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Things Churches Do
By David A. DePra
The book of Acts is a narrative. It is not direct doctrinal teaching, as are the epistles. So what we find in Acts is a record of what happened to the early church, and what they did in response. Thus, the title, "ACTS of the apostles." From the book of Acts we are able to find much teaching, supplemented by the epistles, of what the mind of God is for His church.
The book of Acts contains, not only many good things that the early church did, but a few bad things. Again, the book is a narrative. We find problems, obstacles, conflicts, and sins. We also find miracles, blessings, and growth. This was a special time – before things began to get polluted by the religious notions of man. It was a time when the Holy Spirit was able to live and move through His people with freedom and purity.
The book of Acts contains "things churches do." They are the "things churches do" because they are the things which Christians do. They are all the natural outcome of coming to Jesus Christ and being saved. They are the outcome when the Holy Spirit is given freedom in people’s lives.
Have you ever wondered what a church should be like – according to God? Acts shows us. Acts shows us what is NORMAL in the eyes of God for a church. It shows us what happens when people meet Jesus Christ – it shows us what people do, and what churches do, as the result of receiving the Holy Spirit. It shows us the things which a healthy church, operating in the will of God, will do. Thus, it shows us what WE ought to be doing.
With One Accord
Just before He ascended to heaven, Jesus told His disciples, "Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." (Luke 24:49) He also said to them, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. " (Acts 1:8) The disciples were going to BECOME the living witnesses of Jesus Christ. This would happen ten days after Jesus ascended.
The disciples, it is recorded, returned to Jerusalem, and gathered together in, "the upper room."
Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. (Acts 1:12-14)
Here we find the first of many, "things churches do," that know Jesus Christ. They obeyed Him by returning to Jerusalem and tarrying. They went to an upper room and "all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication." I wonder why they did that?
They did it because to continue together "with one accord in prayer and supplication" is one of those "things churches do" that know Jesus. You will note that Jesus didn’t tell them to pray. He didn’t hand them a church handbook which stated, "You must continue together with one accord and pray." No. They prayed because that is what people do who have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That is what they do individually, yes, but that is what they do when they gather together.
Jesus told them that the Holy Spirit was going to come upon them with power. It is almost certain that they could not have understood what that would be like. This is one of those things that you only grasp in fullness when it happens to you. So in preparation, they prayed together. They worshipped.
As we read through the book of Acts, we are going to find the phrase, "with one accord" a number of times.
(Acts 1:14) These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
(Acts 2:1) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
(Acts 2:46) And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
(Acts 4:24) They lifted up their voice to God with one accord…
(Acts 5:12) And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.
(Acts 15:25) It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul.
To be "with one accord," of course, means to have the same motivation and purpose. It speaks of UNITY and agreement – in this case – unto the will of God, glory of God, and gospel of Jesus Christ.
The word, "accord," reminds me of an accordion. It has all of those piano-like keys on the one side, and dozens of buttons on the other side. If someone who is able to play an accordion pushes all the right keys and buttons necessary to play a song, there is harmony, not dissidence. The sound, while consisting of a number of tones, is ONE – it is in ONE ACCORD. It is like this spiritually with the church, when the people in a church are all in the same "spiritual key," and have the same goal: The will and glory of God. They are all of one accord.
Now, of course, we must not be in just ANY spiritual key. We must be of one accord in the will of God. Paul wrote:
Fulfill my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Phil 2:2-5)
Here we see that God is not merely after unity as a thing. He is after unity in Christ. Indeed, no other unity is acceptable. We are not to be unified in error, the mind of any man, or in religion. We are to be one in Christ – to all be of ONE MIND, that is, HIS MIND.
To have the mind of Christ does not mean to have the BRAINS of Christ. It means to have His attitude towards God – that of unconditional surrender and worship. These disciples of Jesus were not out to achieve their own agenda. They gathered together "with one accord" for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Do we realize that we have absolutely NO BUSINESS having any other agenda in our churches today? We have no business playing politics, or pushing any other agenda except that of Jesus Christ, and Him alone. Sure, we must take care of practical business. We must pay the bills. But all unto ONE GOAL and ONE PURPOSE: Jesus Christ.
This is, of course, not something achieved by creating a "church policy." You might write into a church constitution, "we dedicate ourselves to the will and glory of God, in all that we do." That is good. But putting it into the constitution doesn’t put it into people’s hearts. People cannot gather together "with one accord" as a church, unless they are ONE WITH GOD as individuals – the other six days a week.
