Key Verse: Acts 2:42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
One of the key factors in the success of the early church was the uncontested fact of the resurrection. I say “uncontested” in terms of the believers themselves and the incontrovertible evidence of Jesus’ appearances over a period of forty days after the resurrection. Don’t forget that the disciples had deserted Jesus when He needed them most, and had gone into hiding to avoid being crucified themselves as “collaborators”. It was to these men that Jesus “showed Himself…and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive” (1:3a). The ultimate post-resurrection appearance was His ascension. It was in this context that Jesus promised the advent of the Holy Spirit and power for witness throughout the world. Then the disciples heard the promise of the angels, even as Jesus disappeared, that He would “come back”.
These events, plus the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (ch. 2), provided fuel for a revolution. A revolution that was supported by a powerful four-point infrastructure: Teaching, Fellowship, Communion, Prayer. These were the building blocks of early church life.
The apostles’ teaching provided the substance vital to a living faith. Fellowship met the social needs of the community of faith. Communion meant remembrance — a broken body and shed blood providing a sin offering for our transgressions. And prayer was the corporate and individual line of communication with the everlasting Father.
It’s little wonder the church grew. In this fertile ground of committed teaching, fellowship, communion, and prayer, the Lord was able to add “to their number daily those who were being saved” (2:47)