All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.Acts 2:42-47
As I said in the last Gems: the items below are the symptoms or the results of a deeper process going on.
- Sharing meals every day
- Being together and in and out of each others’ lives
- Building commUNITY
- Going to Church every day
- Sharing everything they had
- Not being focused on things but rather focused on people
- Being in church everyday?
- Communion more than once a month.
There has to be more to it than that. Well, this is what some of you wrote. I chose these three because I think they go together and demonstrate some aspects that give us a glimpse into the workings behind the scene.
Peter wrote (a Kiwi in the 21st Century not THE Peter from the 1st Century who preached all this)
“Ian I don’t think it is hard to understand. Luke told us why it was happening as you highlighted for us the pieces of the verse.
- They were continually devoting themselves
- to the apostles’ teaching
- to fellowship
- to the breaking of bread
- to prayer.
I love the way you pull out what is important Ian and make it clearer for us to understand. It is clear to me, I hope it is clear to others too. “
Petra wrote: “I want to share my point of view on this passage. I think it’s quite easy for me to understand this because I’m living it.”
It was the work of the HOLY SPIRIT. It’s the RESULT of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. The awesome Holy Spirit. It’s so obvious that Holy Spirit changes people’s heart and desire. The desire of man in sin is to fulfill their own will in lust and greed. But here on this passage we see the changes. There are several changes:
- Hunger for God They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. »»» Why? They hungry to know more deeper about God.
- The fear of the Lord Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. More deeper in relationship with God, many things were being open. Sign and wonders were following. A sense of awe to God almighty took place to every persons’ heart.
- A loving heart And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ -Mat 22:3922:39
The law of love were translated in a very good way on this: And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 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, praising God and having favor with all the people. If it was not Holy Spirit, NO WAY people will do such thing like that! No selfish thing. Everyone thinking others’ needs more important than themselves. Their heart is no longer on their possession! It’s call LOVE IN ACTION. God loves people. And the first congregation has the knowledge of it and implement it in their daily life in a way that only Holy Spirit can do it! And in that activity lies evangelism. Only in evangelism people can do sacrifice thing like that in order to save other people. Even in related to their possessions! And see the result of it: And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Awesome isn’t it? WOW! That’s how heaven is really supposed to work. People not just doing it to have fun, but to evangelism [reach out to others]. So people will know the real love. Ian, after wrote about this, my heart is full with thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit. A wonder-miracle GOD lives inside us (me)! A powerful force! Wow… I want to respect Holy Spirit more than before…
Love P e t r a
Regan wrote “my conclusion is it’s because they have got the Holy Spirit within them as in the verse 38.
But that leads me to the question:
Although I know the Holy Spirit dwell inside of me, why the idea of “sharing everything they had” such as written in verse 45 ” And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” seems to have so many flaws in it. I’m not refusing this idea, because if the person really need help, I wouldn’t hesitate to help. But I’ve seen many people who just exploit this kind of thing, there are even some people who come to the cell group,
- a) faking their background, get the other’s sympathy so the other will give their money to help.
- b) or another case, they don’t want to work, so they constantly ask for support from the others.
. . . And still my conclusion is, because the Holy Spirit, all the believers can have those remarkable changes.
Thanks and Best Regards Regan””
I have chosen these comments from what readers wrote because I think they demonstrate something together. Yes, as Peter said, it is simple, Luke spelled it out for us: they continually devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. When you do those things, it changes you. Yes Peter I hope I make it clearer for you all. That is my aim.
I love the way when Petra began to share her perspective on all of this that it captured her heart and made it “full of thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit”. As she put it, “the wonder-miracle of GOD living inside us (me)! Wow… I want to respect Holy Spirit more than before.” There it is. You are living post-Pentecost Petra. When you DO He COMES.
I included Regan’s comments as well because I think he has captured something in his question which can make the connection for all of us. Regan is trying to come to grips with how all this comes together and yetnot be deceived? How do I know if I give my resources to help them when they are either going to misuse it or are not telling me the truth in the first place? Like giving an alcoholic some money and we suspect they will just go and buy more alcohol. How do we know people won’t abuse our goodwill to the point we don’t want to contribute anymore? A deep question. What did these early Christians have that we don’t? Regan has hit the nail on the head with his question. This can only work with true fellowship and Christian community. Trust must be present. It’s the fact that all grew together and experienced the same thing, which made them UNITED. It is true that outsiders can come and want to be a part of what we have but deceive us in the end. They don’t have the understanding that those of us have when we have experienced it and lived it. But the fact that they can deceive us doesn’t change the truth of what we have found.
Oh, how much we need the gift of discernment. I could tell you many stories to illustrate this but I will refrain.
I will attempt to sum all of this up in the next Gem. Yes, Peter focused us again with his comments, to make sure we remember the Gems I have been writing on this to build your understanding as we move through it. Gems 1376, 1378 1379 1380 and 1384. But allow me to say (well you can’t stop me because I have already written it by the time you read this) there is another higher level of input here that we have not touched on yet. What do you think that might be? I will discuss those things in the final Gem on this passage. Well, at least I think it is the final Gem. It will depend on your LIVE input as we bring this topic to a close.
Good manners sometimes means simply putting up with other people’s bad manners.Anon
Putting the inspiration of the Holy Spirit into practice may mean we are open to deceit, but do it anyway.Ian Vail
Don’t miss an opportunity to do what the Holy Spirit inspires you to do. He will still use your act of love despite the other person’s wrong motives.Ian Vail
Faith is the certainty that God’s will is being carried out, even when it doesn’t look like it.Anon