Summary: A healthy church is a generous church.
A Generous Helping
Intro - A needy woman lands in a generous church
Let’s dig in to our lesson today?
1. They were Believers
a. definition of believer
i. accepted Peter’s message
What did it mean to be a believer then. Two chapters back in Acts, after Peter stood up and preached a grand sermon (his first by the way), utilizing the prophecy of Joel and the visions of King David, and encouraging the listeners to repent and be baptized, about three thousand were added to their number that day. Scripture says, in Acts 2, that they accepted his message, repented, and were baptized.
b. how to become a believer
i. Romans 10:9 - If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Don’t have to go through any organized ceremony, don’t have to fall out on the ground, or be prayed over, or confess all of your sins, or commit to doing one thing or another.
There it is right there, pure and simple. It’s not complicated, it’s not scary, it’s not confusing.
c. are you a believer
And if you are a believer, this brings us to the next point. You are in Christ, which means we are then called to be of
2. Of one heart and mind (one soul)
a. interpret words heart and mind
.i heart - greek word “kardia” pronounced kar - dee’ - ah
The heart is much more than a 10 ounce organ that sits inside of our chests and circulates our blood. Yes, much more. You see, it was:
regarded as the seat of physical life
the center of spiritual life
the vigour and sense of physical life
the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours
of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence
of the will and character
of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions
Changes the way we think of the Great Commandment, doesn’t it? Love the Lord with all your heart?
So we have the heart and we have the MIND
ii. mind - greek word “gnome” g - noh’ - may
the faculty of knowledge, mind, reason
that which is thought or known, one's mind
view, judgment, opinion
mind concerning what ought to be done
by one's self: resolve purpose, intention
by others: judgment, advice
We’re not just talking here about your physical heart and your physical brain. No, it’s much more.
b. what does it mean to be of one soul
i. Galatians 3:28 - we are all one in Christ
Matthew Henry wrote: “Though there were many, very many, of different ages, tempers, and conditions, in the world, who perhaps, before they believed, were perfect strangers to one another, yet, when they met in Christ, they were as intimately acquainted as if they had known one another many years. Perhaps they had been of different sects among the Jews, before their conversion, or had had discords upon civil accounts; but now these were all forgotten and laid aside, and they were unanimous in the faith of Christ, and, being all joined to the Lord, they were joined to one another in holy love.” This was the very wish of the Lord Jesus right before His death.....that we love one another, and his dying prayer, that we all be one.
It’s important for us to be of one soul, one in Christ. Why? Because when we are, we cannot be divided. Jesus said, when confronted by the teachers of the law (you can look it up in
Mark 3:25 that “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”
How are we, Church of the Holy SpiritSong, going to stand for another fourteen years, or even for one more year, if we don’t stay of one heart and mind? Easy answer....we’re not, we’re not, we won’t make it.
But if we do, we can do all things THROUGH CHRIST, who strengthens us. Right? Right!
3. Shared everything they had - Heads up - this where I expect our thinking to be the most challenged, because now we are talking about money, possessions, things.....our stuff
a. there were no needy among them - needy cared for
b. there were no needy among them - those who gave generously still had enough
“Shared everything they had….” How does this translate in our day and age? Are we today being asked to sell everything? No. Let’s use some wisdom. We are being asked to be generous. In verse 32, in another translation (NASB), it says, “not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them…” The word for “common” here is koinos. It’s where we get the word fellowship from---“koinonia.” Community and caring. That’s what this scripture is about.