mere converts after the traditions and ways of man.  We also traded free & open, Spirit led conversations and dialogue for sermons and monologues from mere “men”. You may say I am being too critical, but in all honesty I do not think I have even begun to scratch the surface of the modern “churches” problems.

The solution?  I think we will find part of it in returning to the simplicity of the early church.  We need to have open hearts and open homes, plus an openness to the ways of The Spirit.  We need to unify over Jesus and not divide over complex doctrines that might not be of Christ in the first place.  We need to be FREE, open and available.  We need to have more meals and less meetings.  We need to value the priesthood of every believer and dismantle ANY hierarchy that places ANY believer OVER and Above other believers.  What we need is Faith, Hope and Love. Well there is a start.  Anyone care to add or subtract?  If so please share a comment?

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

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22 Comments
  1. That is what we continue praying n this place. We are trying to be good example of a true church so people will see that Jesus Christ is our Master. We stop going to the church building,meeting the church. It’s hard to reach out people who are rooted in their beliefs (Catholicism). This passage is what we trying to live by here. Sharing one another,we meet everyday, we know each others needs,we are living next door to our brothers and sisters. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS BROTHER KIRK.

  2. Ramma permalink

    We know someone who’s focus is on how many and who they can make one of their disciples. Instead of turning people’s hearts to God. The term “discipling” always puts me in check after meeting this person. We have to be so careful that we are making disciples after Chrisy and not after a man or organization. Being the Body, a fellowship is so simple and pure. Agreed we don’t find it like that anymore or it’s far and few in between. Is that because of where we live or the age we live in? Or are we missing the mark? Just thinking out loud. Great thoughts Brother.

  3. Your conclusion on faith, hope and love shows that this is the way God equips us to be hospitable, to engage in that life sharing we see in the early church.

    P.S. The band Second Chapter of Acts was hot when I first became a Christian. I always thought the name referred o the early church’s gathering together. I later found out it referred to the speaking in tongues portion of Acts 2, and that the band was quite charismatic in their doctrine.

    • Ramma permalink

      Tim, i never heard that before. Are you willing to expand a little? I find that interesting. 🙂 Thank you in advance Brother.

      • I got it from the liner notes in the CD case on one of their later collections of songs.

    • Ron permalink

      As a Pentecostal, I find this to be a positive in their favor. On the other hand, their songs are Christ-centered, not glossolalia-centered, and the “With Footnotes” album had 10 songs covering the entire chapter, not only verse 4. Now Carman, on the other hand . . .

  4. I saw them in the very early 80’s with Phil Keaggy on the “How The West Was Won” tour. One of the best concert/praise experiences in my life. Very edifying and Christ focused.

  5. Ramma permalink

    Ok, that totally went over my head and crashed ;). My husband and i know a band from the 60’s and 70’s called The Band who done a mix of music and gospel was not one of them. 🙂 I guess we’re leaving this one alone. 🙂

    • I love The Band. Their film The Last Waltz is outstanding, and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down is a masterpiece of the era.

  6. Ah, such a pristine situation we see at the end of Acts 2 ;o)

    Of course though, by chapter 6 we see the institution of the clergy system by the enlightened Apostles;

    It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor. So, friends, choose seven men from among you whom everyone trusts, men full of the Holy Spirit and good sense, and we’ll assign them this task. 4 Meanwhile, we’ll stick to our assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God’s Word.

    • Volkmar1108, I have long believed and taught that the apostles got off track with their choices in Acts Chapter 6. It doesn’t take long for the flesh to take over and move one off of Christ’s best path, even for an apostle. Jesus taught and modeled what it is to be a true servant by even washing their feet and yet in this passage they moved directly away from servanthood into Clergy like behavior. So sad.

      • Yes, that may be sad. Or, it may be a development demanded by the setting/situation. I really don’t know. However or whichever, I do think we’re mistaken to look back at what we think is pristine and then think “if only we could restore that.”

