In our consideration of the practices of the very first group of Christian converts, we come to what our key text of Acts 2:42 calls “the breaking of bread.” As before, there are both individual and corporate considerations, but in this article, I will restrict myself to the individual exercise.
The breaking of bread is a specific ordinance of Christian worship that was practiced by the very first group of Christian converts (Acts 2:42). It involved the sharing of bread, symbolic of the body of Christ, offered up as a an atoning sacrifice on behalf of all of us, and wine, symbolic of the new agreement between God and man, sealed by the blood Jesus shed at Calvary.
Worship in this context is the celebration of the work God has done for us through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross of Calvary. In an individual exercise of this, what this means is the remembering what Jesus has done for us. I find it helpful to consider the events described in the Gospel of John. John 1 tells us that He created us. John 3 tells us that He loved us so much that He became one of us. John 18 tells us that He was arrested out of political and religious jealousy. In John 19 He was whipped and killed. But in John 20, Jesus miraculously rises from the grave, showing that He had not only paid the price for all sins through all time, but that He had also set us free from the power of sin in our lives. The direct implication is that we can now choose not to be the way we were, and we can choose not to do all the things we kick ourselves for the next day. That is what we call to mind when we worship God. We should be doing this daily.
We cannot get beyond what God has done for us through the gift of the Cross. It was no easy thing that Jesus did there, and it cost Him His life. We must remember that He did this for US. It was our sins for which He paid the price. It was the power of sin in OUR lives that He broke. When we see this fact of history, and realize the importance it has for US, it makes us thankful, not only for what He has done, but simply for who He is, because He was willing to set aside His own glory and place in Heaven and become one of us simply to die the most painful death imaginable to reconcile our accounts to God. When my own heart sees this, it makes me worship Him even more.
Thanksgiving and praise for who God is and what he has done helps to keep us focused on Christ, the centre of our faith and life in God. By exercising our hearts in this fashion, we walk with God the way a Christian disciple should.
As always, contact me with your questions.