Scripture Reference: Acts 6:1-8
The book of Acts provides an eye witness account of the flame and fire of the birth and growth of the Church. Beginning in Jerusalem with a small group of disciples, the message of Christ spread like wild fire across the Roman Empire. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the courageous disciples preached,taught,performed miracles in market places,courtrooms,and on the streets-wherever God sent them, lives and history were changed.
The book of Acts is not only an accurate historical record of the early Church, but it is also a theological book with lessons and living examples of the work of the Holy Spirit and Church relationships. .
The first Christians were revolutionaries. The group they formed was, in many ways, very different from what we know as the Church today. According to the Book of Acts, they met in their homes and devoted themselves to God’s Word. As a result, these early Christians brought about the most amazing and powerful transformation the world has ever known.
As the Church increased in size, so did the needs. One great need was to organize the distribution of food to the poor. The Apostles needed to focus on preaching, so they choose others to administer the food program. The apostle’s priorities were correct; the ministry of the Word should never be neglected because of administration burdens. Instead, the work of the Church should be spread out among its members. Tertullian (a church scholar who lived in North Africa c. 160-225AD) had to say as he described the young Christian believers:
“We are a body knit together as such by a common religious profession, by unity of discipline, and by the bond of a common hope. We meet together as an assembly and congregation, that, offering up prayer to God as with united force, we may wrestle with Him in our supplications. This strong exertion God delights in. We pray, too, for the emperors, for their ministers and for all in authority, for the welfare of the world, for the prevalence of peace, for the delay of the final consummation.”
The early Christians didn't attend church, they were the Church; an active, energized body of believers equipped to change the world. Two things come out strongly from the early church;
- a) They were bound and united by a common truth.
- b) They were known by their love:
- c) Christians Gave sacrificially to the Needy
These are great lessons that we can pick and run with as we serve the Church of Christ. May the Lord help us to be like the early church.