“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
That word “devoted” comes from the Greek word Proskartereō. It means to be steadfastly attentive unto, continue all the time in a place, to persevere and not to faint, to be devoted constant to one. It means that they pushed past the pleasantries into uncomfortable territory, into the soul of another human being, and stayed there with patience and perseverance. As I read this passage, the beauty of community and its purpose leaped off the page. (I actually made a list)
- They did not turn into hermits, but were very intimate with one another, and took all occasions to meet; wherever you saw one disciple, you would see more. They did this to help each other’s faith (Rom1:12) and to obliterate sin.
- They had fellowship with one another in religious worship. They did this to praise God together.
- After the Spirit was poured out, as well as before, while they were waiting for him, they continued instant in prayer; prayer was never be set aside unless it was swallowed up in everlasting praise to. They did this to expose their reliance on God.
- They willingly raised a fund for charity. This was to destroy selfishness
- They were concerned for one another, sympathized with one another, and heartily espoused one another’s interests. Not only was there no discord nor strife (meaning problems and issues were rebuked and dealt with at that very instant), but there was a great deal of holy love among them. In this they became more like Christ.
- In turn God added to the church daily. They had influence. They had nothing of external pomp to command external respect they had abundance of spiritual gifts that were truly honorable, which possessed men with an inward reverence for them. Souls of people were strangely influenced by their preaching and living.