the christian community

Acts 2:42-27
42And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

We are not saved to be individual, lone-ranger Christians. We are saved to be part of a community of Christians - the church. The church is the way that God has designed the Christian life to work, it is the way that he intends for us to grow. Discipleship is a community project. We can’t just opt out. The early church were “devoted” to this, that is not language that suggests turning up for an hour and a half on a Sunday, as long as there is nothing better on! They were committed to this. They were together - listening together, teaching together, praying together, eating together, serving together, praising god together.

Gospel Partnership
This wasn’t a community focused on building community. It was a community focused on the gospel. Fellowship wasn’t the goal, God was the goal. They were devoted to the apostles teaching, the breaking of bread and prayers. The church community grows closer to God and each other by being centered around God’s word, studying it and letting it shape our lives. The church community is united, not by their uniformity, but by their common focal point of the gospel, continually remembering Jesus death and resurrection through the breaking of bread. The church community prays for each other.

All of life
They were attending the temple together - being the church does involve gathering together for communal worship, regularly - but they were also breaking bread in their homes - living life with people during the week. Christianity wasn’t about changing what they did on a Sunday morning, but it was about all of their life. They met each other’s practical needs when they saw them. Their “spiritual life” wasn’t restricted to a certain time or certain location. They were talking about God with each other, encouraging each other, praying for each other. ("we should be teaching each other the bible as we are out walking, driving the car or washing up" Total Church p115)