Acts 2:42-47 is an awesome picture of the early church. It is telling of the dynamic nature, enthusiasm, energy and zeal of the first disciples of the church.
Key to this picture is verse 42. Verse 42 is the engine behind verses 43-47. It can be argued that the word ‘devotion’ is the key dynamic that produces the engines power.
So, what does the word ‘devoted’ literally mean? The answer is really quite simple, it simply means ‘devoted’. It is a word loaded with passion, enthusiasm, energy, loyalty, priority, affection.
The Greek word behind the word ‘Devotion’ in Acts 2:42 is Proskarterio
Th word Proskarterio is translated in various ways in the New Testament. By looking at the different ways it is translated in different contexts we get a sense of the flavour of what is being described.
Below are all the instances where the word Proskarterio
is used n the Greek. Wherever you see the pink text, behind that word or combination of words is the word Proskarterio. There are nine instances in all.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.
ESV: attend to this very thing
NASB: Devoting themselves to this very thing
9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him.
14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
NASB / ESV: We will Devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word
13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
NASB: he continued on with Philip
ESV: he continued with Philip
7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.