What did daily life look like in those early days of the forming Christian Church?
This passage gives us a view into the way they lived, encouraged one another, and served the mission of Christ to the world. By living such ways they were attracting others into the Christian faith. The result was that the church continually grew and thrived.
Many of us may look at the modern church and wonder if we still follow practices of the earliest followers of Christ. Others may look at this passage to see where we might grow and strive to do better in living daily in Christian community.
- Devoted to 4 Main Things: According to historical legend when Caesar finally landed troops in Britain, he led his soldiers to the Cliffs of Dover. When they looked down they could see their ships burning. There was no turning back. That’s the kind of devotion and high commitment the Apostles and Early church had. They were committed and not wavering. There were 4 core things that they were devoted to:
- To the Apostles teaching: The Apostles would have been teaching following Christ’s own example. This would mean expounding on the Old Testament teachings and using prophesy to show the truth of who Jesus was as Messiah. We see some of this demonstrated later in the book of Acts as we see Peter and Paul teaching in various places.
- To Fellowship: The Greek Word is “Koinonia” which means “fellowship”, “communion with”, or “unified with”. It is really the way in which the Early Church and all Christian communities (churches) should live. Living life in Christ together with one another. Sharing with one another and living in unity.
- To The Breaking of Bread: Breaking of Break can be interpreted as meals, which I think in the verse later is a great indication of its meaning. However, since it is closely tied to a more formal listing here of prayer and teaching I believe it is indicating “The Lord’s Supper”, “Communion”. The followed Jesus’ direction to participate in the Holy Meal as often as they could to remember the sacrifice and salvation they held to.
- Prayer: Prayer is a central part of everything the Early church did. Through out the Book of Acts prayer leads the people to do great things for God. Prayer also united them in a common focus and care for one another. Today people often turn to prayer as a last resort, but it really should be a part of daily life for all believers.
- They also Lived Together in Daily Life by:
- Remaining Unified on Their Common Ground Remaining Together & in Common: Unity is one of the strongest messages of the New Testament. People from diverse backgrounds and ethnicity came together to worship, share, live life, and tell others about the hope of Jesus. The unifying factor wasn’t their differences, but the common Savior- Jesus.
- Pooling Resources to help One Another: It said the sold their own things to help others who had needs. Often we struggle when we are on our own. However, when we pool ideas, plans, and physical resources we are stronger than we ever would be alone.
- Meet Daily for Worship & Spiritual Education: We must remember in this time the Temple grounds was for more than worship. Teachers gathered to teach any who would listen. The Apostles soon were there teaching about Jesus and the believers were all growing in their spiritual lives.
- Ate together: It is important to understand that “breaking of bread appears a few times in this passage. In the earlier verses it is tied with the formal actions of worship and prayer, likely indicating that it is “the Lord’s Supper” or “Communion” being referenced. The later time it appears it is talking about eating meals together in their homes. This was a time of fellowship that allowed growing unity, and it also allowed more teaching. We see Jesus doing the same thing with the Apostles as he is often seen eating with them and teaching them over the meal.
- They were Thankful & Praised God: We must never forget to give thanks and praise to God for what He is doing in our lives. The passage indicates that gratefulness and praise were a part of daily life in the Early days of the church. Likely this came in their formal times of prayer and worship, but it also would have been during those meals and sharing together. It’s always a joy to tell others and to hear from others about what God is doing.
Blessings of growth both spiritually and in number flowed out of their Christ centered community. Living in such unity and faith is an attraction to a world that is so often rejected. The church became the living example of God’s love.
We are still called to be God’s love and messengers of hope to a world that leaves so many people hurting.
Discussion & Thought
- What was most important to the Early Church? Do you think the central focus of the early church should remain important today?
- Where are you in relation to a community of believers right now?
- How can you help to improve the community of believers you’re a part of?
– May God bless you on life’s journey.