This is the first in a short series of daily verses that will cover Acts 2:42-47. It is such a rich passage that it must be dissected verse by verse.
This passage takes place just after Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given to the church and Peter preached boldly about Christ, resulting in three-thousand saved in a single day. Of those three thousand we read in verse 42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
What does it mean that they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching? The word translated devoted is the Greek word proskartereō, which means adherent, steadfastly attentive, and to persevere. Essentially they stuck with and trusted what the apostles taught, and rightly so. That kind of devotion to the teaching of God is rare in the Seattle area because people are so influenced by a compromising culture that discourages being completely sold out to one truth – especially if that truth makes itself to be the truth.
What does fellowship mean in this passage? The Greek word used here is koinōnia and means community, sharing, participation, and intimacy. So fellowship is a very close group of believers who shares their lives, and it is something that the early church was devoted to. This is a very different picture from what many modern Christians experience. It is uncommon to find real intimacy between believers for a variety of reasons, one being the busy Seattle schedule that keeps people feeling like there is no time to invest in others. Another reason is the way the church has made fellowship a program with fellowship dinners, fellowship retreats and the like. If intimacy is not found at these believers are left to assume that because it was a fellowship activity there might not be more to fellowship than shallow conversation or a fun activity. This is one of the tragedies of the Western, and especially Washington churches.
The breaking of bread of course refers to taking communion as Jesus laid out in the last supper. This is something that the modern church is all over the board on, some do it once a week, others once a year. Judging by this passage the early church seems to have taken communion frequently.
Finally, they devoted themselves to prayer. The passage does not give us insight into rather this prayer was individual, group, or apostle led prayer but it is a fair guess that there was a mixture. Perhaps the most important thing to glean from this passage is this, that they devoted themselves to prayer. Few spend more than a few minutes in concentrated prayer and time with God and then wonder why the church has no power.
Consider the following:
1. Are you devoted to God’s teaching?
2. Have you experienced real fellowship, and how can you make time for it?
3. Have you devoted yourself to prayer, or are you barely taking any time to be with God?