The Early Church was a Learning Church

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The Magdalen Reading, Rogier van der Weyden, before 1438, National Gallery London

The Magdalen is identified by her jar of ointment. The painting is a fragment apparently from the right hand side of a large altarpiece which no longer survives. National Gallery London.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42

The word doctrine in verse 42 is not passive; it is active. The phrase means that they persisted in listening to the apostles as they taught. One of the great perils of the church is a static religion which looks back instead of forward. Just because the riches of Christ are unsearchable and inexhaustible we should ever be going forward. The Christian must journey, not looking to the sunset but to the sunrise. We should count it a wasted day when we do not learn something new and when we have not penetrated more deeply into the wisdom and the grace of God.

William Barclay Study Bible, Acts of the Apostles.

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