Second, we are to belong to a steadfast church. “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). The verb, “devoted,” is from the Greek, proskartereo, “hold fast to, continue or persevere in.” (Gingrich) It means steadfastness, persistence, and faithfulness. They were a steadfast church.
They devoted themselves to four practices—the teaching of the apostles, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers. They were steadfast in the apostle’s doctrine. What did the apostles teach them? The apostles taught them everything Jesus taught them. They taught them the gospel of the kingdom, the resurrection, the true meaning of the Law, and all the doctrines of Christ. The apostles’ teaching is now contained in the NT.
At GGCF, we strive to teach the Bible verse by verse. We are a Bible-teaching church. We are a Bible-based church. Every teaching and preaching must be drawn from the Word. We expound the Word of God systematically. We teach the whole counsel of God. We hold our pastors to a high standard of expounding the Word of God. We will do no less.
We see that the first church was also steadfast in fellowship. The word, “fellowship” is from koinonia, “association, communion, fellowship, close relationship.” (Gingrich) How did they maintain fellowship? They maintained fellowship through the Lord’s Supper. They shared their goods with those in need (Acts 2:45). They had “love feasts” or agape meals together. I hear that you eat a meal together. If you do it in the love of Christ, then that is an agape meal.
Last Sunday, we had a new couple that attended our church. The wife is not yet a believer. I asked them what they think about our worship. The wife replied that she was very impressed with our “bonding” after worship. We serve snacks after worship. We have fellowship after worship. She noted the close relationship we had with one another. I answered that we are imperfect people who try to love one another in the name of Jesus.
The first church was also steadfast in the breaking of bread. Most likely, it refers to the Lord’s Supper. They devoted themselves to remember the death of Christ. They continued steadfastly in the meaning of the cross in the Lord’s Supper.
They were steadfast in the prayers. Note the article, “the,” identifying the prayers. Note the plural, “prayers.” It can mean two things—(1) the prayers in the temple and (2) the prayers in worship and fellowship in the homes. They met in the temple day by day. They must have prayed the temple prayers. They were Jews who prayed to Yahweh in the temple. But they were also Christ-believers who prayed in Jesus’ name.
Day by day, they were “attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes” (Acts 4:46). They met in the temple and in the homes. They had corporate worship and house fellowship. They prayed in the temple. They prayed in the homes.
At GGCF, we meet for corporate worship and in small group fellowship. We pray in corporate worship together. We pray in small groups together. We believe in the power of prayer because we believe in the power of God!
I thank God for the couple that lent their house for worship. I thank God that we now have 18 small groups meeting weekly in Cebu and Bacolod. The goal is to maintain 14 small groups in Bacolod City by the end of 2015. We call it G-Groups—Grace Groups. These G-Groups are discipleship groups. These are small groups for Bible study, prayer, and fellowship. The goal is to disciple new and old believers. The goal is to produce leaders. The goal is to bring in new disciples.
Are you a Christ-follower? Do you belong to a saved church? Belong to a steadfast church–devoted to the apostles’ teaching, to the breaking of bread, to fellowship, and to prayers.