Pastor James J. Barker

Text: ACTS 2:42—47


  1. This will be our last prayer meeting for 2007 (though we do pray in the new year every New Year’s Eve).
  2. The book of Acts shows how the apostles “continued stedfastly” (2:42).


I. DOCTRINE (2:42; 5:16—29; 13:1—12).

  1. Notice that doctrine comes first.
  2. We must continue preaching and teaching Bible doctrine.  In the apostle Paul’s three “Pastoral Epistles,” he stresses “sound (healthy) doctrine” (I Tim. 1:10; II Tim. 4:3; Titus 1:9; 2:1).
  3. Doctrine simply means teaching based upon the Word of God.  The same Greek word translated “doctrine” is also translated as “teaching” in Romans 12:7, and “learning” in Romans 15:4.
  4. These words, translated “doctrine” or “teaching” are found more than 140 times in the NT.   This indicates the importance of Bible doctrine.



  1. Our fellowship is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ. “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (I Cor. 1:9).
  2. Every now and then I hear a program on the radio sponsored by an organization called “the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.” This group was founded in 1983 to promote “understanding between Jews and Christians and to build broad support for Israel and other shared concerns.”
  3. The organization is led by a Jew named Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and “is governed by a board of directors made up of members of both faith groups who share a strong belief in building bridges between the Christian and Jewish communities” (from their web site).
  4. Our Lord said in Matthew 23:8, “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.”
  5. This organization cannot be a fellowship in the Biblical sense.  The Jews in this group may be sincere but if they reject Jesus they are lost. 
  6. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
  7. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).
  8. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines fellowship as, “mutual association of persons on equal and friendly terms.”  But if a man rejects Christ, we cannot be on “equal terms.”



  1. This refers to the Lord’s Supper.  A regular church dinner (like we will have on New Year’s Eve) would be included in the term “fellowship.”  “Breaking of bread” is different.
  2. Our Lord said, “This do in remembrance of me” (I Cor. 11:24, 25).
  3. The apostle Paul wrote in I Cor. 11:26, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.”
  4. The fact that breaking of bread is listed along with doctrine, fellowship, and prayer indicates that we should have the Lord’s Supper regularly.



  1. Our Lord referred to the temple as “the house of prayer” (Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46).  In this dispensation, the church is “the house of prayer.”
  2. There are many references to prayer in the book of Acts.
  • “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14).
  • “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
  • The apostles said in Acts 6:4, “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”
  • “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5).
  • “And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them (Paul & Barnabas), they sent them away” (Acts 13:3).   {Someone said today it would be, “And when they had feasted and played…”}
  1. There are many other references to prayer in the book of Acts.  A good Bible study: check out the many references in the Bible to “prayer and fasting,” and “pray without ceasing.”


V. GIVING (2:45; 4:34-37; 5:1ff)

  1. The apostolic church was a giving church.
  2. Regarding the word “fellowship” in Acts 2:42, Charles Ryrie wrote, “This means the sharing of their spiritual blessings in Christ and the sharing of their material substance…Fellowship in material things was enjoyed by these early Christians (vss. 44—46).  No doubt many of the pilgrims to the feast of Pentecost lingered in Jerusalem to learn more of their new-found faith in Christ, and this created pressing financial needs.  After the incident recorded in chapter 5 there is no further mention of the use of this plan of sharing in common, for its necessity was undoubtedly short-lived ”  (Acts).
  3. If all our members gave generously we could have this renovation work completed and get many other things done as well.


VI. SOULWINNING (2:46, 47; 8:4)

  1. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).
  2. I just recently received an email from a pastor friend in the Philippines.  He said they had a special evangelistic service in their church last Saturday morning (December 22).  They had a total of 175 first time visitors with 91 adults and young people making a profession of faith in Christ.
  3. How is that for a great soulwinning church?
  4. I realize Elmont is not the Philippines, but we can still see a lot more people saved if all our members worked and prayed.
  5. Remember: “He that winneth souls is wise” (Pro. 11:30).


VII. MISSIONS (13:1-5)

  1. I am praying we double our Faith Promise, catch up completely with what we owe our missionaries, and add on new missionaries for 2008.
  2. Please pray with me about this.   And please pray for my preaching trip to the Philippines this summer.



  1. Acts chapter 13 marks a major division in the book of Acts.  Acts 1—12 record the spread of Christianity in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Then in Acts 13 to the end of the book we see the Gospel being preached to the regions beyond.
  2. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

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