Doing Faith Together
Read Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)
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.
Why is it important to learn, pray, and have meals in fellowship with other believers?
“I don’t really have to go to church because I can just stream it online.” “I’m too busy to get involved with a local body of believers.” “I don’t need Sunday school classes or group Bible studies. I can do that on my own at home. There are so many great podcasts and resources I can learn from these days.” Have you ever had these thoughts? Have they kept you from fellowship with other believers? I hope not!
It’s true that there are many amazing online resources and excellent podcasts that can help you as you seek to grow in your faith. Online streaming was certainly a blessing when Covid shut down many church services and it can still be a blessing when people are home-bound, sick, or traveling. It definitely is important to study your Bible for yourself. And of course, we are all busy. So why do I think those thoughts are lies meant to stunt your spiritual growth even if they are partially true? Because the Bible is clear that believers need each other!
In today’s verse, we catch a glimpse of the early church in action. The key theme here is that the first Christians did faith together. They were not lone wolves trying to stand alone. They were devoted to fellowship. They learned from the apostles together. They went to the temple to worship together. They practiced hospitality and invited each other into their homes for meals. They shared what they had generously with each other. They operated more like a family than just a group of people who ascribe to the same set of religious beliefs.
In fact, family is what we are! 1 John 3:1-2 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” We are all God’s children so that makes us brothers and sisters in Christ.
Ephesians 2:19 says that we are “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”
Romans 12:5 says that we are united as one body: “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
When Paul wrote Romans, he was longing to visit the church there. Writing them a letter was really good but it wasn’t a substitute for seeing them all face to face. He wrote, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Romans 1:11-12)
Friends, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are all members of the body of Christ and united together as a family unit in Him. Strong families spend time and invest in each other. And strong families build up strong individuals. So don’t neglect to meet with other believers regularly (Hebrews 10:25). The Bible is clear that God’s design for His people was to do life and faith in community. We need each other.
Lord, thank You for my church family. Help me to stay plugged into my faith community so that we can mutually encourage and strengthen each other's faith. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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