“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…” (Acts 2:42)
What was the teaching of the apostles to which the early churches devoted themselves? Perhaps the best definition given to us in scripture is found in 1 John 1:1-4:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life-the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us-that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowhsip with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that your joy may be complete!”
Does it get any more beautiful than that? Can’t you just picture John, along with Peter and the other apostles, saying this to the newly baptized church in Jerusalem the morning following Pentecost? What an introduction to their new journey! What an awe-inspiring vision and insight into the meaning, the way, and the goal of the Christian life!
At any rate, this is the closest thing to a definition of the apostles’ doctrine, or teaching, that we find anywhere in scripture. Not a combination of verses drawn from the Bible to form complex theological systems of belief, but the simple proclamation of this glorious Person, the Lord Jesus Christ!
This Christ who existed from the beginning, whose fellowship we have experienced in practical, tangible ways; this Christ who is eternal life, who was with the Father and was made manifest to us, this Christ we proclaim to you! We proclaim Him so that you too may have fellowship with us, for our fellowship is with the Father and the Son! Enter into this fellowship of the Godhead with us and your joy, like ours, will also be complete!