|Volume 23 Number 9 September 2021
Brian R. Kenyon
Luke summarized the first church of Christ, established in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost following the resurrection of Christ. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). The term, “continued steadfastly” means to be devoted (Acts 1:14; 2:46; 6:4; Romans 12:12). There are four specific areas, all spiritual in nature, to which these early Christians were devoted. In this article, we will examine the third of these. They were devoted to “the breaking of bread.” The term “breaking of bread” can refer simply to a common meal, as it does in Acts 2:46. However, in the context of Acts 2:42, the term refers to a special “breaking of bread,” which is the Lord’s Supper (cf. Matthew 26:26-29). In Acts 2:42, the original language has two definite articles that do not come across in most English translations. The term literally reads, “the breaking of the bread,” which clearly distinguishes this from “breaking bread [from house to house]” (Acts 2:46). The day and frequency with which the Lord’s Supper was to be taken is not given here, but we find elsewhere that it was taken on the first day of every week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:20). The Lord’s Supper is communion with Christ (Matthew 26:29; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17), as worshipers remember His death (1 Corinthians 11:23-29). “The breaking of bread” likely serves as a synecdoche (a part used for the whole) to indicate all worship. Spiritual obligations were a matter of devotion for the early church (Acts 20:6). How important is worship and “the breaking of bread” to us?
“My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent!” (Proverbs 1:10). I find it interesting that once Solomon got past the introductory material for the Book of Proverbs, the very first topic he addressed with his son was his friends (or potential friends).
Really, the very first topic? The wisest man to ever live (1 Kings 3:12) felt that he needed to start there? What about God? What about God’s Word? What about the Temple (or for us today, the church)? There are dozens of vital things to learn, but Solomon started with his son’s friends. That fact alone is deserving of pause. Solomon did this because he knew the following truths.
First, one’s friends can determine his interests. You are going to be drawn to what they like. The music they like will become the music you like. The sports they think are dumb you will think that, too. The people they like, you guessed it. They will become the type of people you like as well. Solomon knew that if his son chose friends who were sinful, they would destroy any interest in God, His Word or the Temple.
Second, one’s friends can shape a person’s character. Here Solomon was afraid that his son might choose to go with friends who were interested in robbing and stealing to get a lot of money. They were even prepared to kill the victim if necessary. How does one become like this? Well, in part it was because he chose bad friends. Solomon knew that his son could become just like them. Paul said it clearly: “Do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33; Proverbs 28:7). Apparently, one can be “deceived” into thinking, “It won’t hurt if I hang around with them,” or “They won’t be able to change who I am.” Wrong. They will. Don’t be so foolish to think otherwise.
Third, one’s friends do not have power over him. Peer pressure is a powerful force. No doubt about it. Yet, one can overcome that power and simply just say, “No.” What friends offer may sound appealing – a house filled with wealth (v. 13). How does it get any better than that? Yet, as appealing as that may be, a son has to be wise enough to see through it. He has the right to choose and to reject such an offer.
While this material is about the young, it remains true for people of all ages. Choose well your associates. Teens need to find friends who have spiritual interests. College students need to find those on campus who have a relationship with God. Adults need to find a work environment that will enable them to pursue righteousness. No one ought to choose the TV to be his “companion” or music by non-spiritual, godless people.
Make good choices. Eternity is at stake.