We know that the early church had a great world-wide influence. On the Day of Pentecost 3,000 souls were saved and then added to the church at Jerusalem (Acts 2:41). The church at Jerusalem grew in numbers, but it also grew in strength. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
Notice that they grew in doctrine and in practice. The apostles’ doctrine was the teaching of the apostles. What the apostles taught, the people received. They were there to hear it, but they were also open to learn it, and then devoted themselves to it. They continued in it, fastening themselves to God’s Word, persevering in it. The Lord wants His churches to be strong in the Word, anchored in right doctrine, steadied by the truth.
What the church learned it lived. They continued in the fellowship of the apostles too. In other words, they partnered with the apostles in practicing the truth that they were receiving. They associated with the apostles and followed their godly example. They wanted to do the work of the Lord. A church that only learns the truth but doesn’t live the truth becomes puffed up and stagnant. Things won’t go well. But this church persevered in the truth. We too will grow strong if we persevere in learning and living the truth.