The Faith and Stedfastness of the Early Christians
Acts 2:41-42
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.…

I. We have here, then, in the first place, A VERY FULL ACCOUNT OF THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH. It is, in fact, a kind of full-length portrait, drawn by the pencil of inspiration, which we must analyse and examine for our own benefit. And here, first of all, we find it stated that "they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine." If you ask what this doctrine was, we refer you back to the clear outline of it which is presented to our minds in the sermon of the Apostle Peter. It was the doctrine of a free and full remission of our sins, through the atoning sacrifice of our blessed Saviour, who was put to death for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

II. THE BLESSED EFFECTS. It is also asserted that these primitive Christians maintained a constant attendance on the means of grace. A man cannot walk alone and by himself on the path which leads to glory. As soon as his conscience has been awakened, his judgment convinced, and his heart subdued to the obedience of faith, he must become a member of that Church to which her Divine Master has entrusted the dispensation of those means of grace which He has provided for the advancement of the spiritual interests of His people. But we must also notice another characteristic feature in this infant Church, They manifested a noble and commendable attention to the wants of their poorer brethren; they "continued stedfastly in the fellowship," or, rather, as the original word implies, in the contribution, or in the generous and considerate extension of their temporal resources for the supply of the necessities of their poorer brethren: "They had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." And we cannot fail to notice the spirit of union and of Christian love that pervaded all the services and intercourse of these first disciples of our blessed Redeemer. There was an unity of faith, and, what was of more consequence, there was an unity of feeling amongst them, binding together into one happy family the constituent members of this infant Church. It might, indeed, be said of them, "Behold how these Christians love one another," so zealously did they endeavour to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace." They "were together"; they did not frustrate the great purpose for which Christ has incorporated His people into a church by becoming hermits, but, feeling their mutual dependence on each other, they endeavoured by mutual encouragement to strengthen and to build each other up in the faith and hope of the everlasting gospel.

(D. Bagot, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

WEB: Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. There were added that day about three thousand souls.

The Disciplined Life of the Church
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