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The application of Biblical Fellowship

On the day of Pentecost following ascension of Lord Goodness, certain three thousand souls had been added to new church as they paid attention to Peter suppose God’s prophetic Term; by the way, such transforms have been most of the Jewish; basically the early chapel try completely Jewish. He states during the Serves 2 –

They continuously devoted by themselves on apostles training and you may tofellowship, into the cracking out of money and prayer. And everyonekeep impression a sense of aw; and many secret and you can cues was in fact takingplace through the apostles. And all sorts of people that got felt weretogether, and had everything in prominent; in addition they first started attempting to sell theirproperty and property and you may was in fact revealing her or him all, as people mighthave you want. And you may everyday persisted having you to head about temple,and you can cracking bread away from house to house, they were getting its mealstogether having gladness and you will sincerity out-of cardio, praising Goodness, and havingfavor with all the some one. And the Lord is actually adding to the numberday by-day those people who have been getting conserved. (Acts dos:42-47)

The very first evidence Luke mentions of the Spirit’s presence in the church is that “it loyal on their own toward apostles’ teaching.” The early disciples sat at the apostles’ feet, hungry to receive instruction, and they persevered in it (also see Acts ) – the life-giving content for the church is revealed truth. As John Stott says in his commentary on the book of Acts, “Anti-intellectualism and the fullness of the Spirit are incompatible, because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth” (Stott, p. 82). A commitment to the apostles’ teaching is foundational to the growth and spiritual health of every believer. Peter wrote, “Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Pet 2:2). And to the Romans Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12:2). John MacArthur says in his commentary on Acts, “Scripture is food for the believer’s growth and power… there is no other” (MacArthur, p. 83). Such words should remind us what the Lord said to the prophet Hosea – “My personal men and women are shed to own ignorance” (Hos 4:6). The church cannot operate on truth it is not taught… furthermore, believers cannot function on principles they have not learned. Despite the hate, ridicule and persecution the early disciples suffered, they remained faithful to the apostles’ teaching. It should be noted, contemporary devotion to the apostles’ teaching means submission to the authority of the New Testament.

Christian caring

Luke goes on to say that these early disciples also faithful on their own in order to fellowship (knononia); Koinonia comes from the word koinos meaning “common.” As believers we share in common the “life of Christ” – and as Christ was in this world, so we are also to be His eyes, ears, mouth, hands and feet in the world. Luke immediately goes on to describe the way in which these first Christians “shared their assets” with one another as anyone had need (vv. 44-45). Many of the early Jewish Christians lost their livelihoods due to their profession of faith in Christ, and the rest of the fellowship stepped in to meet their needs. It is interesting to note that the Essene leaders of the Qumran Community (an ultra conservative, monastic, ascetic Jewish community near the Dead Sea), were committed to the common ownership of property; any candidate who was accepted into its membership was obliged to hand over all of his property to the community. The issue of “common assets” has been debated at various points throughout the history of the church as to whether or not this “injunction” is one that all believers should heed. It is important to note, however, that even in Jerusalem the sharing of property and possessions in the early church was “voluntary” – the fact that “they broke bread in their homes” clearly suggests that many believers had obviously not sold them. No where are we told that the church sold everything and pooled the proceeds into a common pot. Furthermore, such a principle for Christian living would have obviated the responsibility of each believer to give in response to the Spirit’s prompting (cf. 1 Cor 16:1-2). The message conveyed in Acts 2:45 is that people sold property as the someone may have you need. Regarding the sin of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 – it was not one of greed or materialism, but one of deceit; they simply pretended to give everything they had so that others would revere them and think more highly of them. The “injunction” given to believers in Scripture is that of being generous toward the poor and the needy; essentially Christians are called to “kindness.” Thus Christian fellowship is and Christian sharing.