What Makes a Biblical Church?

Acts two gives us the birth of the church. With the disciples waiting in Jerusalem for the gift of the Father, God gave them the Holy Spirit. Each of the disciples spoke in other languages or dialects and people from all over the Mediterranean world heard the gospel in their own language.

The disciples made Jesus front and center and many people believed, resulting in 3,00o people being saved and baptized. Peter described what had happened by referring to the prophet Joel who proclaimed that the day would come when whoever believed on the name of the Lord would be saved.

Luke ended the chapter by giving two summaries. One, the longer and better known of the two, described how all those who believed were together and had all things in common. The shorter and earlier summary described how they practiced as a church.

This has led some commentators to use this short verse to describe a “biblical church.” Luke gave it to us in this way: “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). God had birthed the church and the church responded by continually devoting themselves to those practices which would build the church and advance the gospel.

What did they do?

First, they made a habit and a practice of fellowship, biblical theology, prayer, and communion. None of these disciplines can be haphazard or easily neglected. For the church to serve God and change the world, there must be a constant emphasis on biblical habits and practices.

Second, they emphasized the apostles’ teaching. What God had given, they followed. Today, we know of the New Testament as the apostle’s teaching. We must continually devote ourselves to the apostle’s teaching. This truly makes us a biblical Chruch.

Third, the church worked and served together. They found strength and power in the closeness that they experienced in one another. They truly were a one-another group.

Fourth, they remembered where they came from as they broke the bread of the Lord’s Supper together. When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we remember what Christ did for us.

Finally, they spent time in prayer. Recently, I read of many churches that are governed by un-prayed over opinions. The church must seek God and His way.

It was this church–a biblical church–that turned the world upside down.

May we be the same.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

[To the Church in Laodicea] “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. — Revelation 3:14,20 (NIV)