When Christians gather together
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:41-47
The Bible used great images in the New Testament that described the relationship among believers in Christ and their relationship with God. The believers in Christ are described as the branches that are connected to the vine which is Christ. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). There is also an image of living stones in a great building of which Christ is the foundation and the cornerstone. “You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple” (1 Peter 2:4-5). Then there is the image of believers as referred to as the body to which they are connected to the head which is Christ. “Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body” (Colossians 1:18). These descriptions provided from the Bible reveal how God designed the church and her relationship with Her Lord and Savior. The text today gave a narrative on how the church started. It showed that as the church was born the believers in Christ were gathered together and did some spiritual ministries that will help each believer grow in their new-found faith. Christian life should not be lived in isolation from other believers. A single stone lying by itself on the ground is useless. But once gathered with other living stones, they become a spiritual house. “Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord” (Ephesians 2:20-21). In the same way, the branch by itself is lifeless. “For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me” (John 15:4). Similarly, a part of the body cut-off form the rest of the body and the head is useless. “...growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:15-16). Outside of Christ and His body, an individual believer will not be able to experience the direction and the usefulness of their life. In Christ, the believers gathered together produce a beautiful spiritual house, a fruitful vine, and a strong body. “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).