Often I get into discussions with people about the early church.
They say, "I wish we could be just like the early church. God was so alive, and he was doing such powerful things."
What was it about the early church? After Peter gave his very first sermon, thousands came to Christ. Then Acts 2 tells us what they did next: "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
So first of all, they were devoted. They were committed to right doctrine, to being with one another, to the breaking of bread, and they did it in homes. In the verses that follow, it says:
Everyone was filled with awe. Many wonders and miraculous signs were being done by the apostles. All the believers were together, and they had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave as anyone had need.
The result of these dynamic relationships was this: "The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." That is normative New Testament Christianity. That's not an exception. It's not for an era. That's what God wants for every regular, ordinary believer like you and me.
This kind of transformation happens in a supernatural community.
We often call it a small group. This has definitely been true for me. I not only came to Christ because of a small group, but all my early spiritual growth came out of my small group experience. When I was an unbeliever, I went to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp. I sat in a small group, along with a bunch of athletes after we'd worked out, and we talked about real life issues. Instead of religion, I saw life and reality and relationships.
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