Our God loves a party. Contrary to the religious mindset that sometimes causes people to think that sobermindedness looks eerily like outright misery, faith and fun are not in opposition to one another. Even under the old covenant, God made provision for the people to celebrate.
And you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of all your grain,your new wine, your oil, and the first-born of your herd and your flock, in order that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. And you may spend the money for whatever your heart desires, for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household (Deuteronomy 14:23,26).
Contrary to the opinion of some, God loves fun! In eternity past the three Persons of the trinity all enjoyed intimacy with each other. It was a private party among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - a great circle-dance of holy hilarity. There,before the foundation of time, God determined to host a universal party. It was to be a party in honor of His Son, Jesus. He would create man for the purpose of sharing His life with him, thus bringing him into the eternal party taking place in the heavenlies. The good news of the gospel is that you're included in that party. Christianity is nothing less than a party celebrating Jesus Christ.
The father of the prodigal said, “But we had to be merry and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live . . .” (Luke 15:32). When a dead person comes to life, that’s a reason to throw a party. The Bible teaches in Ephesians 2:1 that there was a time when “you were dead in your trespasses and sins”, but now we have been made alive by Jesus Christ. This is a reason to celebrate.
The activity of the early church revolved around what the Bible calls "fellowship." The Greek word is koinonia. Don't let that churchy sounding word intimdate you. Fellowship doesn't mean we try to put a righteous expression on our faces and talk about the Bible using King James English. It wouldn’t be inappropriate to use the word "party" as a contemporary paraphrase of the word.
Many contemporary parties celebrate life. A birthday party celebrates the years one has lived. Anniversary parties celebrate a couple’s life together. A graduation party celebrates the start of a new life for the graduate. Parties are focused on and full of life. Doesn’t that description describe New Testament Christianity? It’s essence is a celebration of divine life. You were dead, but in Christ Jesus have been made alive! It’s appropriate to “shout joyfully to the Lord” and to “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:1-2). In other words, it’s time for the church to rise up and have a party! Where grace rules our lives, celebration is the order of the day.
The growth of the early church in Acts is inseparably linked to the fact that these early Christians continuously integrated celebration as a part of their daily lifestyle. They were consumed with a an explosive joy which could not be squelched. Their lifestyle was an ongoing celebration of Jesus.
Acts 2:46 says,And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart.
The early church was obsessed with an uninhibited, exhilarating, enthusiasm about Jesus Christ. They were so excited about Him that on the day of Pentecost, when those outside the church saw them, they stood in absolute “amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others were mocking and saying, ‘They are full of sweet wine’” (Acts 2:12-13).
They were drunk alright, but not on wine. They were totally intoxicated with the life of Christ being expressed through them by the Holy Spirit. They were experiencing exactly what Paul meant when he said, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). These Christians partied “under the influence” of God’s Holy Spirit all of the time! They celebrated the life of Jesus in every thing they did. They laughed, they played, they loved, and they partied. Not a bad way to spend a lifetime.