TOPIC — The Early Church: A Model For Today
MEMORY VERSE: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” – Acts 2:42
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
A close study of the daily life of the first apostolic church reveals certain peculiarities worthy of note. This seems to run contrary to some trends noticed in some churches today. We need to examine what the early church looked like and practiced in order to realign ourselves with the will of God for His Church.
1. SOME SHORT-COMINGS OF THE PRESENT – DAY CHURCH
2. THE QUALITIES OF THE EARLY CHURCH.
1. SOME SHORT-COMINGS OF THE PRESENT – DAY CHURCH:
In many of the Churches of today, human philosophies and motivational talks have replaced sound doctrines (1 Corinthians 2:4; Colossians 2:4,8). Rather than rendering selfless services. People now seek for immediate reward /compensations (Acts 20:35, Galatians 6:9). True love, as well as genuine fellowship (I. E. Inter-personal relationship) is not just missing among members but has been replaced with suspicions (1 John 3:18, Hebrew 10:25). There is also the lack of sacrificial giving and commitment to kingdom projects (Acts 2:45, Psalm 69:9). Pride, egoistic tendencies and unhealthy rivalry among leaders and followers are quite noticeable (2 Corinthians 10:12, Philippines 2:5). Some members even engage in a life of suspicion, envy and strife (James 3:14,16). There are also gimmicks in some churches today resulting in exploitations, intimidations, faking of miracles, lies and deceptions in the name of packaging ; etc (1 Timothy 6:3-7; Ephesians 4:14, 2 Corinthians 12:16-17).
2. THE QUALITIES OF THE EARLY CHURCH:
The early church was characterized by steadfastness in ‘apostolic’ doctrines, fellowship, prayer and breaking of bread from house to house (Acts 2:42-46,12:5). The early Church featured warm, truthful and loving fellowship (2 Corinthians 2:13, Philippines 4:10). Real signs and wonders took place in the Church (Acts 2:43, 4:14, Mark 16:20).
They were united with brotherly love and had all things in common (Acts 2:44, John 17:21). The members of the early Church were also generous (Acts 2:5, Acts 4:34-37) and enjoyed Favour (Acts 2:47). The church had tremendous numeric growth on daily basis (Act 2:41, Acts 4:4, Acts 5:14).
While we cannot rule out the need for innovations and creativity that make the Church of God lively today, the present day Church must be modeled after the early Church.
1. Mention at least 4 short – comings of the present – day Church.
2. What are the qualities of the early church?
For Further Reading : Acts 17:10, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Acts 2:17, Psalm 103:1, Acts 10:35, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Acts 4:4.
1. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
O how I love Thee well,
I am happy, it makes me glad
To rejoice at Thy birth.
2. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day, Thy friendship suits me well,
Both young and old will sing Thy song,
We long for Sunday School.
3. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Christ was Thy first teacher,
The Holy Spirit, great teacher,
Does manifest in thee.
4. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
This testimony is sure,
That God, the Father Almighty,
Poured His blessing on Thee.
5. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Though the sun be so bright,
Or if the clouds black with rain,
I’ll be in Sunday School.
6. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
I rejoice to see Thee,
Will thou pass over me today?
Without my being blest?