Summary: Take a look at the early church and some of the amazing, and not so amazing, believers that God worked through.
All Things Common
Acts Chapter 4:32-5:11
We are continuing on in our study of the early church as it is revealed to us in the Book of Acts, and I have really enjoyed just spending some time with these incredible examples and fantastic followers of Christ!
The early church was not perfect, they had their flaws and weaknesses, but God was working mightily through them to transform this world by His power – an amazing thing to see!
As we look in our Bibles in Acts chapter 4 today, we see some INCREDIBLY FAITHFUL DISCIPLES!
1) THE FAITHFUL DISCIPLES
Acts 4:32-37 32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. 36And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
It is amazing to see how God has blessed this church in our passage today.
Acts 2:41 41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Acts 4:4 4Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
They have grown in absolutely incredible ways – yet in their prosperity and growth, they have not lost what it is that God desired for them to do.
Acts 2:42-45 42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
Acts 4:32 32And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
They were able to do what so many churches are not able to do today – see amazing increase and yet remain check it out: 1) of ONE HEART and 2) of ONE SOUL.
NOTICE WHAT ELSE THEY CONTINUED TO DO: Acts 4:33 33And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Just as we saw earlier in Acts 1:8 when Jesus told them that “they would be witnesses”.
They are still following the plan that God gave them - the plan that He desires for us to follow today!
IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT THE CHURCH STAY TRUE TO THE MISSION THAT IT WAS GIVEN!
The Word of God mentions one of these incredible believers by name, actually by two names:
Acts 4:36-37 36And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, 37Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
JUST A LITTLE FUN FACT HERE: Barnabas’ name wasn’t Barnabas – it was Joses.
But because of how incredible this man was – because of his incredible heart, life, and godly testimony, the apostles gave him a different name – Barnabas (the son of consolation – encouragement).
IS IT ANY WONDER GOD USED THIS MAN IN INCREDIBLE WAYS?
IF THOSE THAT WE ARE CLOSE TO US WERE TO GIVE US A NEW NAME, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
MEGA-STOMA (Loud mouth) MAKROTHUMOS (Patient one) DOTES (Giver)
You might ask someone close to you this week – see what they say!
Really in this early church – things just seem to be going too good to be true – don’t they?
This is like heaven on earth – Utopia!
Then it happens – the first blemish mentioned on the early church. We must remember that these people were made out of the same stuff that we are – and right on the heals of Barnabas being commended for his incredible generosity and life – we find some imposters – some deceivers attempting to be something they are not!