What the Church Should Be All About

inside of a church

agapecoc.com

What do you think the Church should be all about? We all know it centers around Christ of course, but for the purposes of this question, I’m asking what the focus of any assembling of the Body of Christ should be in it’s actions. I can probably read the various answers in your mind right now. Some of you are probably thinking church should be all about worship. Others of you are probably thinking church should be about social outreach and community work. Then some might say the church should be about gifts of the Spirit, worshiping on the Sabbath, and so on with all the other denominational traditions people choose to emphasize. I however think we get the true answer to my opening question in Acts 2.

Beginning of Acts 2

Let’s recall the beginning of the chapter quickly. It was the day of Pentecost, the Apostles were together, and a tongue of fire rested on each of them. They began speaking in other languages to the Jews of every nation under heaven. They were all confused as to why this was happening and assumed they were drunk. Apostle Peter explains to them that they couldn’t be drunk because it was the third hour of the day (9 a.m.), which presumably wasn’t a time that people normally drink, and this was the prophecy of Joel being fulfilled.

Peter focuses on Scripture

What I admire about what we see here in Peter’s speech to the Jews, is that he doesn’t do a whole lot of adding his own thoughts in speaking to the people. He lets the verses speak for themselves. I would recommend you go back to the chapter and look at how much verses are just quoted. We see in verse 17 it states, “‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams;” So he used the passage in Joel, which all the Jews being familiar with the Old Testament would know, to show that this was what was happening. The Spirit was poured on the Apostles.

Jesus became Lord and Christ

He goes on to explain that Jesus was attested by God through the performance of miracles, signs, and wonders. It was predetermined that Jesus would be nailed to the cross, put to death, and then God raised Him from the dead. He goes back to quoting scripture again, quoting David to explain God promised to seat one of His descendants on the throne, and speaking to the resurrection with Jesus not being abandoned to Hades, or suffering decay. Peter states in verse 32, “32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.” He concludes that the Jesus whom they crucified was made both Lord and Christ.

Acts 2:42

So now with that background given, we’re getting to the point of what I’ll tell you I think I think the church should be all about. The Jews were pierced at the heart and asked what they should do. Peter stated that they should repent and be baptized to have their sins forgiven. He exorted them to be saved from this perverse generation, and they did so in Acts 41 which states, “41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.” The very next verse after that one is what I conclude the church to be about. Verse 42 states, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Reflection on Acts 2:42

So let’s reflect on this verse. Note that the very first thing mentioned is the Apostles teachings which we find today in scripture. The body of Christ needs its primary focus to be on learning scripture, understanding scripture, and obeying scripture. Next thing mentioned was fellowship. So often people make the faith a solo endeavor between each of us individually connecting with God, but I’ve suggested this to you on this blog before that this religion is more group focused than individual focused. Yes, we all need our alone time with God just as Jesus took some time alone with God in prayer. But look all throughout scripture, Adam and Eve, Moses and the Israelites, Jesus and the Apostles, the body of Christ. In the end, God seems to want all of us as humans to collectively connect with Him more so than individually. Do you spend time with other Christians often?

Breaking bread seems to reference what Jesus states in the Gospels about breaking bread in remembrance of Him. Luke 22:19 states, “And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  It’s referenced again a few verses after Acts 2:41 as something they devoted themselves to daily. Acts 2:44 states, ” Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,” Many people are used to breaking bread in Christ’s remembrance as something done on special occasions, but as we can see here, this was something the first Christians did every day. Now there’s no command of such to do it every day, but I think we should take this example seriously by choosing to break bread in remembrance of Christ with one another frequently, and not even just when we’re assembling with our local of bodies of Christ, when we’re in one another’s homes just like they did house to house. How often do you break bread in remembrance of Christ?

Finally, the last thing stated the first Christians devoted themselves to was prayer. While this seems self-explanatory, I think it’s often a failure in Christian culture of how deep the devotion was for prayer in scripture. The Apostles would give hours of their day to prayer (Acts 3:1, Acts 10:9). They themselves even stated they devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 6:4). Jesus would pray all night to God (Luke 6:12). Now obviously I’m not telling you we all need to start praying all night. I am however giving you examples that devotion to prayer is critical to the Church, and should be of central focus and time as well. As to how much you should do that, I’ll leave you to ponder the examples we’re given and make your own conclusion.

Conclusion

So what do you think the Church should be all about? I’d love to hear you thoughts in the comment section. If this post connected with you in anyway, I’d greatly appreciate you sharing this across your social media by clicking one of the “SHARE THIS:” buttons below. Peace to all those who are in Christ.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “What the Church Should Be All About

  1. Yup! spot on – on every count.
    Just let me chip in this little nugget….

    They could only have had the Luke 24:32 experience because the Holy Spirit had been poured out.
    Yes the sharing of scripture in a Berea’n atmosphere of fellowship is crucial…(not this focus on entertainment and activities we see too often today).

    However even the sharing of the scripture WILL BE UNFRUITFUL without the active participation of the Holy Spirit. His participation isn’t ‘agiven’ as we easily assume. For far too many deemphasize the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding us into all truth’ as such we end up with the converse situation where some focus on sharing the scriptures but from a purely theological standpoint void of any power & ability to change lives.

    Of course true faith leaves little room for this lone-ranger walk many advocate today, for you must actively belong to the body. That said breaking of bread doesn’t have to be literal, it still can simply refer to inspired breakdown of the word between brethren (iron sharpening iron).

    If we have to stand on breaking of the physical bread (which I’m not against) then we also have to start being precise on the type of bread to be broken. (Bread with no yeast).otherwise we would be walking in prophetic contradiction 🙂

    Still enjoying your insights as always.

