No one had never seen anything like it before. It was exactly what the world needs, a community of people who were there because of Jesus, were devoted to God and through whom the Holy Spirit worked powerfully. No wonder they were filled with awe and those around them stood up and took notice!
The church age had begun. It was Jesus’ body come in new form to fill the earth and bring His good news to every living soul. It wasn’t an organisation that was given this task, nor was it a gathering that happened once a week. Rather it was people who had experienced a spiritual renewal as a result of the redemptive work of Jesus and who were united as brothers and sisters by the same Spirit, with a common cause.
They were to be God’s people on the face of this earth, living as His people, loving Him and one another and taking the good news to those who weren’t His people.
God had seeded this first church with the DNA that would define His perfect bride. It was a DNA that reflected the collective DNA of His disciples; those who would follow Jesus.
These disciples were passionate about their new found faith. They were self motivated and totally devoted to the things that would feed their GROWTH.
They were supernaturally natural, displaying the power of God in their daily lives as they used the GIFTS that the Holy Spirit had given them to powerfully love and minister to others.
They were outrageously generous, giving to any who had need as they displayed the sacrificial GENEROSITY that they had learnt from Jesus.
And they knew that they needed each other. They needed to be in proximity with each other to love and be loved, to learn and to teach, to encourage and be encouraged, to minister to the needs of others and to be ministered to, to be one body. And so they couldn’t stop GATHERING together in both small and large gatherings.
As God worked powerfully amongst them, bringing wholeness to their souls, they ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising Him. They took their joy and praise with them as they engaged with others in the broader community, and so enjoyed their favour.
And being carriers of God’s GRACE wherever they went, it’s no wonder that many were being saved and added to their number every day, becoming spiritually reborn followers of Jesus who in turn became addicted to the things that would help them grow in their faith and walk with Jesus.
It’s a beautiful picture that Acts 2:42-47 paints of that first church that ushered in the church age.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47
This is a snapshot, a blueprint for what God always intended church to be; a bunch of people forgiven by Jesus and following Him as they seek to develop through their commitment to GROWTH, in how they use their GIFTS to love an minister to others, in the way that they display outrageously GENEROSITY, in how they are devoted to regular GATHERINGS with each other, and become irrepressible carriers of God’s GRACE to others.
This is church as God intended. Church isn’t an institution. Its not a worship service. Its not a building. It’s a bunch of people who follow Jesus coming together in obedience to His commands to be His body, the body with which He will reach out with His love and cover the earth. It’s the body that will see even greater things happen than Jesus did when He walked the earth. It’s the body that we are called to be part of and to love.
It’s also the body that will astound not only people throughout the earth but the principalities and powers with it’s wisdom all the time displaying a love for all in a way that is just not natural. It’s supernatural.
We are not defined by where we meet, what we are called, the programs that we run what name we are know by, or even how we worship. Instead we are defined by Him and by following Him.
This is Christ’s body, His living and dynamic body, to which followers of Jesus are called to be a part.
Jesus extends an invitation to all to Follow Him and to become a part of His dynamic body through which He extends His love and wisdom to the world!
How will you respond to His call?