Tag Archives: scripture

The Worshiping Community

Acts 2:42-47  They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.  44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;  45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.  46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,  47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

A singular word knits this passage together; it is found in verse 42 and then, again, in verse 46…

(Gk. preskarterew) “to be devoted” – however, here we see it in the form of a participle – so it should be rightly translated “to be continually devoted.”  This early community had a clear since of what they were to be devoted to – these things were continually integrated into their way of life. In verse 42, this Greek word is used to set the stage, revealing what this early community was devoted to… In verse 46, it is used to bring back to mind what was stated in verse 42 but with a view to praxis, a picture of how they practiced communal life.

Two things to which the 1st century church was continually devoted (v.42):

  1. Continually devoted to the apostles’ teaching: they followed the teachings and commands of Jesus, having adopted his way of life as disciple makers
  2. Continually devoted to the fellowship
    1. The breaking of bread (commemorating the Passover feast/communion)
    2. The prayers (unified, communal prayer)

Community marked by:

  1. Reverential Awe [at the working of God in their midst] (v.43)
  2. Community/Unity [together and had all things in common] (v.44)
  3. Sacrificial Love [as needs arose, sold their property/possessions] (v.45)

(v.46) restating/reminder – continually devoted – each day – one mind (unified prayer) in the temple (large group), breaking bread from house to house (small groups), they were taking meals together with:

  1. Gladness (full of exaltation and joy)
  2. Sincerity of heart
  3. Praising God

Having favor with all the people (season of grace [gk. charin])

(v.47) …and the Lord was adding to their number DAY BY DAY those who were being saved.

Below is the audio (mp3) of the teaching this excerpt was taken from…

[audio:http://www.p4x.org/worship/The_Worshiping_Community]

Everyone is a Worshiper

John 4:23-24 is the only core teaching in the gospels where Jesus taught directly on the topic of worship.

“But a time is coming– and now is here– when the true worshipers…”

Note that Jesus here draws a distinction. He understands, assumes, that every human being is, in fact, a worshiper – worshipers are everywhere; however, the time has come and now is here when a subset of these worshipers will emerge, the “true” worshipers, and that is who Jesus is focusing his attention towards…

“…the true worshipers will worship the Father”

Notice that He states WHO these true worshipers will worship before he states HOW they will worship… the object of their worship is what defines these true worshipers before the quality or kind of worship. When you follow the trail of their passions, the Father, the Creator, God is on the throne – He is the object of value, of highest worth, of worship…

“…the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

In Scripture, there are not a plethora of things that God seeks (i.e. seeks and saves the lost – Luke 19:10; searching the earth for those whose heart is completely His in order to support them – 2 Chronicles 16:9); however, God is seeking “true” worshipers.

Who are they?

They are the people who have rightly placed that which is of ultimate value, God Himself, into the center of their affections (in spirit) and have begun to live a life of worship in authenticity (in truth).

Below is the audio (mp3) of the teaching this excerpt was taken from…
[audio:http://www.p4x.org/worship/Everyone_is_a_Worshiper.mp3]