41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke breadin their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Gospel for life:
Jesus fights the _______ and we live with __________ __________.
We exchange our _________ for the stuff with _____________ in God, then the stuff has less power over us.
God invites you to be his __________.
That new _________ is incredibly _________.
Verse 44 = They were __________. They’ve become together.
Devoted people make for a lively community.
Follow up questions
In your experience, how do people naturally relate to one another? Well, not so well?
Have you experienced a strong, healthy, vibrant community? What do you think made it so good and strong?
What practices does Dr Luke list in Acts 2 that make for a good, strong, healthy Christian community? Explain each.
What other practices, not listed in this section of Scripture, are also important or even necessary to make a strong, healthy Christian community? What practices might not be good or helpful or useful, perhaps even hurting the body?
Affirming one another’s strengths, abilities, and gifts
Affirming one another’s equal importance in Christ
Affirming one another through visible affection
Sharing one another’s space, goods, and time
Sharing one another’s needs and problems
Sharing one another’s beliefs, thinking, and spirituality
Serving one another through accountability
Serving one another through forgiveness and reconciliation
Serving one another’s interests rather than our own
Some unhelpful or unhealthy practices would be........
What are some practical ways we can put these practices into this group or another group to strengthen our community?
Romans 12 offers a good list of ways to love even people we do not naturally like. Which of them tends to be a weakness for you? Which tends to be a strength? Is there a time or place where you strength could help others?
Love honestly, speaking out against what is wrong v.9
Love even unattractive people, because they are your brothers and sisters v.10
Love by making others feel honored and valuable v.10
Love by being generous in practical ways with your home, money, and time v.13
Love without bitterness. Don’t “pay others back,” or hold resentment against others. V.14
Love with empathy. Be willing to be emotionally involved with others. V.15
Love with humility. Be willing to associate with people who differ from you. V.16
How do you react to this quote from Don Carson? If it is true, what does it say about the power of the gospel? “Ideally, however, the church itself is not made up of natural “friends.” It is made up of natural enemies. What binds us together is not common education, common race, common income levels, common politics, common nationality, common accents, common jobs, or anything of the sort. Christians come together, not because they form a natural collocation, but because they have been saved by Jesus Christ and owe him a common allegiance. In the light of this common allegiance, in light of the fact that they have all been loved by Jesus himself, they commit themselves to doing what he says – and he commands them to love one another. In this light, they are a band of natural enemies who love one another for Jesus’ sake.” (Love in Hard Places)