Digging Deeper Devotional Week of Feb 26th

February 25, 2024   /   First Baptist Church Elgin

Day 1:

Read: Acts 2:42-47

Background:

The book of Acts records the beginnings of the church after Jesus’ ascension. In this passage, we get a glimpse into the practices and community of the very early believers in Jerusalem. After Peter preaches at Pentecost, about 3,000 people believe in Jesus and are baptized. These new Christians begin devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching about Jesus, sharing meals together, celebrating the Lord’s Supper, and praying together regularly. Their shared commitment to Christ and to one another fosters a remarkable spirit of unity, generosity, joy, and care for each other’s needs.

Key words/ideas:

  • Fellowship – koinonia (community, joint participation, intimacy)
  • Breaking of bread – klasis (to break, distribute)
  • Prayers – proseuche (prayer addressed to God)

Key theological ideas:

The early church emphasized gathering together for teaching, community, meals, and prayer. Their shared faith and experiences united them. (Expositor’s Commentary)

Questions for reflection:
1. What activities formed the basis for fellowship in the early church?


2. How did the believers’ shared faith and practices unite them?


3. What are some ways your church family shares life together?

Apply it:

Set aside time this week to share a meal with other believers. Talk about your faith during the meal.

 

Day 2:

Read: 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

Background:

In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul urges them to agree with one another, be united in mind and judgment, and avoid divisions. They were quarreling over loyalty to certain teachers like Paul, Apollos and Peter, but Paul reminds them that all believers have been baptized into Christ, not into human leaders. True Christian unity comes from Christ alone.

Key words/ideas:

  • Divisions – schisma (split, division, dissension)
  • Quarreling – eris (contention, debate, strife)
  • Christ-centered unity – henotes (unanimity, oneness)

Key theological ideas:

Quarreling and disunity within the body of Christ damage Christian fellowship and witness. Our shared identity in Christ should promote harmony. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Questions for reflection:
1. What problem was Paul addressing in this church?


2. How does baptism into Christ promote unity among believers?


3. How can you prioritize unity over personal agendas or preferences?

Apply it:

Express appreciation and support for a fellow believer you don’t often agree with.

 

Day 3:

Read: Galatians 6:1-5

Background:

As Paul concludes his letter to the Galatian churches, he provides practical instructions on how believers should treat one another within the church community. If someone is caught in sin, other Christians should gently help restore them rather than condemn them. Believers should also help carry each other’s burdens when needed. At the same time, Paul cautions them to carefully examine their own attitudes and actions as well.

Key words/ideas:

  • Restore – katartizo (to complete thoroughly, repair)
  • Carry burdens – bastazo (to take up, bear, endure)
  • Test/examine – dokimazo (to test, discern, prove)

Key theological ideas:

An important aspect of fellowship is holding each other accountable and helping bear burdens when needed. (Grudem’s Systematic Theology)

Questions for reflection:
1. What instructions does Paul give regarding restoring and carrying burdens?


2. Why is self-examination important alongside caring for others?


3. How can you bear another’s burden this week while taking responsibility for yourself?

Apply it:

Offer to come alongside a struggling believer today to provide support.

 

Day 4:

Read: Hebrews 10:19-25

Background:

In this passage, the author of Hebrews urges Jewish believers to hold firmly to their faith in Christ. Because of Jesus’ sacrificial death, they can draw near to God with sincere hearts and full assurance. Therefore, the author encourages them to continue meeting together rather than neglecting fellowship, so they can build each other up in the faith through teaching, encouragement and accountability.

Key words/ideas:

  • Draw near – proserchomai (to approach, come to)
  • Hold unswervingly – katecho (to hold fast, retain)
  • Spur one another on – paroxysmos (provocation, irritation)

Key theological ideas:

An important aspect of fellowship is mutual encouragement towards spiritual growth and perseverance. (Expositor’s Commentary)

Questions for reflection:
1. What instructions does the author give regarding gathering together?


2. How can we encourage each other in the faith?


3. Why is consistent fellowship important for spiritual growth?

Apply it:

Connect with a believing friend today for mutual encouragement.

 

Day 5:

Read: 1 John 1:5-7

Background:

In this passage, the Apostle John stresses the importance of walking in God’s light by dealing with sin His way. Those who claim to be in fellowship with God but continue living in darkness deceive themselves. However, if we walk in the light, as God is in the light, then we have true fellowship with Him and other believers, as Christ’s blood cleanses us from all sin.

Key words/ideas:

  • Light – phos (light, brightness, brilliance)
  • Fellowship – koinonia (community, joint participation, intimacy)
  • Cleanses – katharizo (to cleanse, purify, make clear)

Key theological ideas:

Having authentic fellowship requires walking in the light and dealing with sin God’s way. (Grudem’s Systematic Theology)

Questions for reflection:
1. What is the relationship between walking in the light and fellowship?


2. How does Christ’s blood make fellowship possible for believers?


3. How can you prioritize fellowship this week?

Apply it:

Confess any known sin to God so you can have true fellowship with Him and others.

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