    More grace to you bro.

    • Hello Wale. Hope you’ve been well.

      Not sure if your referencing Luke 24:32 was to suggest they already had the Holy Spirit poured on them before Acts 2, but if you were, I would say given it’s specifically stated in Acts 2, and there’s no specific statement of it’s occurrence in Luke 24, I’m more inclined to conclude Acts 2 was when it happened.

      I’m curious to know what you specifically mean by “participation of the Holy Spirit”? For myself, I conclude when scripture is shared that is Holy Spirit guidance since Holy Spirit authored scripture (2 Peter 1:20-21), with all the truth we need in it as I think 2 Tim 3:16 suggests to be the case of scripture.

      I’m very careful about not presuming metaphorical meaning within the text unless the type of text suggests that (poetry, song, etc) or it’s explicitly stated. Given I don’t know of any verse that states breaking of bread meaning inspired breakdown of the word, I’m more inclined to conclude it’s literally talking about breaking of bread.

      Interestingly on the type of bread topic, the Greek word used for the word bread in these verses is Artos. And the meaning of that word according to the definition I’m looking at on blueletterbible.org is food composed of flour mixed with water and baked. That to me suggests it could be any type of bread used since as far as I know (though I’m far from a cook myself), that’s how all bread is generally made. Though if one wanted to be more specific to how the bread was made during that culture and time, it also states, “the Israelites made it in the form of an oblong or round cake, as thick as one’s thumb, and as large as a plate or platter hence it was not to be cut but broken”. Funny enough, there was a second definition given that just stated food of any kind. But putting that aside, my current conclusion would be that any type of bread could be used in remembrance of Christ given the definition used, and given the verses don’t go into too much explicit detail about the bread. And given the little amount of detail, perhaps it suggests that it’s doing the act that matters more than the type of bread used.

      Appreciate your thoughtful responses as always.

      Peace to you in Christ 🙂

      • Hi.

        With regards Luke 24:32 I was referring to the power in Christ’s word. ‘Did you not notice how our hearts burned within us when He spoke to us?’….

        One of the gifts the abilities the Holy Spirit confers is that power of conviction that goes out when the word is preached. Without the Holy Ghost being released in Acts 2. Peters words wouldn’t have been able to impact 5,000 people.

        As per bread the bible has encouraged us not to make it without yeast 🙂

        Keep the word flowing.

      • Okay, so if I’m understanding you correctly, what you’re saying is that there’s a gift of conviction from the Holy Spirit that when Peter spoke caused the Jews to believe, and that that gift of conviction was operating through Christ in Luke 24 when the disciples realized it was Christ that had spoken to them, and thus a necessary ability from the Holy Spirit one must have for speaking scripture to be effective (Feel free to clarify further if I misunderstood).

        In response to that, for myself I’m unable to conclude there’s such a gift of conviction since I don’t find it explicitly stated in scripture as the other gifts are in 1 Corinthians 12. I do agree however that the Jews would not have believed had the Holy Spirit not worked through Peter because he and the other apostles were confirming they were messengers from God through miraculous works, in their case speaking in tongues, just as Jesus did performing his own miracles, and because Peter was speaking the Word from God, which we read Peter’s Words today as a part of the full Word of God that the Holy Spirit authored, and thus I think it’s reasonable to conclude the Holy Spirit is working through us when we speak scripture.

        And it’s my conclusion that that full Word of God we have to read today is all we need to inform people of the Gospel and influence them to live for Christ as 2 Timothy 3:16 seems to suggest.

        With regards to the bread again, did you mean to say encouraged us not to make it with yeast? The definition of unleavened appears to mean without yeast or other leavening agent.

      • Yup I meant ‘influence’ or rather ‘inspiration’ of the Holy Ghost through his vessel and word that is being used. Not necessarily in the sense of a ‘gift’

        The whole concept of unleavened bread taken from another perspective is to encourage the believer to eschew ‘pretense’..I.e. (Puffing up) which is what yeast does when added to bread.. Being flat is somewhat indicative of staying humble in the Lord.

        Sorry my speech is coming out all gibberish…lack of sleep. Lol.

      • Oh okay, understood. Hm, that’s very interesting. I never thought about the bread that way before. That’s a good way to look at it. Lol no worries, I’ve been there before.

  2. We have been looking into Acts at our church. So often the church can be chasing something other than Jesus. It is hard to see this because we are all a part of the church.

    But it is a great message, so thanks for sharing!

    God Bless
    Gad

    • Hi gadthegreat. Thanks for the comment. That’s excellent your church is studying Acts. Yes, it’s critical that we as the church continually make sure our focus is primarily on loving God and loving one another as is displayed in the example given to us by the first Christians and in the instructions from the Apostles.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  3. What do I think the Church should be about? Love. Love for God and love for others. I do not think anything else could give God more glory than that.

    I also believe it needs to be a time of reflection, on what Jesus did for all of us. A quiet peaceful moment in our souls, to take it all in, if that is possible?

    I do not so believe Church should be so much about us, as it should be about God and us. I have always believed it is there He meets us with outstretched arms saying, “Come to me, I will take you as you are.” I have always thought of Church as an offering of Himself to me, and an offering of myself to Him, with all of my faults, sins, and virtues. I have always felt very loved by God at that moment. God Bless, SR

    • Hi SR. Thanks for your comment. Indeed, I believe what you’ve stated are the underlying themes of exercising the practices I laid out in this post. Our actions should all amount to fulfilling love of God and love of others.

      Peace in Christ.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s