Model Church
Acts 2:41-42
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.…

I. IT WAS MADE UP OF CONVERTS — that is, of such as had repented and put an unquestionable faith in Jesus Christ. It is possible, of course, that some slipped in who were either wilful deceivers or self-deceived, but that was not likely to be the case under such circumstances. None joined from social considerations or because others were doing so.

II. THE MEMBERS OF THIS MODEL CHURCH "CONTINUED STEDFASTLY IN THE APOSTLES' DOCTRINE." They received the truth as it came to them from inspired lips and were cordially faithful to it. They had a creed and were not ashamed of it. There were no heretics among them, walking about with feathers in their hats and vaunting their disloyalty to truth. We are -told that Christianity is not dogma, but life. It is both, and to say that it is either at the expense of the other is to antagonise the clear teaching of Scripture. Christianity is neither dogma nor life; it is life founded on dogma; it is ethics growing out of truth; it is creed flowering into conduct.

III. "THEY CONTINUED STEDFASTLY IN FELLOWSHIP AND IN BREAKING OF BREAD AND IN PRAYERS." The rationale of the Church finds its briefest expression in that word "fellowship." There is a notion abroad that the Church is an organisation of good people, such as think themselves a little better than their neighbours. This is a mistake; the very opposite is true. The Church is a mutual help association, made up not of good people, but of such us want to be good, who feel their weakness and their need of co-operative sympathy and prayer. The over-righteous, who are strong enough to get along by themselves, are outside of the Church.

IV. THEY SURRENDERED ALL THEIR EARTHLY POSSESSIONS TO A COMMON TREASURY TO BE EXPENDED FOR THE COMMON GOOD. These people lived in the early morning, with the dewy memory of Christ upon them and hearts warmed by the baptism of fire; they had recently seen their Master caught up in the clouds of heaven and received an assurance that He would come again in "like manner." Thus memory and hope conspired to make their hearts unworldly, and in their fellowship we may reasonably expect to find the nearest approach to the Church of the millennium. In these days, when property rights so far eclipse the great verities, we may be excused for wondering how these people could be so foolish as to sell their possessions in this way and "hold all things common"; but by-and-by there will come a time when truth and goodness will outshine silver and gold, and then, perhaps, it will appear that these early Christians were not wrong after all, but only a little premature. The term "communism" is applied to so much of crack-brained fanaticism that we are in danger of overlooking the real truth at the centre of it.

V. THE MEMBERS OF THIS PRIMITIVE CHURCH GAVE THEMSELVES WHOLLY UP TO THE WORK AND WORSHIP OF GOD; "They continued daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house." They were not content with mere Sabbath worship and the other perfunctory duties of a religious life. To these enthusiastic Christians every day was a holy day and every place was a sanctuary.

(D. J. Burrell, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

WEB: Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. There were added that day about three thousand souls.

Marks of Having Received the Word
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