Devoted to Learning the Truth
On Pentecost Sunday about three thousand people repented and were baptised (Acts 2:41). The church was born. The Holy Spirit had filled the apostles and the new believers. What happened next? Firstly, there was so much to learn about Jesus, what He had done and what He said about the nature of God's kingdom. The apostles were there to tell them. They had been personally appointed by Jesus to teach the truth (1 Thessalonians 4:1-2), and the Holy Spirit instructed them so that their teaching was just as if Jesus was speaking.
The new church members devoted themselves to understanding what the apostles said, and learned how to relate with the other believers. Jesus had taught the disciples that godliness meant a new style of relationships in which giving comes before getting, and loving displaces hating (Matthew 5:1-7:29). Jesus had been the model and example of humble servanthood to the disciples, rebuking them for wanting to take the top place (Matthew 20:20-28). They knew that each new believer had to learn how to relate to each other in a godly way.
The breaking of bread was a special part of each meal they shared together (Acts 2:46). They remembered how much Jesus had suffered for them as they shared bread and wine. And they prayed to Father God in Jesus' Name because they were confident they would be heard and answered (John 16:23-24). They were devoted to Jesus. They did not learn, fellowship, break bread and pray in order to be accepted by Jesus: they knew they had been accepted and so they wanted to invest their lives in devotion to Him.
Devotion to religion is very different from devotion to Jesus. Religion says what you must do to be acceptable to God. Jesus says that He has done everything necessary to save us: all we need to do is to admit our sins and accept His forgiveness, and His gift of the Holy Spirit. It seems so easy; and it is, once we have moved our pride out of the way. But then if we really love Jesus we will want to please Him because His Spirit urges us to do so. Learning from God's Word becomes exciting, because we are understanding more about how to please the One we love. Fellowship is another word for a family which works properly, in which brothers and sisters (all children of Father God) learn to love and serve each other. To play your part in His family: devote yourself to receiving His love, forgiveness and Holy Spirit and remember Jesus who died for you; get to know Him better and learn to love Your new family. Oh, and when others notice your joy … be prepared to tell them why (1 Peter 3:15)!
© Dr Paul Adams