the church

acts 2:42-47
42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

All of these features of the church come from an understanding of the gospel...

  • When we recognise that God is so devoted to us that it cost Him His life to bring us back into relationship, we will be devoted to Him.
  • When we know that it's His word that created us and sustains us, we are desperate to read, hear, and talk about it
  • When we see that, next to the cross, we are totally sinful, but totally loved, it sets us free from competing and distrusting others and releases us to enjoy deep community
  • When we understand the pain and suffering that Jesus went through on our behalf for the sake of our relationship with Him, we are willing to endure the "pain" of deep relationships - forgiving those that hurt us, recieving criticism without getting defensive and speaking honestly to others about their life.
  • When we realise that everything we have is a gift from God, we are released from selfishly holding on to stuff that we think is ours, and we recieve with thanks and give generously
  • When we know that we were lost and God found us, we were dead and He has made us alive - we want to shout and sing about it, joining with others doing so and rejoicing as more people come to know Him