Summary: The early church took full advantage of the community developed within the body of Christ. As Christ designed the church, He intended for us to benefit from one another while we each contribute to the welfare of the entire body.
The Blessing of Community
Acts 2: 44-47
The verses we have read offer insight into the makeup of the early church. This was a very exciting time in the lives of those within the church. The early believers had only one thing on their minds – to serve the Lord in such a way that would honor Him and reach those who had not yet come to know the Lord.
There is no doubt we are blessed at Fellowship, but I wonder at times if we are actually receiving the full benefit of community within the church. When we study the lives and commitment of early believers, it is apparent they enjoyed much that has been lost down through the years. As the Lord designed the church, He intended for it to be a community of believers benefiting from one another, while contributing to the good of the entire body.
As we continue in our series: Church – A New Testament Model, I want to examine the attributes within the early church as we consider: The Blessing of Community.
I. The Fellowship of the Church (44a) – And all that believed were together. We find the early believers all came together. This wasn’t a select few who had met for worship; ALL the people had come together. There was a great sense of fellowship among all the believers. They didn’t have mini-congregations within the body; they all stood together and fellowshipped with one another.
If we are to be all that we could be, we must all come together. We all share a common bond – saving grace through our Lord. We are all going to spend eternity in heaven together. We must be willing to fellowship together in this life?
Genuine fellowship within the church requires more than just gathering under the same roof. We must all come together, desiring to be together. The church will never prosper and be all it can and should be without unity and fellowship among the believers.
II. The Focus of the Church (44b) – And all that believed were together, and had all things common. They were a group of believers who not only enjoyed a close fellowship, but shared a common focus. They shared of their possessions, but more importantly they shared a desire for the things of God. When they came together for worship there was a common desire to serve the Lord in a way that pleased Him. They were willing to sacrifice of themselves for the good of the church. They weren’t bogged down with petty debates and meaningless disputes. They had all things common.
If we are to become what we need to be, we must all share a common focus. We must all agree on why we are here. We have not come to please ourselves, but to serve the Lord. It isn’t about us; it is all about Him! Jesus is the reason we have come today and we must make Him the focus and the desire of our hearts.
Many churches never prosper because they can never agree on what they need to accomplish. Do you ever consider why we are here? What is our purpose for being here? Can you imagine what this congregation could achieve if we had all things in common? We need to embrace the vision and see the big picture. We have a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people, but we must come together to achieve it!
III. The Faith of the Church (45) – And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. There is much that could be said about the deeds of the early church. They were willing to give sacrificially for the good of others. They sold their personal possessions and brought the proceeds to the church so that it might be distributed among those who were less fortunate. They were more concerned about the needs of others than they were for themselves.
As I considered this great act, I became aware of the faith it took for these to do such a thing. They had reached the place in their spiritual lives that they were willing to depend solely upon the Lord to meet their needs. These were people of faith. They had no way of knowing what their future held, but they were willing to trust God.
Now, I am in no way advocating that you ought to sell everything you own and put the money in the offering plate, but I am saying we need to learn to trust the Lord and live by faith. Many times we miss our blessings because we lack the faith to be obedient unto the Lord. If we can’t see how it’s possible, we assume it cannot happen. If we are to become what the Lord desires of us, we must learn to trust the Lord and follow Him. I have no doubt that God wants to do great things for us; we must have faith!