At the Laurel fellowship, we have been studying the lives of the Apostles after the death of the Lord. Our intention was to:
- Understand how they lived their lives.
- Understand what they experienced from their interaction from the world.
- Learn from them and what the Lord did through them.
It’s no news that the so called “church” in our generation has lost the power that used to the hallmark of Christian faith and we know that the real Church of Christ is still standing firm.
Our Lord uses vessels are that willing to be used and it’s no surprise that the Apostles were used by the Lord to bring souls, glory and honor to Himself.
Summarized below are some of the acts or way of life of the Apostles and how the Lord responded that we found during the study on this very important book. It also shed some light on the mindset of the Apostles too.
- Being equipped: The Apostles didn’t just start preaching the gospel, they obeyed the Lord’s command of waiting for the Holy Spirit to descend on them in order to equip then for HIS service. Acts 1 v 4-5.
- Praying: The role of praying cannot be substituted with strategy sessions or management principles of this world. The bible recorded that the Apostles met constantly to pray. Acts 1 v 14.
- Decision Making: In the replacement of Judas, they were driven by prophesy(Acts 1 v 16, 20) and they just didn’t pick the replacement based on what they think is right, they
- Looked at the track record, consistency in the walk of faith (Acts 1 v 21-22)
- Oneness of purpose: On the day of Pentecost, they were all filled which indicates they were all ready to be used of the Lord (Acts 2 v 4).
- No gimmicks or enticing words when preaching: When Paul preached in Acts 2 v 14-41, there was no enticement in his preaching, he stated the facts and the people realized their sinful nature and hence asked for help in order to know what to do. We don’t need to “help” God in bringing souls to His kingdom, we only need to preach the undiluted Word of God and then let the Holy Spirit convict and bring repentance. It is the Lord that adds to His church!
- Fellowship and sharing: The church is the body of Christ and believers are always in fellowship; breaking bread together and meeting the needs of one another (both spiritual and physical).
- Fellowship, breaking of bread and praying Acts 2 v 42 – 47
- One heart and mind, shared everything they had. Acts 4 v 32-35
- Provision for brethren Acts 11 v 29
- Signs and wonders: Healing performed by the Apostles was always to glorify and point to the Lord Jesus Christ. Could this be why this is rarely happening now? I.e. the reason healing is desired now is self-glorification?
- Healing of the lame beggar Acts 3 v 1 – 25.
- Raising of Dorcas Acts 9 v 40 – 42
- Church in Antioch Acts 11 v 21
- Persecution: It is evident from the lives of the Apostles that walking with the Lord does not shield them from persecution, even our Lord was persecuted as well. A few examples are listed below:
- Peter and John were imprisoned Acts 4 v 2-3.
- Stephen was stoned Acts 7 v 59
- James was killed by Herod. Acts 12 v 2
- Peter was imprisoned Acts 12 v 5.
- Boldness: Even while the under various threats, Acts 4 v 19, 20, they prayed for more boldness Acts 4 v 24 – 31 and the Lord responded to their request, and filled them with the Holy Spirit. Acts 5 v 29.
- Sincerity of heart and honor of the Lord: The story of Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5 v 1 – 11, teaches the importance of being sincere with the Lord and not to treat the Lord’s honor lightly. The apostles obviously was jealous for the Lord’s glory.
- Persecution from within: Persecution can also come from those that claim they serv the same Lord. The Apostles were persecuted by the high priest and his associates in Acts 5 v 17-18
- Mindset of suffering for Christ: The Apostles didn’t see the suffering they went through as something to sorrow about but as a privilege. Whey they were flogged, they actually rejoiced because they counted it as a thing of joy to suffer for Christ. Acts 5 v 41.
- Constant Preaching: Their lives was about preaching the gospel. Acts 5 v 42.
- Division of labor: The Apostles did not allow the genuine physical need of the church to displace the more important spiritual need. The apostle as a result appointed spirit-filled brothers to take over these needs so that they can focus of preaching and prayer. Acts 6 v 1- 7
- Persecution of the Apostles scattered them abroad hence the gospel was preached wherever they went Acts 8 v 1- 8 and Acts 11 v 19
- Discerning Spirit: It was recorded that Simon the sorcerer believed (Acts 8 v 13) but he still had evil intension in his heart, Acts 8 v 19-23. The Apostle did not take lightly the intension of Simon and Peter responded strongly to the desire of Simon to commercialize the Lord’s spiritual gift.
- The Lord is able to use anyone as HE wills. The calling of Paul (Saul) clearly demonstrates that the Lord is able to use anyone he desires for His work despite what man think is ideal or appropriate. Acts 9
- Cornelius, a gentile, was noticed by the Lord and his lifestyle of kindness to the poor, prayerfulness and being God fearing was acknowledged by the Lord Acts 10 v 1 – 4.
The Lord is able to cleanse anyone and to make HIS own i.e. there is no favoritism with HIM Acts 10 v 34, 44-46.
- Acknowledgement of the Lord’s sovereignty especially in delivering then from physical harm or even death. Acts 12 v 11.
It seems Peter wasn’t expecting to be saved from Herod, maybe based on the fact that James was just executed. The death of James did not make him question the Lord but they seem to be concerned not about this life but the life in eternity.
They acknowledged the Lord’s sovereignty that he is able to save and if He decides not to, it doesn’t change who He is which a similar mindset of the Hebrew brothers during the time of Daniel.