The gospel was preached (Acts 2:14-36). Some of the hearers believed what was preached (Acts 2:37). These believers were told what to do to receive the salvation, which comes only from the Lord (Acts 2:38). The hearers were encouraged to respond to the word of Almighty God (Acts 2:39-40). Three thousand souls obeyed the gospel call by submitting to water baptism (Acts 2:41). Every authentic Christian should be able to recall this story for several reasons: 1) The plan has not changed, 2) They followed this same pattern in order to become a Christian, 3) Acts 2 is pregnant with vital information from answering basic questions about salvation to exposing the false views of Pentecostalism, & 4) This is the history of the church of our Lord; the history of the church of which they are members. Unfortunately, it appears knowledge & practice has ceased beyond Acts 2:41.
Acts 2:42 is a verse which addresses the church’s responsibility of service. This Scripture helps us to understand our duty as members of a local congregation. Listen to your Bible! In Acts 2:42, the Bible teaches, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching & the fellowship, to the breaking of bread & the prayers.” Devote means “to dedicate one’s self to a cause.” Christians are devoted people.
- Christians devote themselves to the apostles’ teaching. It is through reading & studying we serve ourselves, which in turn serves God, our brethren, & the world through the means of worship, fellowship, & evangelism (1 Timothy 4:13, 2 Timothy 2:15, & 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- Christians devote themselves to the fellowship. It is through the sharing of Christ’s blessings we serve the brethren. It is because of our relationship with God & our brethren’s relationship with God that we have fellowship with one another. This relationship should run deep for several reasons: 1) We are now children of God by faith (Galatians 3:26), 2) We are workers together with a common goal (1 Corinthians 3:9), & 3) We have been transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). We should draw strength by our coming together & not seek ways to avoid one another.
- Christians devote themselves to the breaking of bread. It is through worship we serve God. Love sent outward is called affection. Love sent downward is called grace. Love sent upward is called worship. Communing with God with brethren of like precious faith is not something we do out of duty or convenience, but because of gratitude & love (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It is the will of God!
- Christians devote themselves to prayer. God talks to us through His word, but we talk to God through prayer. What is the subject of our supplication to God? Are our prayers totally selfish or do we pray for the salvation of those who are lost? Do we pray for opportunities to reach out? Do we pray for God to touch the hearts of those who do not know our God & have yet to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ knowing what their end will be if they don’t (2 Thessalonians 1:8)?
By Antoine Holloway