Living Resurrection Life

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They were continually devoting themselves

to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship,

to the breaking of bread and to prayer.      Acts 2:42

We live out the resurrection life of Jesus dwelling in us by the Holy Spirit as His gathered body, the Church. This description of the  Church from Acts 2:42 reveals some simple and significant traits. The first three traits are revealed in the opening line.

Theyresurrection life is a group life, a communion and community life. Such a life in Christ is what Church is about. The original language word for Church means: a gathering, a company of believers.  There is no context of  Church as an individual entity. When Paul uses the metaphor “body of Christ”, while there are individual members they do not exist, they do not live apart from the body. Jesus makes this same distinction when He speaks of the vine and the branches. No branch apart from the body bears fruit (see Romans 12 and John 15). It is the gathering, the company of Christ who are continually devoting themselves.

Continually… this adverb describes a way of life, of living particularly in the dailiness of life. As the scriptures,  which make up the shema of the Hebrews, plainly state,

“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:7

Continually not only describes how we live, but God’s relationship with us which is ongoing, and ever-growing continually within and among us. This way of continually living is done with one another and  sustained with one another. Continually living in this manner on your own is neither possible nor God’s design. Resurrection life in Christ is union with God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit and with one another.

Devoting… this active verb is persistent, present tense. Our devotion is a response to God, who is continually transforming our hearts, minds, souls, and strength until Christ is formed in us. Again, not alone, but in community with others we are “…growing up, maturing to the full measure of Christ” (cf. Ephesians 4:11-16). We are devoting ourselves to the risen Christ who is risen indeed, at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, for our families, friends, neighbors and working in us by the Holy Spirit to manifest His love, joy, and peace through us to others.

Themselves… this noun is the bookend with, “They”. A ‘continually devoting’ life is designed, created by God as a community life. Our thoroughly relational God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is creating a people — a community (company, gathering), communion of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters whose continual devotion happens in community, or as I like to call: communionity (easier to spell than to say).

The resurrection life of Christ is found in His body — the Church. The Church is made up of those in whom the resurrection life of Christ dwells by the Holy Spirit bearing in us His love, joy, peace for the world. We grow and mature as we remain in Him, in His body where we practice the resurrection life of Christ, continually devoting ourselves to His teachings, the fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer.

Pastor Jon