Characteristics of the early Church

In 1773, the young pastor of a poor church in Wainsgate, England, was called to a large and influential church in London. John Fawcett was a powerful preacher and writer, and these skills had brought him this opportunity. But as the wagons were being loaded with the Fawcetts&rsqu … More


Peter’s words pierced their hearts and they questioned what they should do (v. 37). Notice how the Holy Spirit took Peter’s message to cause the listeners to be angry about their sin. He told them they must repent, turn to God, be baptized so their sins would be forgiven (v. 38). Repenting means to change our mind, which results in a change of life. This promise is also for us and our children. It is for everyone our Lord God will choose, no matter where they live (v. 39). Peter told them many other things and about three thousand believed his message and were baptized (vv. 40-41). The characteristics of the early Church are listed (vv. 42-47):

1.  It was a learning Church; it persisted in listening to the apostles as they taught (v. 42).

2.  It was a fellowshipping Church; it had the great          quality of togetherness (v. 42)

3. It was a praying Church; these early Christians knew that they could not meet life in their own strength and that they did not need to (v. 42).

4.  It was a reverent Church; in verse 43 the word             translated “fear” has the idea of awe in it.

5.  It was a doing Church where things happened:signs and wonders were there (v. 43).

6.  It was a sharing Church (vv. 44, 45); they had a feeling of responsibility for each other.

7.  It was a worshiping Church (v. 46); they never             forgot to visit God’s house.

8.  It was a happy Church (v. 46); A gloomy Christian is contradiction in terms.

9.  It was a enjoyable Church whose people others could not help liking (v.47).

10  It was an evangelistic Church (v. 48); people were being saved and added daily.



The early church attracted people because of the way the members loved each other, and served each other, and served the Lord. Lord, help me to be that kind of person.

Acts 2:37-47 (English Standard Version)

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself." And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »