Let Us Continue in the Apostles' Doctrine (Acts 2:42)
1. In Acts 2:41-47 we are given a beautiful description of the congregation that met in Jerusalem. 2. According to vs.42 the members of this congregation continued steadfastly in 4 activities. a. Continue steadfastly: to give constant attention to something. b. They gave constant attention to the apostles' doctrine, fellowship, the breaking of bread [Lord's Supper], and prayer. 3. This evening we are concentrating on 1 of these activities: "continuing in the apostles' doctrine."
I. WHAT IS THE APOSTLES' DOCTRINE?
A. Doctrine: teaching [the apostles' doctrine is the teaching done by the apostles] B. By examining several passages we will see that the apostles' teaching is the Lord's teaching. 1. When the apostles taught the members of the Jerusalem church, they were fulfilling part of the Great Commission. a. See Matthew 28:19-20 b. In addition to teaching and baptizing, the apostles were instructed to teach all things that Jesus had taught them. 2. Before He died, Jesus gave His apostles the authority to teach His word. a. (Matthew 16:19) After telling Peter that he would be given the keys of the kingdom, Jesus said, "whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." b. (Matthew 18:18) Jesus made this statement to all the apostles. 3. Not only did Jesus command His apostles to teach His word and give them the authority to do so, but He also promised to send the Holy Spirit to help them (John 14:26; 16:13). 4. The apostles had authority from the Lord and help from the Holy Spirit to teach those things that the Lord had taught them - the apostles' teaching is the Lord's teaching (see 1 Corinthians 14:37).
II. WE MUST CONTINUE STEADFASTLY IN THE APOSTLES' DOCTRINE
A. The Christians in Jerusalem continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine in that they gave constant attention to it. 1. They received the word taught by the apostles. 2. They put it into practice and lived by it. B. The doctrine of the apostles has been preserved for us. 1. It has been recorded by inspired writers in the New Testament (Ephesians 3:3-5). 2. Although there are no apostles alive today, their teaching still exists in recorded form. 3. It is through their teaching that the apostles judge us (Matthew 19:28). C. By continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine,: 1. we let the word of Christ dwell in us (Colossians 3:16a) 2. we are the Lord's true disciples (John 8:31-32) 3. we receive Christ and the Father (John 13:20; 14:23).
1. To be a congregation of the Lord's true church, we must continue steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine just as the Jerusalem congregation did. 2. We must: a. reject the doctrines and commandments of men (Matthew 15:9) b. proclaim the doctrine of the apostles c. not reject it (John 12:48) d. live by it e. not go beyond it (Revelation 22:18-19).