Acts 4: 32-37 Reactions of the Believers
4: 32-33 Graceful Community
4: 34-35 Sharing Community
4:36-37 Sacrificing Community
Acts 4:32 Sharing Community
The first-century believers had enjoyed the goodness of God. They had oneness of heart, and there was an acceptance of each other without prejudice and bias. There was not a needy person among them. ‘One heart and one mind’ – was their motto and goal. Dr. Luke described the life of the community with the expression of the were together. But very hard to realize and digest these words for the present Christians. Because such scenarios have not been found even in modern Christian homes, then how about the community. Every good work has been criticized, every good plan is challenged and disagreed, and the ego is displayed and overpowered on one another suggestions and recommendations. Sharing from their purse has not been found in the community. But, the good works have received criticism, accusation. Unfortunately, cheating and looting the wealth of the public has become the order of the day.
Acts 4:33 Graceful Community
There was grace upon all of them. The favor of God and men has increased day by day because they testified the resurrection of the Lord with great power. Grace was upon them means the compassionate love of Christ was upon all of them. When we talk more about Christ and his character, life, and death, resurrection, and ascension, grace will abide in us. The more we discuss the positivity of life we grow in Christ and his character. Confessing the resurrection and the power of Christ will draw us closer to Christ and his qualities. The resurrection of Christ has hope of eternity and the supremacy of Christ over all the kings and kingdoms. They earned the favor of God and the favor of men for their lifechanging witness. Their witness had the expression of words and assured conviction of eternal hope. So, people regarded them with favor.
Acts 4:34-37 Sacrificing Community
Luke reports that believers had sold their properties from time to time, according to the need of the community. It is quite interesting that they sold their houses and lands and brought the sale proceeds to the feet of the Apostles. The money was distributed to anyone who was in need. Luke narrates how individuals took the faith seriously, and the rich became poor by selling their properties and brought the money to the feet of apostles, one such person was Barnabas. The followers of Christ in the first Century sold their properties. So, the rich became poor and took care of the needs of one another. Sacrifice was their hallmark. But unfortunately, in the present day, we are witnessing the unpleasantness, disunity, court cases, and enmity found in the Church. Everyone justifies their actions and reactions in the Church.
1. Discuss on the theology behind their sale of houses and lands on those days.
2. Does it convey that what we possess individually is unbiblical? Reason out.
3. Compare the life of the Early Christians sacrifices with the present-day court cases against leaders.
(further study on the Acts of the Apostles, please refer the series of studies on Acts )