L5 - The Experience of Unity in the Early Church

09 Oct 2018

The second chapter of Acts provides a glimpse into the first Christian community. It is a community which was composed of a growing number of believers who experienced unity through the power of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that there were never any arguments or disagreements. Jealousy and selfishness are described in later passages. Rather, we should understand that harmony and genuine community prevailed.
The unity experienced by the early church did not occur accidentally. It was forged in a common spiritual journey and experience. After Jesus ascended to heaven the disciples were preparation for the new phase of their journey. Together they waited for the promised Holy Spirit. Together they prayed and cried out to God for the fulfillment of his promise. Together they worshiped God and sought to understand what Jesus meant. As they did so, two things happened: their lives were transformed and they gradually grew closer together. When the Holy Spirit was poured out, the disciples were in one accord.
After the dramatic fulfillment of Jesus’ promise of the Spirit, the disciples continued devoting themselves to God through praise and prayer. As they focused on the centre of their faith, love overflowed into other aspects of their lives. God’s love was reflected in all their relationships. And so we find that these early believers also chose to devote themselves to fellowship, and to meeting the needs of others as they were able. The result was unity and harmony.
Christ was without a doubt the centre of their unity. The Holy Spirit was the power which transformed the community. However, the unity which Luke records in the book of Acts still required a personal and intentional commitment by each believer to both God and their community.
As you reflect on the experience of the early church consider how you might intentionally spend more time worshiping and growing together with fellow believers.