TOPIC — The Early Church: A Model for Today
RCCG SUNDAY SCHOOL HYMN
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?
TOPIC — The Early Church: A Model for Today
OPENING PRAYER: Father, let me serve You steadfastly.
MEMORY VERSE: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” – Acts 2:42
BIBLE PASSAGE: Acts 2:42-44
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.
TEXT REVIEW: ACTS 2: 42-44
The believers in the early church were steadfast in the following Christian virtues and activities after they were baptized:
i. Doctrine – Apostles’ doctrines and teaching. Vs 42a
ii. Fellowship – Warm and healthy horizontal relationship with one another and vertical relationship with the Almighty God. Vs. 42b.
iii. Breaking of bread – Holy Communion and sharing. Vs 42c
iv. Prayers – Be it in supplication, thanksgiving, petitions. Vs 42d
v. Miracles – Many wonders and signs were performed through them. Vs 43b
vi. Fear upon soul right reverence was attributed to the Almighty God. Vs 43a
vii. Bonded – Oneness and unity. Vs 44a
viii. Had all things in common, similar behaviour, bowel of mercy and rendering support. Vs 45.
ix. Hospitality – Sharing from house to house. Vs 46
x. Appreciation -Thanksgiving to God. Vs 47.
LESSON OUTLINE 1: SOME SHORTCOMINGS OF THE PRESENT – DAY:
i. Human philosophies and motivational talks have replaced the Apostles’ doctrines. 1 Cor. 2:4, Col. 2: 4,8.
ii. Monetary rewards and other forms of compensations have replaced selfless services. Acts 20: 35, Gal. 6:9
iii. True, genuine and agape love has been replaced by suspicion. 1 John. 3:18, Heb. 10:25.
iv. Sacrificial giving is gradually fading away. Acts 2:45, Psalms 69: 9.
v. Pride, competition, egoistic tendencies, rivalry among leaders and followers have replaced complementary and true submission to one another and God. 2 Cor. 10:1, Phil. 2:5
vi. Envy and strife, suspicion and hatred have found their ways to the church. James 3:14, 16.
vii. Gimmicks resulting in fake miracles, lies, exploitation, intimidation, evil packaging, deception etc. 1 Tim. 6:3-7;Eph.4:14; 2 Cor. 12:16-17.
CLASS ACTIVITY 1:
Class to identify the effects of the above stated work of the flesh and the devil in addition to secular-like songs and indecent dressing to the church.
LESSON OUTLINE 2: THE QUALITIES OF THE EARLY CHURCH:
i. Steadfastness in Apostles’ doctrines, fellowship, prayers and breaking of bread from house to house. Acts 2: 42-44.
ii. Warm, truthful and loving fellowship.
2 Cor. 2:13; Phil. 4:10.
iii. True signs and wonders were common in the early church. Acts 243, 4:14; Mark 16:20.
iv. Unity in love and togetherness. Acts 2:44; John 17: 21.
v. The early church members were generous. Acts 2:45; 4:34-37
vi. The early church enjoyed favour with all people. Acts 2:44.
vii. The early church experienced tremendous growth on daily basis. Acts 2:41; 4:4, 5:14.
CLASS ACTIVITY 2:
How can the above-stated qualities of the early church return fully into the modern-day church?
SUMMARY: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever. Heb.13;8. The standard of the church MUST NOT CHANGE.
CONCLUSION: While we cannot rule out the need for innovations and creativities that make the church of God lively today, the present day church must be modelled after the early church.
EVALUATION: Mention four(4) shortcomings of the modern-days church and four (4) qualities of the early- Christian church.
CLOSING PRAYER: Father, let the five(5) of the early-Christians church return to our present day church.
ASSIGNMENT: Students should find ten(10) qualities of the early -church from Acts 2:41-47.