Acts 4:32-37 — Unity, power, and grace

What is the church supposed to look like?  I think we get a picture of it here.

Unity.

All the believers were one in heart and mind.  No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. (32)

How many churches can say this of themselves?  One in heart and mind.  One to the point that they didn’t even see their possessions as their own.  All of it belonged to the Lord, and whenever they saw need among their brothers and sisters, they shared what they had to the point that there were no needy persons among them.

But nowadays, many people in the church don’t think that way.  When they hear about tithing, they get offended, and say, “It’s my money.  All this about tithing is Old Testament law.  It has no relevance to me.”

I’d agree that tithing is Old Testament law, and that we are not bound to it.  But to say that it’s your money is not true.  God ultimately is the one who made you able to earn your money, giving you your gifts and your talents.  So anything you earn off of those gifts and talents ultimately belong to him.

The early church recognized this, and because of it, they were generous with what God had given them, and as a result, there was much…

Grace.  As it says in verse 33,

Much grace was upon them all  (33b).

God, of course, shows much grace to us directly, forgiving our sins, and showering his blessings on us every day.  What we need to remember, however, is that God desires us to be agents of his grace.  He wants us to share the grace we have received with others.  But when we are self-centered, holding on to the things God has freely given us, the pipeline of grace gets clogged.  On the other hand, if we get our eyes off our ourselves and on to others, grace flows freely within the church.

Power.

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  (33a)

Power included miracles as well as the Spirit-infused power of their witness turning them from ordinary, uneducated fishermen, into people that turned the world upside-down.

The same Spirit that did that back then can do it today.  We need to be praying for that.  Not only for the miracles of healings, but for the miracles of changed lives as the Spirit speaks through those who bring us the Word.  A pastor’s words are nothing if they are not infused by the Spirit of God.  So let’s pray for our pastors that they would be filled with God’s Spirit, and that he would speak his words through them.  And not only through them, but through us as well as we touch the lives of those around us.  For we are God’s priests to the world as well.

Unity, grace, and power.  May Christ’s church be filled with these things like it was 2000 years ago.

 

 

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About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: crossroad-web.com 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください: crossroad-web.com
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