Making Space for Devotion

Brian Mahon - 12/5/2021


Text: Acts 2:42-47

Jesus has come, lived, died, been raised, ascended and, by the Spirit, descended into our very hearts. By Him, He's taken up residence within His people---and it is evident. Peter preaches the first official Christian sermon, and Christ saves many. He is building His Church. Our text explores the earliest version of us, what marked us at our most infant and purest and, thus, what should be prescriptive for us today. That mark is devotion to the Word, table fellowship, prayer, care, praise, and outreach as a unified Gospel community. Such a new creation community is supernaturally compelling. It begets awe, generosity, favor, affirmation and, Lord willing, the saving of many souls. As God does His extraordinary work through the ordinary means of grace, it is incumbent upon us to take up and/or keep up that to which the Holy Spirit says this first church devoted themselves. We will make space for it where Christ increases in us.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Be devoted to the formal means of grace, 2:42-43.
  2. Be devoted to familial displays of grace, 2:44-47a.
  3. Be driven to devotion by its general effect: the Lord's application of grace, 2:47b.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Acts 2:42-47. What is the broad context of this text?
  2. In 2:42, the gathering of the Spirit's new creation community of Christ is marked by one thing to four things. What's the one thing? What are the four things? What is the effect of their devotion, per 2:43? What role did the signs and wonders play in relationship to the ordinary means of grace? As these things attended their devotion, what did their devotion importantly affirm? Does our devotion (or lack thereof) say anything about the truth of the Gospel?
  3. In 2:44-47a, Luke seems to magnify the church's more informal fellowship---what characterized their life together from day to day. What things does Luke mention? Do we perceive ourselves as a family that delights to come together because, in essence, we are together? Do we perceive ourselves to be 'one of another'? How might that play out, not just on a Sunday, but throughout a week? Put another way, is there a difference between biblical and merely cultural Christianity? If this primitive church is generally prescriptive for 'the church' or 'a church', how are we lining up?
  4. In 2:47b, Luke adds something that ought to drive our devotion. What is it? Who saves people? Who is the Lord here? What does He delight to use to save sinners? In other words, what has the text held out to us as the chief tool in His saving hands? Be careful in answering. Is it first a grand missions strategy? Is it an evangelistic blitz? Or is it *first simply a church that's devoted to being a church indeed? An apostolic church? A church that's devoted to the first things of Christ? Finally, what is the connection between salvation and church membership, as implied in this verse?
  5. Where the King increases with us, so too should our gathered devotion to Him. Inevitably, that demands some sacrifices. This Advent season, what might need to be put on the chopping block in order that we might be more devoted to these priorities and characteristics of a true and healthy church? As I see so much of this in each of you and us as a whole, I thank Christ for His grace and for you all. May He increase with us indeed!
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