As we read the book of Acts we witness the birth and first steps of a new “ekklesia” (Church); the one owned, built and nurtured by Jesus Christ Himself. This Church was born shortly after the ascension of our Lord to take His place in the Godhead; on the Day of Pentecost (2:1-4). Those who were there heard Peter explain what had happened. He told them that what they had witnessed was the beginning of a brand new work God had begun among the Jews and Gentiles alike (2:14-36). Included in his greatest message Peter showed them how to be forgiven of their sins. As a result three thousand souls were saved and baptized (2:37-41). What we see these new converts do is amazing; it shows us what deep commitment to one another and true fellowship really means. They displayed four important ingredients of true fellowship (Acts 2:42)
This group of new believers persevered stubbornly in four areas. First they devoted themselves to the learning of God’s Word. The teaching this new believers got came from the apostles who stay connected with the Old Testament, the teachings of Christ and the revelation of the Holy Spirit. These teachings were authenticated by supernatural events that kept everyone in awe.
We have the Bible; all we need to know about God and His dealings with humanity, especially with His Church. It’s the only true authority in godly living. In it we find all we need to live holy, healthy and prosperous lives. We also have church gatherings in which we learn the Bible and what it means to us and how it changes our lives. They are our Life Groups and our Christian Life Development (CLD) groups and our prayer groups. Now, ask yourself; how perseverant are you in reading, hearing, meditating on, memorizing and studying the Bible? Does it show by your involvement in a Life Group and a CLD Group at ABC? How about our prayer groups?
A proper relationship with God and with others greatly depends on how devoted you are to learn the teachings of God in His word, the Bible (Deuteronomy 6:6–9; Psalm 119:105). Through devotion to God’s word, individually and corporately, we get to know God and we get to know self and others which helps us with the second ingredient of true fellowship; the sharing of blessings with the brethren. These new believers were intentional and persistent in sharing all they had with their new spiritual family (Acts 2:44–45). They engaged this behavior voluntarily and the goods shared were given to meet the needs as they arose.
Where there is true fellowship, the needy among that fellowship are taken care willingly and voluntarily by its members. When possible, as a church family, we have the responsibility to share the unique blessings we have gotten from God to meet the need of other in our family (James 2:15–16; 2 Corinthians 8:13–15).
Next, they persisted in eating together (Acts 2:46). Few activities foment true fellowship like a meal does. Isn’t it true that most of the people you know well are those who regularly share a meal with you? These young Christians ate together frequently and when they did, they express joy and were authentic towards one another. The more you eat together, the more you get to know each other. The more we eat together, the more community we build and the more koinonia (true fellowship) we experience.
Lastly, they devoted themselves to praying and worshiping together. Their fellowship was marked by corporate prayer and praise. They prayed individually but their corporate prayer life and their corporate worship life was the one that impacted the community (Acts 2:47). They knew not only that the Lord had saved them but that He was to be their spiritual sustainer and encourager so they individually and corporately raised their voices towards heaven and gave Him the thanks and honor that was due Him. Make the words of the Psalmist yours. (Psalm 111:1) We are living in a time when congregating is optional. That’s not biblical and is not God’s will for you (Hebrews 10:24–25)
How do we live out true fellowship? We devote ourselves to the learning of God’s word, we share the blessings we’ve got with the brethren in need, we frequently eat together and we pray and worship together.