Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Devoted to God and to each other!


Luke’s summary statement of Acts 2.42 records that salvation unified the believers as a community while establishing a new initiation in joining the band of Jesus followers. The believers remain a very Jewish community in Acts 2. Luke records the first Christians as demonstrating a devoted life to the Apostle’s teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer. These disciplines are supporting the growth and transformation of the early church in connection with their Jewish roots by praying at the temple (3.1; 6.9) and observing Jewish traditions (10.9-17). Minear describes the work of the Holy Spirit in transforming the early believers as; “the very emergence of faith is a work of the Spirit, for it bespeaks the weaving of a new fabric of relationship, personal and social, earthly and heaven, human and divine.”[1] The reception of Jesus as Lord and Savior changed the worldview. The commitment of the believer was no longer a cultural religious commitment, but a devotion to radical change within the believer and in the view of the world.

“Devoted” is defined in several dictionaries with a common theme of staying the course and remaining faithful. The TDNT defines προσκαρτερἐω as “to be devoted to.”[2]  TDNT explains the meaning of the word with examples consistently focused and persistently loyal. Strong’s Greek agrees with the TDNT adding, “continually devoting themselves.”[3] Louw-Nida further describes “devoted” as meaning; “to continue to do something with intense effort, with the possible implication of and despite difficulty—‘to devote oneself to, to keep on, to persist in’.”[4] The choice of words that Luke uses is descriptive of the passion recorded in the passages following Acts 2.42.

I agree with Bock’s assessment that the imperfect periphrastic construction of the verb speaks directly to an active and ongoing devotion. Devoted (προσκαρτερἐω) is used ten times in the NT, and six of the ten are in the book of Acts (1.14; 2.42; 2.46; 6.4; 8.13; 10.7). Bock describes their devotion mentioned in Acts 2.42 as “echoes of their unity of mind as described in Acts 1.14.”[5] The early Christians demonstrated unity of mind, which encouraged their actions of living a committed to God and to each other. 

Seeking to be devoted to God and to each other...you know I love ya, Don


[1] Paul Sevier Minear. “Holy People, Holy Land, Holy City: The Genesis and Genius of Christian Attitudes.” Int. 37 1 Ja (1983), 23.

[2] W. Grundmann, III προσκαρτερω"  TDNT abr. G. Bromily ed. 417-418.

[3] R. L. Thomas,  προσκαρτερω" #4342  Strong’s: Updated edition.

[4] Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A.προσκαρτερω" #662 L&N (elect. 2nd edition.) 1996. New York: United Bible Societies.

[5] Darrell L. Bock, Acts. (BECNT; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007). 149.

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