Introduction: When a person begins to follow Jesus, our Lord God wants his narrow road followers to take responsibility by making major life changes. No longer can you be a selfish individual, following your dreams and living your life, but instead you are required to enlarge your perspective and live in the counterculture of Jesus.
Acts 2 illustrates the immediate change God wants as this historical account reveals how 3000 STRANGERS turned from their sin and followed Jesus. It was not an individual and personal religious experience. It was a total transformation to a community of life involving all of Christ’s followers becoming BEST FRIENDS. It was an immediate alteration of thinking and living.
Their new life was based on four major changes of their lifestyle. “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 (NLT) By immediately making these four commitments to Jesus and His followers, they quickly became best friends together.
First off, these strangers from all over the Roman Empire took a risk and immediately joined the church, the rest of all the local followers of Jesus, and gathered with them to learn from the church leaders the teachings and mind of God. They did not go home for a private Bible study to decide for themselves what they would follow or not follow. They did not start a private family worship time as they preferred it with their children. They did not start a new small group that fit their fancy.
No they submitted to the leadership and humbly listened and learned how to follow the Lord Jesus. The apostles’ doctrine was the teaching of Jesus’ commands. See Matthew 28. They joined the Christian life and became important parts of the ministry. They immediately joined in fellowship with their new community of friends.
This is the second important life change that they fully committed themselves to on the very day they followed Jesus, not months or years later when they got around to it. Fellowship is the real response of love to one another as commanded throughout the New Testament. God expects immediate action on your part to become good friends. Love is not a feeling but a choice of fellowship in action.
And in Acts the new believers did not just join the Christian crowd and learn the teachings and commands of Jesus. They did not just involve themselves in fellowship, they also embraced the community by gathering in the homes of their fellow disciples of Jesus to eat together and celebrated the Lord’s Supper as a church.
They dug deep into the new culture of heaven. And also, they gathered with the large groups and prayed for God to continue His mighty work of salvation so their neighbors and families would come to know the truth. They quickly learned to put their faith upon God to miraculously change others.
But for this talk we need to look closer at the responsibility of fellowship. You must participate in fellowship because this what true Christian friendship is! And this is not an option, but the will of God for your life.
Our fellowship together is defined from the Greek word koinoônia. It means strong partnership, close social union, deep communication, and common sharing. Like a piece of plywood, God wants our local church families to be glued together in such a union that the pulling apart of any one Christian will hurt and scar the group.
Honestly, isn’t this what being best friends is all about?