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Yep…That’s a Fire.

June 7, 2012

Have you ever been present when the spark occurred?  Do you know what I am talking about?  I’m talking about that moment in time when movement began…when a shift or change became apparent…when it became clear that things would never be the same.  You know…the spark.  That’s what we see happening early in the book of Acts.  The spark that set a movement into motion happened when Peter, in accordance with the working of the Holy Spirit, stood up and preached that sermon.  About three thousand people were added that day to the Kingdom of God…and now, the church is off…and it’s running.

Take just a moment and read through Acts 2:42-47…a short passage today.

Do you see what happened?  Verse 42 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”  They devoted themselves…they made a conscious decision…and they changed…dramatically.  This is far more than starting to attend a weekly worship service…this is more than learning what words are okay to say and what words are not okay to say.  This is a transformation that took place on a massive scale.

In an age where the Bible is constantly under scrutiny, it is incredibly important that we understand what it means that they “devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching.”  It means that the apostles were accepted as those men who were sent out, and commissioned by Jesus, to share His message with the world.  The early church took the authority of the apostles very seriously.  That’s why we have recordings of their teachings which have been passed down from Jesus, completed by the Holy Spirit, and then given to us in the form of the New Testament.  Everything that we are taught, or we read, should be measured against the message that God has given to us through his apostles, which He has provided for us in the form of the Bible.

Now, our idea of fellowship can be a little flawed.  Boice says, “The fellowship of the church was a common fellowship because of the great spiritual realities that the believers shared in together.”  The Greek word is “Koinonia”…a word that literally means to have something in common.  The word “Koine” meaning “common”…so the language of the New Testament, Koine Greek, means very simply, common Greek.  What we see being established is the idea of authentic community.  Listen, it is a pervasive idea in the scriptures that the family of God will actually function as the family of God.  Fellowship has been reduced in some circles to nothing more than chit-chat that happens before or after a worship service.  Verse 46 is going to say that they were gathering together and “breaking bread in their homes.”  That’s different that “the breaking of bread” in 42.  Verse 42 is talking about communion…the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.  What we see happening in 45 and 46 is that there was a sacrificial unity among the body of the church…they were doing life together on a level that extended far beyond a weekly gathering.  And all of this began by the movement of the Spirit.

My family loves to have a fire in the fireplace.  Our little boy likes to do the match (seriously though, what little boy doesn’t love a good fire).  There is something about seeing that flame start, and spread as a flame, and then completely engulf the wood into a fire.  There is such an energy involved in the process.  This is exactly what God saw that day at Pentecost.  He saw His spark become a flame…a flame that we can all trace ourselves back to.  Let’s pray that God sends His fire on us today…and let it spread as it has throughout history.

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