In Acts 2 there is a section of Scripture that talks about a new community of believers that formed after Christ returned to heaven and the Holy Spirit came. It talks about the things they focused on and the results.
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. 43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 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– 47 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.
What are the four things they focused on as a new community?
- The Apostles teaching – this would have been the Old Testament, the teachings of Christ that they had heard, and the way they believe the new community of believers should live.
- Fellowship – this is about doing life together as a new community of believers. It would include helping each other, worshiping and praying together, getting to know each other, and being one in Christ.
- Sharing meals – this means everyday fellowship and sharing meals with one another including sharing communion. This is about deeper relationship more than just seeing people in church once a week.
- Prayer – prayer is our lifeline to God. When we pray alone we become closer to God. When we pray with others we get closer to each other and seek God’s blessings, help and direction together.
As a result of doing these four things, we see a number of results or blessings.
- Sense of awe – they were in awe of what God was doing in their midst.
- Signs and wonders – the Apostle performed miraculous signs, wonders and miracles.
- Regular meetings – the new community met together regularly in homes and at the Temple.
- Shared – they shared money and possessions and regularly shared meals.
- Worship – they worshiped together daily in the Temple.
- Favour – they enjoyed the goodwill and favour of the people around them.
- Saved – more people got saved and were added to the church.
The thing I find interesting is when we as Christians focus on the right things and are fully devoted to them, great things happen. Devotion to God and His Kingdom, brings blessings and all types of Divine favour.
Let us purpose in our hearts to devote ourselves to the things of God. Things like the Bible, fellowship, sharing and prayer.
Every now and then I look back to my early journey as a Christian. I look back on my computer and see some of the things I wrote in my first year of knowing and following Christ.
This week I found a word document titled, “7 things worth remembering about Jesus Christ”. I wrote it back in 1990! I thought as they stood the test of time, I would share them today for communion.
- Jesus us the Son of God – Luke 1:35 – The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
- Jesus gives life – John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
- Jesus is the good shepherd – John 10:11 – I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
- Jesus is the only way to God – John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
- Jesus is the head of the church – Colossians 1:18 – Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So, he is first in everything.
- Jesus is faithful – 2 Timothy 2:13 – if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
- Jesus is coming again – Acts 1:10-11 – They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11″Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
It is amazing how these verses that I discovered on my new journey with Christ still stand true today. I can see how they shaped my life.
So today as we remember Jesus and His death for us by taking the bread and cup. Let us remember that Jesus is the Son of God, He gives life, He is the good shepherd, is the only way to God, is the head of the church, is faithful and is coming again.
This is what I shared for communion last Sunday. Please enjoy…
This week I have been reading the 2016 National Church Life Survey results. I have been looking through how the church as a whole is going in Australia and the things people enjoy about church.
In the survey church members were asked what aspects of the church service they enjoy the most and which parts are most meaningful to them. 39% of people said communion or the Lord’s supper was the most meaningful part of the service. Second was the sermon at 36%. For me personally, communion is the most meaningful part of the service.
Also during the week, I did a Pastors connect group at the Church of Christ in Perth. In session they shared some of the distinctives of the CoC. One key distinctive is that we celebrate communion each week. The people who founded our association saw this as a key part of our services and our churches have held true to that belief. This is something I think Jesus and the Apostles would be pleased with.
Today for communion I want to read a familiar passage. In 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 the Apostle Paul says this…
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 11 that as often as we take the Lord’s supper we proclaim the Lord’s death until he returns. Communion tells a story. The story of mankind who has sinned and gone astray. Communion reveals the effect of the story. That mankind was lost and separated from God until Jesus came and paid the price for our sin on the cross. Communion looks forward to the person of the story. Jesus is the focal point of the story. Christ gave his life for us and he is coming again for us.
As we take communion today. Let us remember Jesus who is central to our story. He paid the price for our sin and made our salvation possible.
Let us pray.