Here’s a simple question. From the time you are baptized until you die, what
must you do? Some may think, “just wait!” There is a waiting involved, but
not “just waiting” in a passive sense. We “eagerly wait,” (Phil. 3:20), and
while we wait, we participate in a “work of faith” and “labor of love” that
gives us “patience of hope,” (1 Thess. 1:9,10 and verse 3). So what is the
answer: From the time you are baptized until you die, what must you do?
There are many answers to that, all given by God in His Word. You could
begin with Matt. 1:1, and read through to Rev. 22:21 and find God’s answers.
Here is one passage you will discover. It is Luke’s account of those who
obeyed the gospel on the day of Pentecost. After being baptized they: “…they
continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…,” (Acts 2:42).
They Continued. What begun with their initial
obedience to the gospel was continued by their belief and practice of the
apostles’ doctrine. Continuing was expected of those who obeyed the gospel.
They didn’t just wait for something to happen, or wait passively, they
continued what they had started, obedience to Christ. Barnabas went to
Antioch and told new Christians to “continue with the Lord,” (Acts 11:23).
Gospel preachers admonished people to “continue in the grace of God,” (Acts
13:43), and disciples Lystra, Iconium and Antioch were exhorted “to continue
in the faith,” (Acts 14:22). Why begin the greatest endeavor of man’s
purpose, then quit! They continued.
They Continued Steadfastly. To do something
“steadfastly” is to do it with fixed purpose that becomes your consistent
behavior. These early Christians determined to “follow through” with purpose
of heart. This became their daily way of life; their passion; a cause they
would die for. Just as they had received Christ Jesus the Lord, it was their
intention to “walk in Him,” (Col. 2:6).
They Continued Steadfastly In The Apostles’ Doctrine.
There is no evidence they were confused about what to do or who to turn to.
No indication can be found in the record that they assembled to appoint a
chairmen to hold a creed-writing session. They knew what their standard was,
the teachings of the apostles of Christ! The apostles gave instruction from
heaven (Jno. 16:13) as Jesus told them (Matt. 28:20). How thankful we should
be, we have the literary product of the Spirit’s work through the apostles,
the New Testament. We are able to “speak the things which are proper for
sound doctrine,” Titus 2:1) and “abide in the doctrine of Christ,” (2 Jno.
The Results of this Persistence in The Apostles’
Doctrine? “Then fear came upon every soul and many wonders and signs
were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had
all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them
among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one according in the
temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with
gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the
people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved,”
If you want what they had, do what they did!! They responded to a message,
confirmed as God’s truth (many wonders and signs were done through the
apostles). They believed; they shared; they provided. They enjoyed “one
accord,” and ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, while
they were praising God and “having favor.”
How can we have this? After baptism, continue steadfastly in the apostles’
By Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 12.2; February 2005