Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
The book of Acts records the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the Church on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Jesus said they would receive power after that the Holy Ghost would come upon them. This was the anointing that would help them fulfill the Commission (Acts 1:8; Mk. 16:15; Matt. 28:18,19).
We often read the first part of Acts chapter 2 about the outpouring of the Holy Ghost and 3000 souls being saved and not relate it to the last part. After they were filled with the Holy Ghost and Peter preached a message to them he concluded with the exhortation to “…save yourselves from this untoward generation v. 40.” Save yourselves from this misguided sin sick world. As a response to his exhortation we see what they did described in Acts 2:42-46. “And they continued steadfastly in (give unremitting care to; to attend continually upon) the apostles’ doctrine, and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and in prayers… Acts 2:42 46.”
All of these four things mentioned in verse 42, teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers is what they did as saved people to save themselves from the evil in the world. It was a part of God’s plan to keep them in the world but not be of the world as they fulfilled their mission. These four things alone also show us that being a part of the Church is more than a meeting to attend; it is a life to be shared in community with one another in a family called the family of God and in a Body called the Body of Christ. God intends for every believer to relate to the Body, the Church, beyond attendance in a meeting or church service.
We can also see that God’s plan for adding to the Church would require disciples not just converts. God had a skeleton of disciples in Jerusalem before the outpouring on Pentecost who had walked with Jesus for three and a half years. There were 120 who had been discipled and were in place before the 3,000 and 4,000 converts (putting flesh on the skeleton) in Acts 2 and 4.
We cannot build the church without disciples. The first model of a local church was not only an evangelistic or harvesting church but a discipleship church.