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The Fellowship of the Believers April 16, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Acts 2:42-47.

Summary: In this passage, the first converts to Christianity:

  • immersed themselves in the teaching of the Twelve
  • gathered regularly – in public and in private – for fellowship
  • celebrated the Lord’s Supper
  • prayed consistently
  • lived simply
  • used their possessions to meet the needs of their brethren.

The Twelve also performed various miracles. Indeed, the first Christians lived such exemplary lives that nonbelievers admired them – and their ranks grew on a daily basis.

Thoughts: Here, we see that the first Christians used their possessions to meet the needs of their brethren. Calvin offers some insights on this point in his commentary on verse 44:

We need to beware of two extremes here. Some hide what they possess, do not give to the poor, and in a self-righteous way refuse any gifts they are offered. Others want everyone to give everything away. What does Luke say? He suggests a third way. He says that the people who gave things away did so from their own free choice…they gave so that the poor might be helped, as the need dictated.

The growing concerns regarding income inequality should motivate modern-day believers to determine what we can learn from early believers who adopted spartan lifestyles. When we assess our resources, can we distinguish luxuries from genuine necessities? How can we use the resources that God has blessed us with to meet the needs of the less fortunate? How can we maximize the impact of our generosity (e.g. minimize the risk that our resources are co-opted by kleptocrats)? This reminds me of a helpful website that my old small group leaders highlighted; it contains several challenging blog posts that consider the meaning of sacrificial giving.

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