This is why the Bible lays down such strict requirements for leadership in churches. If the leadership is not right with God in their personal lives, they should not be in leadership. For it is going to seriously affect the rest of the church. The church is supposed to gather together "with one accord" for the glory of God. If the leadership isn’t there for that reason, the whole body will get off the track.
One of the fundamental "things churches do" – healthy, Christ-centered churches -- is gather together "with one accord." If you want to know the spiritual health of your church, ask the question: When we gather together, is it really WITH ONE ACCORD? – is Jesus Christ really the reason why we are together? Are we truly serious about Him? – even when we have fun and socialize? Or are these concepts just things we give verbal assent to – but don’t practice? Is Jesus merely the figurehead of our church, but not Lord?
It is right here that the rubber meets the road. It really is a "yes" or "no" question. A healthy church gathers together "with one accord." An unhealthy one doesn’t. And despite all of the flaws even healthy churches have, the overall chord being played is either in harmony with God, or it isn’t.
Prayer and Supplication
These disciples came down from the Mount of Olives that day, and gathered together "with one accord" in the upper room. They obeyed Jesus, and with great anticipation, I’m sure, were waiting for the promise of the Father. Doesn’t it seem significant that it would be ten days before the Holy Spirit would come upon them? Why didn’t Jesus just send the Spirit that same day, or the next day? What difference would it have made?
The answer is found in what the disciples were doing during those ten days. They were gathered together in the upper room, "with one accord" – but doing what? Answer: They were "in prayer and supplication."
Here we see another one of the "things churches do" that are in the will of God: They PRAY. They pray, not only in the sense of asking God to do things, but in the sense of asking God to do things IN THEM. They pray and worship and seek God. Not maybe. That is what churches DO that are in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you are in a church that never prays, you are in a church that has big problems. Maybe not ugly, outward problems, but big problems none the less. It is simply impossible for a church which is in the will of God, and in which the Holy Spirit is moving, to NOT be praying together. Prayer is one of the things healthy churches do!
This is again something that is illustrated throughout the book of Acts:
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: (Acts 4:31-32)
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. (Acts 16:25-26)
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:4)
Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. (Acts 12:5-7)
Prayer is the natural outcome of a right relationship with God. It is the natural outcome of having given your life to Christ. There is no such thing as a Christian who rarely prays. There is no such thing as a healthy church which rarely prays. This isn’t because God mandates prayer or demands it. It is because praying is what Christians do! Prayer is one of the THINGS CHURCHES DO – just as surely as breathing air is what living beings must do!
The disciples of Jesus Christ had not even gotten to the day of Pentecost and they were in the upper room with one accord, in prayer and supplication. It never occurred to them to do anything else. It is what people do that know Jesus Christ.
During those ten days in the upper room, the book of Acts does record one thing that the disciples did, from a practical standpoint. They realized that they needed to find a replacement for Judas. In fact, if you read Acts 1, you will find that this realization was the OUTCOME of prayer and supplication. Already, as the result of prayer, they were finding the will of God.
In our day and age, most churches, when confronted with a similar problem, would not pray for God’s will. They would instead argue about it, debate it, or decide by brain power only, what the best decision would be. There is nothing wrong with discussion, and nothing wrong with thinking about things. But the question is: Are these methods the outcome of prayer, or a substitute for it? Are we really and truly seeking the will of God in prayer, or are we just doing the best we can in our own wisdom?
There are lots of smart people in this world. Making decisions based on brain power is possible, and might even result in success along a certain line. That is never the question. The question is never what methods, policies, or procedures we ought to have in our church. Those things are necessary in a legal world, and for the purposes of order. But again – are they a substitute for prayer? God wants us to be practical. But He wants us to be continually in an attitude of prayer about all of these things. He wants us to use our brains as the outcome of our faith in Him, rather than as a substitute for faith.
The disciples in the upper room discovered through prayer that the Lord wanted them to replace Judas. They were pointed to a passage in the OT:
For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
Then, through prayer, it says:
And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which know the hearts of all men, show whether of these two you have chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
The disciples weren’t stupid people. They knew both these men from the start. Surely there were, among them, enough brains to figure out who would make the best apostle. Indeed, it is certain that some of them favored one over the other, out of personal friendship. So what did they do? Argue about it? Divide over it? No. They prayed and put it before the Lord. The result was the God showed them HIS choice:
And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:26)
Interesting that Matthias and Barsabas were not asked to present their credentials and education. Not to put that down, mind you. But in today’s church, it would seem that this is ALL that matters in some places. Earn a doctorate in ministry or theology and you are given authority over God’s people to affect spiritual lives. Some of the biggest heretics in the church today are those with the most education. Note that it isn’t the education which CAUSES the errors – because education is good. But education has replaced faith and reverence for God. The church today has forgotten what matters. Some churches really don’t even care about what God says any more, as long as the money keeps coming in. Then we wonder why things are in such a pitiful state today.
