This session focuses on Acts 2:42 and two simple words â€œContinued Steadfastlyâ€. Continued simply means that what they began to do, they repeated to do while steadfastly means to adhere or cling to. So they repeated the adhering to four principles: the Pattern of Truth (the Apostles Doctrine), Parentage (Relational Fellowship), their Practice of the Breaking of Bread and Prayers.
Pattern: Apostle’s Doctrine
The Apostle’s Doctrine, in contrast to Moses’ Law which was spoken by God on a mountain are the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ speaking from the majesty up on high (Heb 1:3). Paul would say in 1 Cor 14:37 that â€œthe things I write unto you are the commandments of the Lordâ€ These are instructions from the Lord on high so that we you may know how to behave yourself in the house of God which is the pillar of God in the truth (1 Tim 3:14,15) therefore keep the doctrine (1 Tim 4:16).
This doctrine is a God given mold or pattern. For instance, in Exodus 25:40 the people were to build the tabernacle void of their personal creativity. Although there were metal workers and craftsmen, they were told to follow the pattern God made and gave to Moses. Exodus 25 to 30 are specific instructions for each of the items of the tabernacle such as the colors, the materials used and the details. This section has more room for it than the story of creation but it doesn’t end there. Exodus 36 — 39 contains many of the same details but is different in this respect: it is the construction of the items of the tabernacle. Exodus 39:33-43 illustrates how the construction of the house of God matched the instruction given by God.
The question for the church is: does the construction of the local churchâ€”the body of believersâ€”match the instruction, or the Pattern, found in the Apostle’s Doctrine. For there are two important elements of building the church; one is that it must be done and the second is how it is being done. Are we building the foundations of the church on men or methods or on the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:10-11). Every man’s work will be judged and at that point it will not be a question of â€œDid you workâ€ but â€œwhat was the quality of the workâ€ and â€œwhat materials were used in the work!
Parentage: Relational Fellowship
Why Parentage with Fellowship? There are different forms of fellowship: the one on sports teams or the one when there’s an endeavor together. But there’s another kind that is on the basis of who the persons are related two. 1 Cor 1:9 would show that our fellowship is in God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. The basis of fellowship is not that Jesus is some prophet that we all follow his teachings but (1 Tim 3:16) He is God in the flesh, the Son of God manifested to men in whom we fellowship with the Father in (1 John 1). Matt 16 marks the first time Church is used in the New Testament and it isusage after the confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Christ says that upon this rock, this solid confession, would His church be build. No other foundation can be laid (1 Cor 3:11) but the Son. The church is not for socializing but for sharing in common the things of God
Practice: Breaking of Bread
The chief way the believers would fellowship with the Father in the Son would be the breaking of Bread. For the bread that was broken and the cup that was sharedâ€”was it not the communion in the body of Jesus Christ says 1 Cor 10. At first they did it daily (Acts 2) but eventually they did it, by practice, upon the first day of the week and they continued doing it. Paul would later say that it was to be done until the Lord returns (1 Cor 11:26).
Done in remembrance of Him (says 1 Cor 11) is a dynamic practice which is more than passively remembering a historic event. Memorial Day is a day where soldiers who fought in our nations wars are not only rememberedâ€”but they are honored for what they did.
Jer 16:6 and 7 is a picture of this Memorial. The funeral custom was to take bread and a cup of consolation in respect of the person who dies. As they broke the bread something would be said to honor the person, likewise with the cup.
Their continued prayers reflected their dependence on Jesus Christ. Sometimes prayer meetings are like a visit to the doctor’s office. It is okay to pray for ailments but we’re to pray for everything (Phil 4:6-7). Sometimes we try gimmicks to get people to come to meetings or be interested in the word but Paul uses prayer as a major tool for enlightenment (Eph 1:16). Also for the being filled of the fullness of God (Eph 3:14-19) and so that one may grow in love and wisdom (Phil 1, Col 1).
Session 07?Randy Amos