First UMC
Downtown Worship, April 30, 2023
The Church Jesus Designed
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  • First United Methodist Church of Lexington - Downtown
    200 W High St, Lexington, KY 40507, USA
    Sunday 8:30 AM, Sunday 11:00 AM
Here are the four characteristics of a church in the New Testament as contained in Acts 2:42.

1)Devoted to the apostles’ teaching
The early church listened closely to the apostles because they had up-close-and-personal experience with the risen Lord. They knew what he taught, how he acted, what he liked for dinner, and a whole host of other things important to know to be a follower. Do the believers make the word of God central in their lives? Do they gather to study, to share, and to be accountable for not simply learning but living the ways of Jesus as seen in his life, death and resurrection?

2)Fellowship.
As much as I love a potluck, this is not what the writer of Acts is describing as the habits of the early church. They were so committed to one another and to the new people in their midst that they treated them life family. How else do you explain holding all things in common and selling possessions to support those in need? The book of Acts is not suggesting an economic model but rather a new understanding of family based on faith not blood.

3)Sacraments
Baptism. Lord’s Supper. Both means of grace were ordained by God through Jesus’ teaching and participation. It appears that not only were they sharing meals together, but they were also sharing “the” meal of Holy Communion on a regular basis. Sacraments as central. Not something to be rushed through but something to be savored.

4)Prayer
There is no power by which anything comes about than prayer. Jesus assured his followers that they could ask anything in his name. The early church was often found praying through the night for one another. Prayer wasn’t something they did, it was who they were.

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