Read all of the places in the epistles where the qualifications for church leadership are given. Every one of them speaks of a person’s relationship with God. His or her spiritual character – faith and reverence for God. Even being "apt to teach" speaks of being in a relationship with Christ that makes you ready to teach others about Him. But how many churches even read those passages? Not enough of them. Again – adhering to what the Bible says with regard to leadership is one of those "things churches do" that are seeking to follow Jesus Christ.
So what are we supposed to do, ignore education? No. Not at all. But we are to do what the disciples did. We are to take decisions about leadership, indeed, ANY and ALL decisions, before God in prayer. If we are a church that wants the will of God, and knows Jesus Christ, it will not even occur to us to do otherwise!
The disciples asked God to show them which of the two HE wanted to replace Judas. God did show them. We never hear a word about Matthias again in the Bible. Someday it will be interesting, in the eternal ages, to find out what happened as the result of the faithfulness of the disciples that day in asking God to shown them who should be numbered among the twelve.
When Pentecost came, and the Holy Spirit did come upon the disciples, the events which took place attracted quite a crowd. The miracle of tongues that day astonished those who were in Jerusalem at that time. Then Peter stood up and gave the first sermon. He preached to them Jesus Christ both crucified and raised from the dead. He told them that the full purposes of God, which had been promised for centuries, had NOW come to pass through Jesus.
Preaching Jesus Christ – the good news – is another one of those "things churches do." But again – this is not something that is done simply because it was commanded. Preaching the gospel is the natural outcome of having been saved. If you have received Christ, you have a perspective which will naturally motivate you to want others to receive the same eternal life.
On that day of Pentecost, Peter did not have tracts to hand out. He had no church to which he could invite people. There were no Bibles. Peter and the disciples, in fact, barely had any concept of what church should be. How could they? This was all new. So Peter had to rely on the Holy Spirit. Fancy that. The results speak for themselves.
If you read through the New Testament, and even the Old, and read about the conversions to God, and to Jesus, which are told, you are almost overwhelmed with the simplicity of those events. In Acts, for example, we don’t find Peter using any kind of philosophical arguments to convict people of their need. There are no anecdotes, funny stories, or props. Entertainment isn’t an issue here. There is just the Truth about Christ. And again – the results speak for themselves.
Don’t misunderstand. Humor, props, etc., are not evil things. They are often good things. But as we saw earlier, the question is whether they are substitutes FOR the Truth. Too often, there is too much of these kinds of things and too little of Christ. Church can have entertainment, humor, fun, social aspects, and activities – and SHOULD. But in the final analysis, church is not about those things. Church is about Jesus Christ. Those other things should be merely like planets orbiting the sun – the Son, who is the REAL center of our universe.
The climax of Peter’s message that day was right to the point. He said:
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)
During Pentecost, it is certain that many who heard Peter that day had been in Jerusalem during Passover. Indeed, there were likely many who were part of the mob who had chosen Barabbas over Jesus. Perhaps many of them jeered as Jesus was led away carrying His Cross. Other perhaps, had wept, not knowing what was really happening. But Peter tells them that they were all responsible.
Do we realize that we are responsible, too? Who crucified Christ? We did. All of us. This is the Biblical revelation, and any claim that the Bible condemns only the Jews for crucifying Jesus is nonsense. Jesus Himself was a Jew.
Peter’s message that day was not intended to make people feel good about themselves. There is no thought in Peter’s mind as to what the consequences might be for his message. And for him personally, there could have been grave consequences. Remember, these same disciples had been hiding in fear days earlier. The Romans had crucified Jesus. They knew they could be next. Yet Peter gets us and boldly proclaims Jesus as Lord and Christ.
"Things churches do" includes preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ boldly, openly, and with the hope that many will turn and be saved. The real Truth of the gospel really is GOOD NEWS. It is not condemnation, but illumination, and hope. And the church isn’t supposed to calculate as to what will happen if we tell the Truth about Christ. We are to tell the Truth and leave the consequences to God.
