REINVENTING THE APOSTLES DOCTRINE
The church the Holy Spirit established on the Day of Pentecost started with few members. From one hundred and twenty men and women who were with one accord in the compound where the apostles were fasting and praying in an upper room, it increased by three thousand after Peter’s inaugural message. Soon after the Apostles preached at the Temple and another five thousand men who believed were added to the church.
With one accord those who believed the gospel of grace of God preached by the Apostles were together. They went about fulfilling the Great Commission. “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul” and as time progressed they turned the known world of their generation upside down for Christ.
The original apostles and those who followed them were focused on the Great Commission.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The original Apostles understood the twin assignments of preaching the gospel of grace of God to unbelievers wherever they are found and teaching those who believe the gospel the commandments of the Lord. As a result, they designed a module termed ‘Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship.’ In Acts 2:42 it is written: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
The Apostles’ doctrine is not another set of fundamental truth but designs for practical application of the concepts in the doctrine of Christ.
14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
17 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
18 “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
The Apostles’ fellowship was the vehicle for communicating the commandments of the Lord to believers to enable them grow in grace from babyhood to maturity in Christ. The original apostles of the Lord so pleased God that the sacred records command followers of Christ to imitate them.
1 Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 3:7 “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you.”
1 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore I urge you, imitate me.”
The church of Jesus Christ can only function effectively on earth by adopting the original Apostles’ doctrines and method of fellowship by brethren. A House church with few members where everyone has the opportunity to contribute his or her gifting to the fellowship is the only way to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”