Question 88 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism:
“What are the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?”
“The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances, especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.”
“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.”
All of the remaining questions in the Westminster Shorter Catechism deal with the ordinances of the Word, sacraments and prayer. The proof text given for their answer to question 88 is Acts 2:41-42; therefore, I think it prudent that we return to this text when considering every answer to the end of the catechism.
In Acts 2:41-42 we can see the workings of the early church. These are not things that are historically based or tied to a specific culture in time and place, but are universal in practice for all who believe. Some of the things that the early church were doing, following this text in Acts 2:43-47 are historical-culturally based, and may be debated by some, but those practices found in Acts 2:41-42 are universal in their application.
I believe that we should note from the text, those who received the word were baptized and added to the church; it is these who were devoting themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.