Today many churches will "preach Jesus." But they won’t preach the Cross. They won’t tell people that they are sinners and must repent. They won’t tell them that there is only one way to salvation, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Instead, we celebrate Jesus as a "blessing machine." We preach a Jesus which accommodates us – one who is nothing more than a "get out of jail free card." Or Jesus is someone who we use as a license to do as we please. But where is the gospel in all of that?
I’ve got news: God is going to hold every one of us personally responsible for the gospel we preach. We are going to answer to Him for whether we preach the Truth of Jesus Christ or whether we water it down to get members and money. Our accountability to God for this is absolute. In fact, the Bible says that if you are a teacher or preacher, you will come under the greater judgment. Jesus said that anyone who causes a little one to stumble is in for some bad consequences. This is not a game. It is a eternally serious matter. We are dealing with the eternal lives of people, and the glory of God Himself.
Peter got up that day and preached the Truth – and it got a response. The people, upon hearing his message, responded:
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? (Acts 2:37)
Peter’s message brought these people to the place where they felt helpless. But not to leave them there. Truth always brings us to the end of our own resources so that we will turn to God in desperation.
These people were crying out for DELIVERANCE from sin. Unless I have come to that place, I’m not where I need to be as of yet. It is one thing to want salvation. Everyone wants that. But do I realize my condition as a sinner – as one who has been wrong with God? Unless I realize that, I cannot repent. I won’t know to repent. If I am not yet desperate, I won’t even realize the value of what Jesus has done for me.
The way in which these people were brought to this condition was simple: Peter preached the Cross. He preached Jesus as Savior. The Holy Spirit does the rest when we preach the Word. The question is: Do we believe that?
Notice how these folks DIDN’T know what to do about their condition. You don’t have to know the Bible, understand theology, or be able to recite Christian doctrine, in order to be saved. All that is necessary is for God to draw you to the point where you see your great need and cry out: What shall we do? Then once He tells you what you need to do, surrender to Christ, you have the ability to make that choice, or refuse to make it.
The notion that we have no choice as to our salvation, which is five point Calvinism, is heresy. We have a choice. We cannot come to Christ unless God first draws us. But once God does draw us, Jesus says, "Come to Me." And it is at that point where we will either come or not come. The question remains for the rest of our lives, and the door remains open. But God will not force us. We must COME.
This is verified by the answer Peter gives them. When they ask, "What shall we do?," he does NOT say, "Nothing." Neither does he give them WORKS to do. He simply says, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)
Repent and believe is always at the forefront of the gospel message. It is what John the Baptist preached, and what Jesus preached. It is also what Peter is here preaching.
But ask: Repent of what? Well, sin. Yes. But really, of THE sin. We are to repent of NOT BELIEVING – the sin of belong to ourselves. Of living independent of God. In order to come to Jesus we must repent of the sin of refusing to come to Jesus. And if we do repent of that great sin of unbelief, then we ARE BELIEVING and ARE COMING to Jesus.
Peter is telling these people that they need to repent of being wrong with God; of not believing and surrendering to God. They need to turn and get right with God through Christ. Then they will belong to Him.
Peter made it perfectly clear how to do this. Come to the Cross. If you want to be born again, you must come to the Cross and FIRST die to the OLD life. (That is what repentance is!) Then you are raised with Christ to newness of life. The notion that we are FIRST born again, and then, because of that, are able to come to the Cross is not only heresy, but doesn’t even work logically. You cannot LIVE in Christ unless you first DIE to Adam – and the instrument of that death is the Cross of Jesus Christ.
The results that day of Peter’s message were staggering:
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and that same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)
That very first day, the church grew from 120 people to about 3,120. If you want to know how to grow a church -- God’s way -- there you have it. People may be able to grow big churches other ways. But the way to get God to add to your church is by preaching Jesus Christ according to the Truth.
Acts goes on to tell us about some of the other things which this brand new church did, after that day of Pentecost. Luke writes:
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:42-47)
Here we see a number of things, some of which we have already discussed. First, "they continued in the apostles doctrine." We may think that this means that the apostles handed them a list of doctrines, or a statement of faith, and that they obeyed it. But this isn’t what this means. They continue in the apostles doctrine, or teaching, by studying it, and by living it. They looked to it for direction – as a vehicle to edify them in Christ.
The apostles had heard Jesus for almost four years. None of it, at this point, was written down. The teaching which the apostles gave was verbal, but of the Holy Spirit. It was TRUTH. The early church "continued in it." That is, they lived in the reality of that teaching.
