“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Acts 2:21
“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:42-47
This first group of Jesus followers responded to His message with faith, repentance, and baptism.
April 18 We are following Jesus – Acts 2 (series intro: Jesus is Lord, repent, baptized, receive)
April 25 We are learning – Acts 2 (devoted to apostles teaching)
May 2 We are spiritual family – Acts 2 (devoted to fellowship)
May 9 We are sharing life – Acts 2 (devoted to sharing meals) Mother’s Day
May 16 We are praying – Acts 2 (devoted to prayer)
May 23 We are seeing miracles – Acts 2 (many miraculous signs and wonders)
May 30 We are sharing resources – Acts 2 (shared everything they had)
June 6 We are gathered – Acts 2 (day by day gathered, large and small)
June 13 We are sent – Acts 2 (commissioned by Christ)
June 6 We are gathered – Acts 2 day by day gathered, large and small
We are in this together. We are getting together. We come together around our shared focus on Jesus.
“They all met together and were constantly united in prayer,” – Acts 1:14
“when about 120 believers were together in one place,” – Acts 1:15
“On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.” – Acts 2:1
“all the believers met together in one place,” – Acts 2:44
“They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes,” – Acts 2:46
“all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade.” – Acts 5:12
(covered open air area between inner private area of the Temple and the open air courtyard area for Gentiles.)
“every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: ‘Jesus is the Messiah.’” – Acts 5:42
“in public, or in your homes,” – Acts 20:20
Jesus prayed that we would remember the purpose. 20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” – John 17:20-21
“23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:23-25
They kept focus on Jesus. They grew to understand that God’s purpose included the strategic connection of their relationships. This was essential to the healthy life of the church.
“I will build my church,” – Matthew 16:18
Together we are the House of God, where God dwells among us.
“19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.” – Ephesians 3:19-22
Jesus is the “foundation” of the church. Ephesians 4:15
“Jesus wanted His followers to interact with one another like members of a strong-group, surrogate family characterized by collectivist solidarity and commitment on every front. Such was Jesus’ vision for authentic Christian community.” – Joseph H. Hellerman When the Church Was a Family
We are the “Body of Christ” with each part essential to the healthy function of the whole life. 1 Corinthians 12
Jesus is the “head” of the church. Ephesians 4:15
As each “part of the body” is connected and active, healthy life is possible. Ephesians 4:16
“Church is meant to be a community of people who are helping each other grow closer to God.” – Steve Murrell Purple Book
We are focused on the future, as a pure bride for Jesus. Ephesians 5:26-27
“The church acts as a sort of embassy for the government of the King. It is an outpost of the kingdom of God surrounded by the kingdom of darkness. And just as the embassy of a nation is meant, at least in part, to showcase the life of that nation to the surrounding people, so the church is meant to manifest the life of the kingdom of God to the world around it.” – Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert What is the Mission of the Church? – Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission
NOT: flying solo, limited to past ways, frequency location. AND YET IT IS: intentional strategic connection
City Harbor Church’ effort to provide helpful simple ways to connect, to gather “day by day, large and small” through digital means and in-person opportunities.
“Jesus does not need church buildings for his work to go forward. Part of the answer to the question, ‘Where is God in the pandemic?’ must be, ‘Out there on the front line, suffering and dying to bring healing and hope.’” – N. T. Wright God and the Pandemic
“The post-quarantine church is moving into a time of pervasive and powerful prayer.” – Thom S. Rainer Post-Quarantine Church
“In this church with different ethnicities there was a beautiful picture of how the church is to live out this idea of unity in the body. It was a picture of the vision almost realized – here on earth. They met from house to house, ate together, and met each other’s needs, and God added to the church daily. They embraced the vision. They broke down the walls of resistance to loving those who were different.” – Rev John M. Perkins One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love
“We cannot fulfill the command of God if we aren’t as a committed to our neighbor as we are to ourselves…Jesus made it even more clear. He directed the disciples to go into the world teaching others of his restorative, reconciliatory love.” – Latasha Morrison Be the Bride: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation
“Every small group, house church, or organic expression of the church needs to be willing to open up and expand. God wants everyone in his family, so you’ll have to eventually find a way to hold larger gatherings of communities and people together.” – Hugh Halter & Matt Smay AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church
What should we do?
- Deeply consider what this means. Pray. Write down truth.
- Gather in the same way the early church did.
- Bring your whole self, focused on Jesus, and ready to share.