      • Volkmar1108, You are right, that is why I said that returning to the simplicity of the early church is only part of the solution. We need to hear the Voice of the Lord in the here and now and respond with our whole hearts.

  7. Ramma permalink

    Yep that’s them! Small world huh? We just came home from Mount Charleston Lodge where Michael DeGreve was playing and he ask us for a request and my husband says “something from The Band”. Well, he sang…The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. Crazy huh? Sorry Chris for hijacking your blog. http://www.michaeldegreve.com/

  8. No problem Ramma, I like discussing music. NO hijacking going on here.

  9. I love the book of Acts from the beginning to the end. It is so encouraging the relationship that was there with each other. The relationship with the Lord. The power and the glory they walked in with people getting saved, delivered, and healed. Sometimes by a passing shadow or a handkerchief. Believers opening there homes to hours of fellowship, sometimes well into the midnight hours. The body of Christ needs to get back to that time of fellowship. Not just with other believers but with our Beloved Jesus. We need to seek Him so that we can have a stronger anointing in ours loves, His power and His glory to see people set free, healed, and saved today. Jesus said, “We would do what He has done and greater things. I’m just not seeing that in the body of Christ today. For myself, I am hungering for this with all I have. I have asked the Lord to squeeze me, ring me out until there is nothing left of me then fill me to the over flowing with Him. I am devouring the word of God like I never have. I ask Him to give me Truth, Wisdom, Understanding, and Revolation as I read His word.
    I don’t want to miss His plan or destination for my life I am consuming Him with every breath I take to have all that Jesus had and All the more He wants to give me. Thank you Jesus. I love you!!!!!

  10. Excellent Angie, Jesus is calling out to HIs true Bride and we need to respond with our whole being in total love and submission to His will for all of us. I love HIM so and HIs love compels me to love others as He has loved me. NO more religious games that lack real relationship with HIM and one another. Time for true heartfelt surrender to the King of Kings.

  11. It might be of interest to look at the beginnings of the Jesus movement from this Franciscan perspective of Richard Rohr. Here’s links to the first two meditations in this new series and if people want to continue reading they may subscribe.

    http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=99956d3e-9182-438e-b308-93a0a6dcbf2c&c=c19a0110-ef04-11e3-bb77-d4ae52754db0&ch=c2c0cdd0-ef04-11e3-bbb6-d4ae52754db0

    http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=1da1eb7b-7897-4181-b555-6327a57feb78&c=c19a0110-ef04-11e3-bb77-d4ae52754db0&ch=c2c0cdd0-ef04-11e3-bbb6-d4ae52754db0

    Tom

  12. daryl permalink

    I always read Acts 2 and thought “wow,these people must not have to work,or have any children”,lol…I do think it was a unique time in history and we can’t practically today,live as those early believers were then.Paul,in his letters to the Thessalonians,several times reminded them to work and not be idle.It seems they were so either looking towards the Lords return or just lazy and Paul was concerned that they not be dependent on others and lose the respect of outsiders. I agree with the need to be “free, open,and available”(to the Spirit,not mens obligations or expectations of our freedom,openness,,and availability). Just another thought i have on fellowship…1John 1:7 says “but if we walk in the light,as he is in the light,we HAVE fellowship with one another”……To me,that says that fellowship is a present reality or state,when we are walking in the light, whether or not we are eating or meeting with anyone or not. I’m sure many of us have been to dinners,meetings, or services and experienced no fellowship. Not saying to avoid getting together or meetings,just that if we rely on that for fellowship,we may never find it,but if we walk in the light, we will HAVE it,and often times the Spirit provides it right where we are at. Really enjoyed the article and others comments.Keep them coming!

    • Ramma permalink

      Great thoughts Daryl and everyone. I love the Spirit of love felt here. Blessings

  13. Marc Winter permalink

    Yes, open hearts, arms, homes.

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