(2:42) Steadfastness: the early believers were a people who continued steadfastly in four things. (See DEEPER STUDY #
1-5—Acts 2:42 for a discussion of these points.)
DEEPER STUDY # 1
(2:42) Continued steadfastly (proskarterountes): to continue, persevere, endure, stick, persist. A person does not quit, back
off, fade away, or slip back. He continues on steadfastly.
DEEPER STUDY # 2
(2:42) In doctrine (didache): the teaching, the instruction of the apostles. The teaching would include both what Christ
taught and His actual death, resurrection, and ascension (or exaltation). It would be the same teaching and instructions...
• that are shared in the New Testament.
• that the disciples wrote to various churches and bodies of believers.
The teaching would be no different. There is only one message, only one Word, that saves, roots, and grounds people in
the Lord—the Word of God Himself, the message of the New Testament. On the day of Pentecost, the persons who were
saved needed to be grounded in the faith. The only message that could ground them was the message found in the New Tes-
tament. It was that message, that doctrine they were taught.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Mt.28:19-20).
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto
them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third
day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations,
beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things” (Lk.24:45-48).
Thought 1. Note a striking fact: we can be saved, rooted, and grounded in the very same message. God has given us
the very same doctrines and instructions to root and ground us. We can have a true, dynamic apostolic experience and
maturity in the Lord. We can grow and know the Lord as intimately as the early believers knew the Lord. In fact, we
come short if we do not, for we have the very same doctrine, teachings, and instructions that they had.
DEEPER STUDY # 3
(2:42) Fellowship: the fellowship wrought by the Spirit of God means more than the association existing in secular groups
such as civic clubs and community bodies. There is a vast difference between community participation and spiritual partici-
pation. Community participation is based upon neighborly association. Spiritual participation is based upon a spiritual union
wrought by the Spirit of God.
The distinctiveness is this: the Holy Spirit is within the Christian believer. The Holy Spirit creates a spiritual union by
melting and molding the heart of the Christian believer to the hearts of other believers. He attaches the life of one believer to
the lives of other believers. Through the Spirit of God, believers become one in life and purpose. They have a joint life shar-
ing their blessings and needs and gifts together. Note several things about fellowship that are taught by this passage.
1. Fellowship is being experienced by the new believers because they join other Christians in learning the Scriptures
(apostles’ teachings) and in worship (prayers and celebrating the Lord’s Supper, Acts 2:41-42).
2. Fellowship forbids an unattached Christian life. Their fellowship is maintained because they “continue stedfastly” in
the Scriptures and in worship. An unattached Christian life is just impossible.
a. Christianity is first an individual matter, but then it becomes a social matter. The Christian is attached to
Christ individually, but he is also attached to other believers. He walks with other believers in the Scriptures
and in worship.
b. Christianity is first a spiritual organism, but then it becomes a spiritual organization. The Christian has an
inward life, but he also takes on an outward form of life. He becomes a living organization with other
Christian believers. He sits at the feet of the apostles’ teaching and joins right in with other Christians as
they worship together.
c. Christianity makes the true believer a saint (one who is set apart unto God), but Christianity is made up of
saints—plural. Christianity is not just one person; Christianity is many persons—saints. The word is often
used in the New Testament, but it is never used in the singular. Christianity is Christianity because the
saints study the Scriptures together and worship together.
d. Christianity demands that a believer personally live out such virtues as kindness, longsuffering, and love; but
the believer can do this only in association with others.
e. Christianity means that the Spirit of God has entered the believer’s life, but it also means that the Spirit of
God has placed the believer into a corporate body (the church), into Christian society itself. The Spirit of
God indwells the corporate body of believers as well as the individual (see note—1 Cor.3:16).
3. Spiritual fellowship faces two dangers.
a. Fellowship and society can be over-emphasized—to the point that individual salvation is missed. An
individual must “receive His word” (Acts 2:41).
b. Individual salvation and individual worship, whether through nature or by any other means, can be overly
stressed—to the point that Christian fellowship and society can be missed (Acts 2:42).
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