The book of Acts helps us see how special the church was intended to be; “They were together and had everything in common.” (Acts 2:44), they met together daily and praised God with glad hearts. In addition to all that, Acts 2: 42 says there were four things that the church were really committed to:
- Teachings of the Apostles,
- Breaking of Bread,
The Teachings of the Apostles would later be written down in the pages of the New Testament, Fellowship amounts to the visiting and talking together – swapping stories and sharing in affectionate conversation. Breaking of bread here would mean not just sharing communion but sharing meals together in general, and prayer is… well, prayer. I think that all four of these traits are important in creating a healthy church family and in four articles I would like to focus on each of these, one at a time.
The Teachings of the Apostles In Acts chapter 2 nearly every Christian who obeys the Gospel is a Jew. Gentile Christians don’t come until later, and they don’t become common in the church until years later. They have grown up under Judaism and most know the Torah inside and out. What is new for this group is how the teachings of Jesus (through the apostles) have fulfilled that which they already know. They are devoted to these teachings and obviously put a high value on them.
Notice how this study fits within the other values of the church: in community. This isn’t just independent Bible study (as valuable as that is). This is reasoning together. Sharing opinions and hearing what other people have to say. Consolidating what you know is important, but what is equally important is using what other people know to encourage, challenge, educate and inspire you.
I see this as an area of growth for people in my church family. Frankly, for many of us, independent Bible study is rare. We spend little time in the Word and that really needs to change. In addition to that though, we need to see the tremendous value of coming together as a group and learning together. At my church, our Sunday morning Bible classes are intended to provide you with an opportunity to interact with the Word and allow it to form you. We meet in small groups to let as many people as possible reflect on what the Bible is saying and how we should respond.
You don’t have to be an expert in order to be a part of a Bible class. No matter what level of understanding you have of the Bible, the Holy Spirit can use the Bible to speak to you right where you are in life. That is why the Bible is a book unlike any other. It knows you! What I am calling you to is a great love of learning God’s word. Love God’s Word and dig in and I guarantee that you will discover an appetite for Bible Study as soon as you begin and you will find a delight in it like no other.