Part 6, The Anatomy of a True Church, Acts 2:42-47
Luis Cruz, GCF Durham
We cannot help but use the skeletal muscular system of the human body when we think about Paul’s analogy of the human body as he compared it to the church. Our muscles have type 1 and type 2 fibers that we use every day and a motor neuron that stimulates these fibers to function accordingly. We will use these to illustrate the three additional functions of the church that are bundled together, and these are: fellowship, Christian service and giving.
1. The internal fiber system of the church: Fellowship
Type one muscle fiber is a fast-contractile fiber and it is what we usually use for low speed and long endurance activities like running, walking, swimming or biking. Fellowship is like the type 1 muscle fiber, we never get tired of having fellowship.
“42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42
•Fellowship is Koinonia in Greek which refers to the believers’ experience of communing with God.
•This relationship resulted to relatedness and having similar characteristics – generosity in sharing.
•Fellowship literally means partnership.
•Fellowship was also used to refer to the shared life of two people in marriage.
•It denotes inner unity. See Acts 2:44.
•It gives you the idea of mutual responsibility. See Acts 2:45
•It naturally occurs as a result of the inner work of the Holy Spirit. See Acts 2 for context.
2. The internal strengthening system: Service
To some, Christian service is like a type 2 muscle fibers. This muscle fibers are used for activities like weight lifting, and body building. For this church, Christian service is like the type 2 muscle fiber. You like to serve in a very short time doing many things together.
“46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…” Acts 2:46
•From collective worship at the temple, to their homes.
•Hospitality was one of the Jewish traits.
•Jews travelled from other regions to worship at the temple during Pentecost.
•Jewish Christians generously served guests with food and accommodations.
•Early believers used their homes for Church services.
•Christian service became a tool for evangelism.
•They served God’s purpose of bringing salvation to the lost.
•The Lord added numbers daily those who were saved. V.47
“9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
3. The internal stimulator: Giving
Motor neuron stimulates muscle contraction to move. Christian giving is like a motor neuron that stimulates the church to function accordingly.
“45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” Acts 2:45
•Jesus taught the principle of giving to His disciples. Cf. Mat. 19:21
•God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are givers.
•This idea of fellowship being bundled with fellowship and service is clearly demonstrated in Romans 15:25-27
•An opportunity to share and serve the needy.
•Giving helps us to become an enabler.
•It makes us dispensers of God’s blessings.
•It acknowledges God’s provisions to us, and it honors Him.
Here’s something to think about this week:
How can you best show partnership, unity, and mutual responsibility to your church?
What specific needs do you see in your church? How can you use your spiritual gifts to address such needs?
How can you be a blessing dispenser to your church? God does not literally measure the amount of your giving, but He is most interested in the size of your heart.