So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
What is the church?
The church is a fellowship of baptized believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, who devote themselves to teaching from the Scriptures, to eating meals together, especially the Lord’s supper, and to prayer.
At these fellowship meals, in the early church, there must have been women in attendance with their infants and small children. As the children grew, they would have heard the Word spoken but there would have been no necessity to baptize infants.
The eating of meals together denotes intimacy, it is, and always has been families who sit down together for a meal. At these fellowship meals there would have been discussion. Often, the discussion would have begun with a lecture by the elder. These early churches were house churches, thus, they were very intimate and small. The elder might have even suggested a topic for discussion at the table. I believe that early Christian fellowship was more intimate, sharing and learning the Scriptures than today in modern Western churches. Many who converted to Christianity would have lost their family, so the church became their family.
I have spent the past several weeks, writing in the early morning, as part of my devotional time; writing on the Westminster Shorter Catechism. I began doing this because I regret that I did not teach our children more thoroughly the Word. We had regular meals together as a family and it is at these times that I should have taught our children. As they matured, the discussions about the Word would have involved more and more of their participation.
Your Servant for Jesus’ Sake