This week was church planting week in DTS. I believe this topic is the purpose and foundation of DTS because it is all about discipleship, teaching and raising up disciples in the nations so that they will do the same in their respective communities. On the last day of this week, we were taught about church formation and this question was asked, “What is a church?” In order to answer this, we turned to Acts 2: 42-47.
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
From this, we got an idea of the characteristics of what the church is supposed to look like:
- The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching. The apostles taught others about who Jesus was. As Christians, it is important for us to devote ourselves to becoming more and more knowledgeable about the character of Jesus and what He has done on the earth so we can be more like Him.
- The believers devoted themselves to fellowship and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s supper. The believers in the early church valued community. They did everything together, worshiped together and especially shared meals together. This is an example of the importance of fellowship in the church today. We are meant to be together and live life together as a family because that is what we are. Brothers and sisters. There is never a good reason for any of us to be isolated. If you are reading this and know someone that is either isolating themselves or being isolated, reach out to them. Ask the Father to give you His heart for them and shower them with His love.
- A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. The power of the Holy Spirit was displayed many times by the apostles which opened the door for multitudes to come to Jesus. The believers in the early church were very much in awe of the person and the beauty of Jesus through the display of these miraculous works. Today, it is important for us not to lose sight of the fact that God is almighty and the creator of heaven and earth, and that this same God has given us His Holy Spirit. He has not given us His Spirit for us to just feel tingly inside but to use the spiritual gifts He has blessed us with to impact lives, to display His majesty and to see heaven come to earth. When we do that, we too will see multitudes laying their lives down for Jesus.
- They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. The early church sold everything they had so there would be no lack in the community. They were very generous with each other and shared with joy what they had. This concept of giving is something that should continue within the body of Christ today. Whether it be finances, your talents, giftings or even your time. There should be no one in need in God’s family.