Of course, continuing in the apostle’s doctrine would include continuing in the Bible. That is always included, for the Word of God has the final say about everything. But there weren’t many Bibles available then, which would have consisted only of the OT. Yet because of the faith and devotion of these people, what they had was enough.
The second thing these people did was continue in FELLOWSHIP. One of the "things churches do" is spend time together in the things of the Lord. Not simply as a mandatory duty. But because Christians who love Christ, and are hungry for Truth, want to be with other Christians who love Christ, and are hungry for Truth. It is just the way it is. Again – this is the OUTCOME of being rightly related to Christ. The thought to NOT fellowshipping never occurred to these people.
This isn’t about "attendance." It isn’t about keeping score as to who comes to the most church events. People can come to church for many reasons that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ. Fellowship can be in just about anything. But in a healthy church, fellowship – that having "in common" – is JESUS. He is the reason we live, and consequently, He is the reason we get together.
Now, the worship aspect of this ought to be obvious. We get together to worship Him. And the teaching and edification aspect should be obvious as well. But there is also what we might call the social, or friendship aspect as well. There is nothing wrong with churches having outings, and sports, and music, and fun together. In fact, all of those examples are likewise, "things churches do" that love Christ. Not as a substitute FOR Christ, mind you, but as the OUTCOME of having HIM in common.
We see this expressed in the THIRD thing we are told the early church did: They continued "in the breaking of bread." This isn’t communion, in the sense of the celebration of the Lord’s supper. It is simply Christians eating together; spending time together. "Breaking bread together" was a much more profound thing in those days than it is today. But it was all within the realm of fellowship and love that brethren are supposed to have for each other.
The Corinthian church, Paul said, went through a terrible phase where they were the WORSE for gathering together, rather than better. This is bad, and a sign that something is terribly wrong. When Christians are with Christians, the outcome should always be positive. Even if it is just to have fun together as friends.
Lastly, Acts says they gathered together for prayer. We have already talked about this. It is what churches who love Jesus Christ do.
Again – and this cannot be overemphasized – these are the things which churches do who know Jesus Christ. These are not commanded things, or simply things we are to do, "to play church." This is not a matter of following a religious pattern, or of acting holy. These things are spontaneous, real, and voluntary. They are what churches to because they are what Christians do who value what God has given them in Jesus Christ.
All Things in Common
An amazing thing happened within that group of people. We read that they all sold their possessions and had all things in common. This, of course, is not a command to necessarily go and do likewise. It is a narrative of what they did at that time. The point, however, is that there was not only a fellowship between them, but that they had such a new perspective about this life that nothing else mattered to them anymore.
No one commanded them to sell and share. Peter later told Annanias that very thing. This was all voluntary. It was spontaneous. These people had seen something – and the OUTCOME was this amazing oneness, and sharing of their possession.
From their example, we glean something else which "churches do." Since each person has already given themselves, and all they own to God, then it is available to God for His use. God may choose to do what we find Him doing in Acts. Or He may not. But the point is, the church didn’t consider property to belong to them. It belonged to God, and only God.
Of course, there are some who take this account in Acts and make a law out of it. They turn the "having all things in common" into a command to go and live in a "Christian commune." But these things CANNOT be done by simply deciding to do them. Again – what happened here was the OUTCOME of something going on between them and God. It was something God did in those people at that time. It is not a command to do likewise. It is an exhortation to give oneself, and all that I own, to God for His use.
There are, of course, a number of other principles we can learn from this event. It certainly shows the attitude churches ought to have towards money. These people did not think that anything they owned personally belonged to them. How much less would they have thought that the churches money belonged to them. Make no question, find out a churches attitude towards money and you will know where the heart of that church is. This is true for an individual. It is evermore true with regard to any church or group claiming to be Christian.
These people knew they did not belong to themselves. They claimed nothing as theirs. They knew that they, and all they owned, belonged to God. That was the common denominator. But rather than lament the fact, they rejoiced in it. They began to live like it. There are many ways to do this. Acts records the way THEY did it: They had all things in common. It was quite a sight.
Things Churches Do
You cannot be born again, and have the Holy Spirit fill you, and then go on with business as usual. If Christianity is real, then things happen in you, to you, and through you. You live to the glory of God. You pray. You give. You fellowship. These are the "things churches do" because they are the things which Christians do. They are all the natural outcome of coming to Jesus Christ and being saved. *
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