Cover 2018-02-04

Ron Writes

“Minutes to Learn... a Lifetime to Master.”

One of the games we played as kids had printed on the box: “Minutes to Learn... a Lifetime to Master.” In many ways you could say the same thing about Christianity. The basic principles and goals are actually quite simple – doing them consistently is another matter.

A guiding principle for restoring Christianity is simply to do Bible things in Bible ways. In other words, look at what they did, and do the same things. Acts 2:42 is a simple verse explaining the behavior of Christians after they were baptized. However we do things as we move forward, there are certain elements that need our continued devotion. We must purposefully pursue these things.

“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

Bible Study (the apostles’ teaching). We must be students of the Word. Healthy doctrine comes from a thorough study of the Bible. There are no shortcuts. Do we regularly read, study and try to apply God’s Word?

Fellowship. Fellowship is having something in common. We do. We share a common love for Jesus since all of us have been redeemed by Him. We are now part of the family of God. It’s about relationships. It’s about loving one another and forgiving each other. There are scores of “one another” passages in the New Testament. The only way to apply the “one another” verses is by having a close relationship with one another.

Breaking of bread. This phrase can either be used to refer to eating with one another or as a Lord’s Supper metaphor for worship. Either way, it’s something we do together. The outcome of Bible study and seeing how God works in our lives is awe. It’s worship! It’s recognizing God’s presence in our life and vocally and publicly proclaiming it. Worship has a dual purpose. One is to come into the presence of God to honor Him. The other is to encourage one another.

Prayer. We believe that our prayers can move a sovereign God to act. Prayer is what we often do alone, but it’s something we also do together. The first century church was devoted to it.

Anything short of these basics is not enough. We must learn to do them. These are simple enough concepts to understand – but it can take a lifetime to fully put them into practice.