Early Church

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32

Explain the phrase, “the kingdom of heaven.” The kingdom of heaven as illustrated in the seven parables of Matthew 13 is the sphere of Christian profession during this age. This particular parable illustrates what has taken place and is still taking place during the period between Pentecost and the Second Coming. This “mustard seed” was sown at Pentecost. From this small beginning it became a great tree, and the birds came and sheltered in its branches. This illustration is borrowed from the Old Testament (see Daniel 4).

[Show the growth of the “mustard seed,” which represents the Church, and the wheat and the tares:

Acts 1:15 (A.D. 58) - The number of names together was about one hundred and twenty.

Fellowship in Acts 2

Webster’s definition of fellowship is, “Companionship…a neutral sharing.” He also designated a “fellowship” as “a group of people sharing the same interests; a brotherhood.” In the Scripture, fellowship is described as, “Communion…a mutual sharing…a partnership…having common interests.” In Christian fellowship we are “bound together” in Christ. We have a “reciprocal love” for one another. We also have “common interests.” We are in “harmony” and “agreement” with each other relative to our ideals in Christ.

In some instances in Scripture, fellowship carries with it the thought of “social activity.” One of the great blessings of Christianity is the “fellowship of saints.” In Judaism no provision was made for the gathering together of the people, except on special occasions as at the annual feasts. Right at the beginning of the Christian era provision was made for the “fellowship of saints.”

In Acts 2:42 we see the fourfold purpose for the coming together of the early church:

    - They met together in fellowship for the preaching and teaching of the apostles’ doctrine, especially the doctrine of the resurrection.

    - They also came together “to fellowship.”

    - While they were together in fellowship they broke bread (see 1 Corinthians 10:16).

    - They also made use of this opportunity to engage in prayers.

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