Originally scheduled for March 12
The word “continually” carries with it in the
original Greek the idea that someone is constantly diligent in doing
something. It’s not something we did once; it’s something we do all
the time. Here, Luke tells us the four things that the early church
This seems pretty obvious to us; after all, it
is the root idea of all of the other items on the list. It’s rather
convenient in this instance that the apostles are still around, so
of course the early church took advantage of that but it’s very much
necessary to do this. If you don’t, then everyone invents his own
doctrine and division in the church is inevitable. If you will see
it, the Apostle’s Teaching is a source of unity in the church.
Humans are social creatures. If you want them
to work together you need to establish a sense of fellowship. You
cannot do this exclusively in an intellectual manner, for
Christianity is not just an intellectual pursuit. It’s wonderful
that you have C. S. Lewis; sometimes you also need fried chicken.
But when you have good Christian fellowship, it is a source of unity
in the church. You may not understand the fine points of doctrine,
but if you shared a meal with someone you come closer to them.
If doctrine is eternal, then prayer is
immediate. We pray for one another on the basis of what our needs
are at the moment. Indeed, Christians almost instinctively reach out
to other Christians to ask for prayer at the moment of crisis. It’s
a form of sharing the load. When you beseech Almighty God for the
same thing your neighbor is asking, that is also a source of unity
in the church.
You might wonder why communion is on this list.
The first three are pretty obvious, but the reason for communion
being so important comes from the very nature of human
communication. This is symbolic communication, which is the highest
form of communication of which we know. Communion tells us the
central fact of Christianity: Christ died for sinners — he is our
Atonement. Each and every one of us needs a Savior; he is the only
one that can do the job. And yes, this too is a source of unity in
As you partake, ask yourself if you have
anything against your brother. If you do, resolve to resolve it. Ask
yourself if there is any sin in your life. If there is, confess it
to God, repent and ask his aid in getting rid of it. Then, with
proper respect take the cup and break bread with your Christian
brothers and sisters, united in the church.