Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Early Church Killed Jesus.....

The Church We Want

When pastors and church leaders read Acts 2:42-46, they get nostalgic for something they never had. Who can read these words and not wish that their church looked like this?

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Not Just To Be Imitated

But the question that we often incorrectly ask after reading this is, “Why do these early Christians have this quality of church?” We see this quality as merely something to be imitated, but miss the roots of their devotion. We tend to see the first church as prescriptive, but it is actually descriptive of something deeper.

The mistake we make is thinking we can recreate this quality of church by pursuing the things they did. We think, “If we just gave ourselves to the apostle’s teaching, if we ate together, if we sold our possessions and shared, then the kingdom would break in again to our churches.”

A Church That Is Aware

But this is moralistic at best. The real power behind the quality of the early church was the awareness that they had killed Jesus only a few months before. They realized that they had crucified the Son of God and were granted mercy. Their love and devotion flowed from their stark denial of Jesus and his subsequent forgiveness of them.

2 Peter 1:9 says, “If any man lacks these qualities, he is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from past sins.” We lack qualities of love and learning because we first forget that we are sinners for whom Christ died. But when we remember and live off of our justification, we will find ourselves learning from the apostles, fellowshiping with believers, and even being generous with our possessions.

Originally Posted at by Pastor Dave Dorr an Act 29 Pastor  /

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