Characteristics of the early churches:
1. God’s hand was on them.
Acts 11:21-26 “And the hand of the Lord was with them:”
2. MANY people were getting saved.
“and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.”
3. They sent out full-time workers.
“Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.”
4. They had a common purpose to be like Christ.
“Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”
5. They made disciples.
“For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people.”
6. They made a name for themselves.
“And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
LESSONS - The reason why these Believers were labeled “Christians” by the general public in Antioch was because they resembled Jesus Christ in their attitude and actions. They were so sincere in their efforts that I’m certain many people in Antioch believed them to be cultists. Oh that we would be so devoted to the cause of Christ that others would think the same of us, worthy to be identified publicly with the Lord Jesus Himself. Are you distinctly “Christian”?