Acts 2:42-47 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
So the third thing about the church that is found in these verses is that they were a church that fellowshipped together. The Greek word for fellowship (found in verse 42) is a very hard word to define. It means fellowship, associate, community, communion, joint participation, sharing, intimacy and brotherhood. It refers to people that have open hearts and open hands, open homes and open lives.
Peter says that this community comes from an outflow of truth (which was our second characteristic of the church). Peter declares: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,” (1 Pet 1:22). So fellowship is a reaction to the truth and comes from pure hearts that have been made alive by the Spirit. It is truth in action. Peter made a point in his first letter to teach on this idea of fellowship. He said in 1 Pet 3:8 to “be of one mind”, which is a musical term which means to be harmonious. It is more than “singing from the same hymn sheet” but it is to make a sound that is in harmony. It doens’t mean that we sing the same thing but the things that we do sing blend together and bring a harmonious sound. In music there are two words that are used in relation of harmony: consonance and dissonance. Consonance is where all the notes, when sounded together are considered stable and thus it sounds harmonious. Dissonance is literally the opposite: the notes are unstable. Technically it is the addition of foreign notes to a chord, notes that don’t belong. So what Peter is saying is: be notes that when sounded together you make one harmonious sound without any alien notes.
How does that happen? True fellowship happens when we share our lives with others. when we are loving one another. Praying for one another. Edifying one another. Exhorting one another. Giving to one another.
Luke continues in Acts 2 and says that they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread,
One of two places fellowship grows from is the breaking of bread. Here referring to the Lord’s Table. Interestingly enough we often refer to the Lord’s Table as “communion”. Why? well because this is the place that we go to find that common life in Christ. Right back to the point of unity: The cross. You might say that it was a liturgical church (liturgy is a good word to describe customs and it was their custom to break bread in the manner that the Lord showed them on the night He was betrayed). It wasn’t for liturgies sake bvut for fellowship. It was the celebration of unity because of Christ.
The second place that fellowship grows from is prayer which I’ll discuss in part 4