The church was birth out of the work of the Apostles documented in the book of Acts. It is clear from the book of Acts that God started ONE church, however, throughout history different churches came out of this one church having their own interpretations of the scriptures, for example you have Pentecostal, New Testament, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Jehovah Witnesses, amongst others. To make matters worse, the true church has lost its roots.
When we read the book of Acts we see that the early church was not only very powerful, but they were involved in many activities that we are no doing. For example, the early church:
1.Continued steadfast in the apostles’ doctrine (or teachings)- In the early church we did not have one sect saying one thing while another sect or church (members) saying another; everyone was saying or teaching the same thing. The word of God taught by the apostles was of paramount important to the early church as they taught of the resurrection of Jesus and the salvation he brought. They taught of the power God has given to the church and holiness. This was a new doctrine and such was not something they were accustomed to, you can therefore imagine that it was a great risk for the apostles to be teaching something contrary to the Mosaic Law.
However, despite the numerous oppositions to the word of God, they count it all joy to be persecuted for the testimony of Jesus, and thus continued daily in the word (Acts 4:1-3; 5:41). In today’s society we have too many different churches and religion all teaching a different road to God, however, the bible let us know that there is only ONE way to the father, and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
It was this one doctrine that the apostles preached, and of the baptism in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38; 10:48), of the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues (Acts 10:44-45; 11:15-16), moving on to perfection, repentance from dead works and faith towards God, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead (rapture) and of eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:1-2) and spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1-11; Ephesians 4:11). It was this doctrine that the church was built upon, and it is this doctrine that we MUST return to. We must also return to the oneness that once exist and deep appreciation for the word of God.
2. Fellowship among each other (Acts 2: 42) – In today’s church what we are seeing is a segregation of the believers; this was not the case in the early church. Yes they had disagreement (Acts 15:39), but this did not result in the believers segregating from each other. They were united to the cause. The early church therefore did not teach or practice separation of the believers, and neither did Jesus. We are to remember that united we stand, but divided we fall. Yes I will agree that they were division in the early church, however, whenever there was division it was mainly caused by self-fish ambition for power or position (James 4: 1-2), envy and strife or contention (1 Corinthians 1:10-11;3:3), men coming in whom the bible called grievous wolfs (Acts 20:29). Please note that the books of Hebrews, most of Peter 1, 2 & 3 John, Jude, Colossians etc. was written to address divisions caused by these men. Division is a like disease that must be treated.
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Moreover, we are seeing churches of the same believe not fellowshipping with each other because of some disagreement. You will not agree with everything a person says, but that does not mean that you will separate yourself from that church and teaches your members to do likewise. I don’t agree with everything my boss, co-workers and religious leaders says and practice, but that does not mean I will separate myself from them.
3. Breaking of bread (Acts 2:42) – The Lord’s commanded that they should keep the Lord’s Supper (John 13: 15, 17; 1 Corinthians 11: 25) was adhere to in the First Century Church. This was done often as the bible said they continued in breaking of bread. Part-taking of the Lord’s Supper is part-taking of the Lord’s death and burial. It reminds us that one day we will eat with in the Kingdom when he returns. The Lord’s Supper also strengthens us spiritually.
4. Prayer (Acts 2: 42) – Prayer is the act of communicating with God. The early church realized that they could not survive without active communication with God on a regular basis, they therefore was a church that believed in prayer (Acts 6: 4). They were following Jesus example of praying in faith as they witnessed Jesus often times going one side to pray (e.g. Matthew 14: 23).
We are now living in a church era that don’t practice regular prayer, how can we grow if we don’t pray, I am not referring to having ritual prayer life where we only pray in the morning when we wake up and before we go to our bed. No relationship can grow and continue if there is no active communication between the different parties, how can we therefore expect to grow spiritually and closer to God if we don’t talk to him regularly? Prayer was so much a part of the early church that when they were persecuted instead of cowering under persecution they lifted their voices in prayer unto God (Acts 4:24-31).
5. They were on one accord (Acts 2:46)– In order for us to see a mighty move of God like that which was experience in the book of Acts (e.g. Acts 2: 43;3:6; 4:24,31 etc.), then all of us have to come together in agreement. We have to come in one accord in teaching of the word, prayer, worship and praise and in spreading the gospel. When the Holy Ghost fell on the day of Pentecost the disciples “were all with one accord in one place”-Acts 2:1. There should not be any division when we come together to worship in our different assemble- some worshipping while others sitting as spectators, there is no spectators in church. This therefore means that some cannot be worshipping while others are their doing unnecessary talking with each other or on Facebook. When we gather together our mind should be alert, attentive and in our worshipping mood, that’s our purpose for coming together.
