In 1 Cor 15:58, Paul reminds the Corinthians that the blood of Christ redeemed them and because of that they can stand fast in Him.
The times we live in are unlike any other. Not only are we dealing with the Coronavirus, but our world is such a different place now than it has ever been, filled with prosperity and material abundance, medical technology that is second to none and the ability to travel around the world faster and with more ease than ever before.
In my daily reading, I have been in the book of Acts which describes how God established His church about two millenniums ago. He prepared them to be His witnesses by sending His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and thereby empowered them to spread the good news of the Gospel to the world. In so doing, the church was established.
As the church was born, we learn how the New Testament church would function and can observe four main foundational principles as found in Acts 2:42.
“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teachings. The Apostles taught the members of the church everything they learned from Jesus during the three years they followed Him before His crucifixion and during the forty days after His resurrection, prior to His ascension. These new believers were devoted to the Apostles’ teaching, standing fast to these truths as reflected by their continuous faithfulness, even under persecution.
They were devoted to fellowship. These new believers were enthusiastic about their new life in Christ as demonstrated by their common bond of worship, and the sharing of meals and material possessions. This was all to ensure that no one would remain in need within their fellowship. They were united in Christ and encouraged each other by fellowshipping and sharing.
They were devoted to breaking bread together. The breaking of bread is a reference to the Lord’s Supper. It was a command of God and they, as true believers, did not forsake it. This continually reminded them of the work of Christ and what He had accomplished for them. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:16, “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” They shared these blessings together as one body of believers.
They shared in the fellowship of prayer. Prayer is powerful. They knew they could come before the God of the universe and ask Him for their every need as He was their source for everything. They entirely relied on the precious promise of Jesus, that whatever they asked the Father in His name, He would do for them. (John 14:13-14)
It is the same for us as true believers today, even when it seems that the world is going upside down with all kinds of stress and unrest, not knowing what comes next. Despite these uncertain and unprecedented times, we can remain steadfast and immovable in Christ and His word!
Thanks to the spiritual bond of the family of Christ and today’s advanced technology (provided by God’s providential care), we can remain in close fellowship with each other even if we can’t meet in person right now. We can hold each other up in our daily prayers because God gave us the privilege to come before Him with our requests at any time and in any place. In prayer we have fellowship with God. His deep love for us through the redeeming work of Christ made all this possible.
Brothers and sisters, be encouraged today in what our God has done for us, as we stand fast together in Christ.