Characteristics of a new testament church
On Sunday the 31st of January 2016 we celebrated our one year anniversary as a church family and it was an incredible morning filled with the Presence of Jesus, worship, fellowship and food.
Looking back over the past year and reflecting on the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness, I remember reading and studying the scriptures and in particular the book of Acts and how the early church was birthed in Acts chapter two with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at a prayer meeting which lead Peter to preach an incredible Christ-centered message to a large crowd of people confronted with a question, “brothers, what shall we do” and Peter replied, “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ… “And the church grew instantly with 3000 new believers and all of a sudden the Holy Spirit through the preaching of God’s Word grabbed the attention of a city called Jerusalem and the name and fame of Jesus Christ increased greatly throughout Jerusalem and we see the beginning of the promise given in Acts chapter one verse eight being fulfilled.
As I page through the book of Acts I see a New Testament community of believers who walked in the power of Holy Spirit, proclaimed the truth of Jesus Christ and demonstrated the love of God the Father and I have found the New Testament model of local church as seen in the book of Acts chapter two to be a firm foundation to build upon.
Here are six characteristics of the early church as seen in Acts.2:1 – 47:
- Holy Spirit empowerment (See Acts.2:1 – 13)
Everything the early church did was done by the power of the Holy Spirit (see Acts.1:8).
Acts.2:4 – All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
- Holy Spirit anointed preaching (See Acts.2:14 – 37)
Acts.2:37 – When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, brothers what shall we do?
- Radical salvation’s
Acts.2:38 – Peter replied, repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Radical obedience – immediate water baptisms
Acts.2:41 – Those who accepted his message were baptized and about 3000 were added to their number that day
- True discipleship (a devoted lifestyle) (See Acts.2:42 – 47)
Acts.2:42 – They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching (Word of God), fellowship and breaking of bread and to prayer.
- A church empowered by Holy Spirit to witness
Acts.2:47b – And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.