...the churches of Christ salute you! Rom 16:16

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by C.O. Etheredge

"...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47). This scripture without a doubt implies those who were added to the church did exactly what Peter told them to do in verse 38 of Acts two. In so many ways the book of Acts is given to us as an example. It would be well for us to examine some of these examples in Acts chapters one through three.

The book opens with Jesus' disciples listening to his words as to what they should do after his ascension. They were instructed not to leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Jesus instructed them it was not for you to know the times or the seasons the Father has set by his own authority, but you will receive power when they Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:4,7,8). They acted upon the commands.

In the second chapter of Acts, the marvelous works at Pentecost are told where three thousand obeyed the powerful admonition of Peter..."Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (v.38). Here we have the true effects of gospel obedience. After these actions they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (v. 42). All the believers were together; also the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (v. 42-46).

What a blessing it would be if all our congregations acted with the same motiva-tion and joy. In studying the Scriptures we see the apostles teaching the Word. We also see the results of their teaching. The great fellowship and the results of prayer. This was done together and they worked in great harmony. Zeal was so prevalent in their hearts that they did not just preach the Word to those already in obedience to the gospel. Instead they went daily to the temple courts. They had wisdom enough to go where the people were in order to tell them of Jesus Christ. It seems they never forgot God and their only hope for eternal life was from God (John 3:16-17).

The early disciples enjoyed favor with all the people and with God. The results were multiplied. The Lord added daily to their number. Those who were added were those who were being saved. Without the early church going to them and bringing them the gospel they would have had no hope of being saved.

To be saved, one must read or hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and him crucified. "But if our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (2 Cor. 4:3). If they had not done all of these things, the early church would not have been so successful. It is needful indeed that all of us give serious attention to the example of the early church and put the examples to work in our congregations, and also in our individual lives.

In conclusion, we have observed several things of vast importance. Example: com-mandments to the disciples. The instruction given to the disciples. The effect of gospel obedience. Example of early church unity. The love and concern for each other. The hospitality among them. Our need today is to try hard to advance what the early disciples did. —4516 Rimrock Tr., Austin, TX 78723



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