Cardinal Characteristics of the People of God

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Sunday - 930 Morning Worship - 1115 Sunday School | Wednesday - 7PM Prayer Meeting & Bible Study

by: Pastor David Huffstutler

04/18/2021

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Acts 2:41–42 is often known for a description of the church at its birth that gives seven cardinal characteristics that should be true of all of us today.

Received God’s Word (Acts 2:41): The “word” in context is the gospel, specifically the truth of Jesus Christ that He died, was raised, is exalted on high, and is Lord of all. The only response we can rightly give is to repent of our sins for which He died and to place our faith in Him alone for salvation (Acts 2:14–40).

Baptized (Acts 2:41): A proper understanding of baptism is that these new believers were immersed in water, picturing their union with Christ in His death and resurrection, showing that they had died to sin and now lived according to righteousness (cf. Rom 6:3–4).

Added (Acts 2:41): The number is recorded as to who joined the membership of the church (3,000). Shown here is that the church knew who joined the body of believers and how many did so. These saints were held accountable for godly living, service, and participation in the church.

Devoted to the Apostles’ Teaching (Acts 2:42): Along with other essential elements of worship, preaching and teaching are a necessary means of growing in the knowledge of God so that we can live according to this truth. For us today, these truths are found in our completed Scriptures.

Devoted to Fellowship (Acts 2:42): Fellowship means to have the eternal life of the Father and Son by the Spirit and to be united thereby to one another (1 John 1:1–10). Stated another way, to be united to Christ is to be united to all who are in Christ and to be responsible for one another’s spiritual welfare (1 Cor 12:1–13). This fellowship assumes regularly meeting together and interacting over spiritual matters.

Devoted to Breaking Bread (Acts 2:42): As Christ commanded the night before His death (Luke 22:19), so also Paul repeated this command to the church (1 Cor 11:23–26), namely, to break bread, that is, to practice the Lord’s Supper. By doing so, we remind ourselves of how Christ’s body was broken and blood was shed for us (Luke 22:19–20). We are also reminded of our unity with one another (1 Cor 10:17) along with the gospel and Christ’s return (1 Cor 11:26).

Devoted to Prayers (Acts 2:42): Unlike the American church that can hardly get people out for a service a week, the early church and its leaders met regularly for prayer (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 6:4). As with all the above, this example should be lived out in our lives today.

Acts 2:41–42 is often known for a description of the church at its birth that gives seven cardinal characteristics that should be true of all of us today.

Received God’s Word (Acts 2:41): The “word” in context is the gospel, specifically the truth of Jesus Christ that He died, was raised, is exalted on high, and is Lord of all. The only response we can rightly give is to repent of our sins for which He died and to place our faith in Him alone for salvation (Acts 2:14–40).

Baptized (Acts 2:41): A proper understanding of baptism is that these new believers were immersed in water, picturing their union with Christ in His death and resurrection, showing that they had died to sin and now lived according to righteousness (cf. Rom 6:3–4).

Added (Acts 2:41): The number is recorded as to who joined the membership of the church (3,000). Shown here is that the church knew who joined the body of believers and how many did so. These saints were held accountable for godly living, service, and participation in the church.

Devoted to the Apostles’ Teaching (Acts 2:42): Along with other essential elements of worship, preaching and teaching are a necessary means of growing in the knowledge of God so that we can live according to this truth. For us today, these truths are found in our completed Scriptures.

Devoted to Fellowship (Acts 2:42): Fellowship means to have the eternal life of the Father and Son by the Spirit and to be united thereby to one another (1 John 1:1–10). Stated another way, to be united to Christ is to be united to all who are in Christ and to be responsible for one another’s spiritual welfare (1 Cor 12:1–13). This fellowship assumes regularly meeting together and interacting over spiritual matters.

Devoted to Breaking Bread (Acts 2:42): As Christ commanded the night before His death (Luke 22:19), so also Paul repeated this command to the church (1 Cor 11:23–26), namely, to break bread, that is, to practice the Lord’s Supper. By doing so, we remind ourselves of how Christ’s body was broken and blood was shed for us (Luke 22:19–20). We are also reminded of our unity with one another (1 Cor 10:17) along with the gospel and Christ’s return (1 Cor 11:26).

Devoted to Prayers (Acts 2:42): Unlike the American church that can hardly get people out for a service a week, the early church and its leaders met regularly for prayer (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 6:4). As with all the above, this example should be lived out in our lives today.

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