Bible Study Lessons: Acts 4:32-37
Taking into account that these were new Christians, and the resurrection of Christ was still fresh, these people went “above the call” to give.
They seemed to have no issue with selling just about everything they owned in order to share what they had with others.
How do you feel about your possessions?
Physical Possessions Shared
And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.
And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.
For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.
Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. – Acts 4:32-37 NASB
The first part of this message states that the Christian believers were unified.
Many times a single line in the Bible is easily overlooked and seems insignificant, but is in all actuality very powerful.
The fact is, unity among believers is absolutely essential if the church is to be healthy and survive.
Putting Differences Aside
Christians, just like any other human beings, have their own opinions and perspectives about how things should be done.
But, these things are less important if they are bound spiritually. If the people have an unyielding love for God other differences can be worked out.
Sharing without Socialism
The people of the early church mentioned in Acts were eager to help out their fellow believers in need.
Their love for God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit outweighed the love for possessions which allowed them to give.
Why Do I Say “Without Socialism”?
Some would say this is a socialistic society and others would even mention communism because of no one person having more than an other.
Freely Give – Freely Receive
Jesus told His disciples to give freely as they had received.
And, He gave the ultimate price – His life so that we could be forgiven and live eternally.
How do personal possessions compare? They can’t!
Now to answer the question of socialism. In a socialistic society the governing bodies decide to share from the rich to the poor. The government decides who deserves what belongings.
The people who have worked hard for what they have are forced to give to those who can’t, or won’t work. This type of society seldom works for long because the incentive to succeed is taken away.
The people of this Scripture reading were not forced. They volunteered to sell possessions and give to those in need. The reason behind their giving makes this completely different from socialism.
What the people gave didn’t include everything they had – only what was needed at any given time.
How Do You Feel about Possessions?
We are not asked to give away everything we own in order to be followers of Christ (although there are missionaries in the field who do exactly that) but we should help those who truly need our resources.
These resources can include money but time and talents are included too.
Let’s examine today how and where we can give.
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover more about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to see John 3:16.