Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
In today’s passage, Luke the author of Acts and companion of Paul, notes four major things the first disciples were devoted to, (1) The apostle’s teaching, (2) fellowship, (3) breaking of bread and (4) prayer. These four things are still very important for today’s disciples to be devoted to because they produce spiritual maturity.
Spiritual maturity is defined as doing the basic things God commanded with consistency. In faithful obedience, God grows the disciple and takes them from “glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Let us examine each one of these important spiritual disciplines. First, to grow spiritually mature we need to be devoted to the apostle’s teaching. Remember, in the early church, before the New Testament books were completed, the disciples had to learn the Word of God directly from the apostles. The modern equivalent of disciples devoting themselves to the apostles teaching, is to daily read the Bible and go to church regularly. Both personal study and public teaching from trained leaders will mature your walk with the Lord. Paul told Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV).
Second, fellowship with other disciples in small group settings will produce spiritual maturity. The ole’ saying is true, “Birds of like feathers, flock together.” You don’t see eagles hanging around chicken coops and you never see a chicken living by an eagle’s nest. The first disciples knew they weren’t going to grow in their faith by going to the Roman amphitheaters and watching plays, nor were they going to spiritually excel by going to sports arenas. They knew the best fertilizer for their faith was to fellowship with other Christians; like iron sharpening iron. This kind of Christian-synergy would produce massive growth in their lives. The modern application of this is to join discipleship-based small groups in your local church.
Third, the phrase “breaking of bread” most likely refers to taking communion. Communion is a time when disciples remember the sacrificial work of Jesus on the cross by partaking of unleavened bread and wine (or grape juice). The symbolic act of taking communion results in a spiritual renewal and testimony of God’s amazing grace. The modern application of breaking bread is simply taking communion and rejoicing in God’s goodness with other disciples either in church or in fellowship (1 Corinthians 11:25-26).
Fourth, the disciples devoted themselves to prayer. Prayer could either be done in groups, like in Acts 4:31, when the church prayed for God to fill them with boldness and the house they prayed in was shaken; or praying can refer to private times of fellowshipping with God, like in Matthew 6:6. The modern application of prayer would be to pray in public with others and privately by yourself.
In summary, every disciple should be devoted to reading their Bible and going to church, fellowshipping in small groups with other disciples, partaking of communion and praying. When we do what the early disciples did, we will see what the early disciples saw- God’s Kingdom come to earth!
Are you devoted to spiritual maturity?
- Examine your heart to see if you need to repent for not being devoted to spiritual growth.
- Describe your strengths and weaknesses in each area.
- Ask God to grow you in each area.