When Luke wrote the sequel to the gospel of Luke (Acts), he described the beginning of the Christian church. He gave us this incredible, powerful story of what a perfect church should look like, as well as glimpses of the church as it became infiltrated by sin. Essentially, Luke gave us an example of how we should deal with brokenness inside the church, as well as a picture of what we should strive for as a church body.
Acts 2:42-47 tells us of Christian Jews coming together in devotion to Scripture and the apostles’ teachings, prayer, communion, miraculous healings and signs. This new, perfect church viewed possessions and wealth as common—to be distributed wherever they saw a need among their brothers and sisters in Christ. Every day was dedicated to Christ and sharing him with others and among themselves. They were serving and loving every person in their community so well that they had favor, even among the non-Christian Jews; and every day more were saved because of their outrageous love, service, and devotion.
These Christian Jews believed so literally that other Christians were adopted family, that if one was rejected from blood-family, he or she was taken in and literally adopted by their new Christian family. There was no judgment-just love and grace for those who took on the new life in Christ. Past choices, past lifestyles, past sins were as if they never existed.
Christ and his teachings completely encompassed every aspect of their lives: their jobs, their choices, their families, their wealth, their music, their conversations, their ideas; no part was left unaffected by Christ. They lived a Spirit-empowered, faith-based life full of miracles and power, peace and joy. And it changed the lives of people around them every single day.
This picture should be the goal for every single Christ-based church and every Christ-follower on the planet. This is the church as Christ designed it. It begins with we who make up the church. We must first strive to let Christ take over our lives so completely that no area is left unaffected. As you walk through your day today, ask God to show you any place in your life which needs Christ. Where can you be more like Him?
Impartial takes us back to the struggles, joys, and blessings of the early church and shows us how we can begin to function like they did-how we can be affected by God in every aspect of our lives, and how we can begin to effect others because of our relationship with Christ and his church.
I would love to hear your ideas in the comment section about ways we and the churches we attend can begin to look like an Acts 2 church. What are your thoughts?
With much love,