Similarly, we can’t all be saying different things, but we all must be in agreement according to the word of God, there should be no division because Christ is not divided (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). When there is any strife or contention this should be address quickly so it will not spread into the whole church and one bad apple, spoil the whole bunch. There should also be no envying or striving for position in the church as the church of God doesn’t recognize this, everyone should therefore abide in their calling (1 Corinthians 7:17).
If you believe that your call to do something or that you could do something better, instead of fighting each other, why not try to work with each other so we can accomplish the work of God while you patiently wait on your ministry (Romans 12:6-8), remember God is seeing everything and he knows everything. The church is his property, not ours we are only workmen in the vineyard (1 Corinthians 3:9). If we fight against each we will only devour each other, and that is not God’s purpose for us. Where there is envying and strife, there will be confusion, and all manner of evil (James 3:16).
6. House Ministry (Acts 2: 46)– They are enough record in the new testament to show that the early church was active in house to house ministry, they were not confined to the four walls of the church building. For example, in Acts 16: 13-16, Paul and few others went into the house of Lydia to worship. For us to have a return to our apostolic roots WE MUST once again have house ministry. They’re many persons who are not able to travel to church on a regular basis and would love to invite church members in their home for prayer and worship.
7. Praise (Acts 2:47) – It is clear from records in the bible that the early church was a praise and worshipping church. They were so engrossed in praising God that even when they were persecuted instead of running or stop doing the will of God they stop and gave God praise (Acts 5: 41), and this was done in one accord. The bible said that we are to praise God with everything that we have, in dance, singing, with musical instruments, with our voices etc. (Psalms 147; 148; 149). Praising God is our duty to God and is one that we MUST PERFORM (Psalms 147:1).
8. They gave of their substance (Acts 2:45) – The early church knew how to take care of their own as the bible says that they sold their possession and gave the money to the apostles to distribute to those that were in need, so therefore there was nothing lacking to any of the brethren (Acts 4: 32,34-37). By doing this they were showing love for each other as Jesus had commanded them (John 13:34-35). It is important for us to remember that giving is a part of our roots and as much as we are therefore able to we should give as when we give it’s like we’re giving to the Lord (Matthew 25:44-45).
9. Spreading the Word of God (Acts 4:31; 6:4)– The early church was not confined to anyone building but went through different cities spreading the gospel to those in need, even in the marketplace. It was because of their evangelistic work why we could have the bible today and thus have an opportunity to be partakers of the kingdom.
Our roots are planted in ACTIVE evangelism of this blessed gospel; even Jesus was actively involved in evangelizing. The harvest is ripe but the laborers are few as they are millions of people both dying and living each day without hearing about the gospel. It is our responsibility to spread the word of God wherever we go. Let us start with our friends and family around us, each one should try to reach one with the word of God. If they don’t get save don’t let it be said on the Day of Judgment that we never tried to bring our friends to Christ. Don’t let the blood of our brothers be on our shoulder, but let us sound the trumpet in any way we can as we are God’s watchman (Ezekiel 3:17-21). We are not all called to be evangelist, but we all can tell someone about Christ, even a testimony, or invite someone to church with us.Our roots are planted in ACTIVE evangelism of this blessed gospel; even Jesus was actively involved in evangelizing. The harvest is ripe but the laborers are few as they are millions of people both dying and living each day without hearing about the gospel.
Where is the move of God like it was in the early church where God worked signs and wonders in the midst of the people? When men fear God and make him the center of our lives? When men and women run to church because of the power of the almighty is moving mightily? When the word of God spread like wild fire? We argue often that society has change and men no longer have the love and fear of God as before, but could we have some blame in this happening? Could we be responsible to some extent of what happening in our society today? Demons come into our church and the discerners and warriors or sleeping, where are the warriors and manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Ghost? Why are so many churches hindering the move of God and don’t believe in the gifts of the Holy Ghost when the early church did? I believe that the church has lost its root and power.
The modern day church seems to have forgotten about our roots and have turn away from the things that the apostles and brethren did. The Bible let us know that when they were active doing the things listed above that God work signs and wonders among them and the word of God spread to the point that believers were added to the church daily. Could the reason why we are not seeing the signs and wonders Jesus promised us (Mark 16:17) and that was visible in the early church because we have lost our roots? Could it be because we are so caught up in things of this world that’s why we haven’t being seeing the move of God as the Early Church did? What are your thoughts?
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