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Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

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  • Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

    The Fellowship of the Believers

    42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    Why does this not apply today? Rarely do you see this. Is "church" a noun or a verb?
    I know what I know
    I know what I don't know
    I don't know what I don't know.

  • #2
    Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

    Originally posted by Nick View Post
    The Fellowship of the Believers

    42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    Why does this not apply today? Rarely do you see this. Is "church" a noun or a verb?
    An interesting question.

    The Apostles in Jerusalem had been trained by our Lord Jesus for 3.5 years. So the activities of the primitive Church in Jerusalem must have been a result of this teaching and training. So, as to the teaching of the Apostle's doctrine, prayer and breaking of bread must be the way of all Churches, even today.

    But the situation in Jerusalem regarding food, clothing and lodging was not normal. Because the Savior had come to Israel at a time of crisis, they were at a very low point morally. Sickness, sin and demon possession were the order of the day. This was surely the result of a combination of 1,500 years of Law breaking (see Deuteronomy 28), the two dispersions (north and south) and the Pharisees' leadership. According to the Law, all manner of curses were upon them and thus the great poverty in Judah. This poverty only worsened when the Messiah was rejected and slaughtered at the request of the people of the Land. We see this ongoing poverty later in Acts Chapter 7, and when Paul urges the Corinthian Church concerning supplying Jerusalem in 2nd Corinthians Chapter 8, probably more than twenty years after the rejection of the Messiah.

    But later, in 2nd Thessalonians 3:12 and 1st Timothy 5:8, Paul seems to indicate that this sharing of goods was not to be the order of things. It is:

    "Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread."

    and....

    "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

    The testimony of Christians among the nations is that they are to be diligent workers, stay within their means, and provide for themselves and their families first. This does not mean that they are not to be liberal with their giving, but it indicates that their testimony should be that God provides when they do their part.

    I understand Church ("Ekklessia" in the Greek) is a noun. It means "the gathering of the called-out ones".

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

      Socio-economic needs have changed, especially here in the west, but otherwise, we try to follow the model at my church.
      Some people don't mind contradicting themselves as long as they can keep disagreeing with you...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

        Going a step further I believe even the communal structure might be increasingly beneficial these days, and would like to see more of it, providing that each community is strongly based on a clear statement of faith and purpose, and outreach being the essential mission (I've seen and been involved with a very few, and was quite impressed).

        But if the economy tanks in the fashion that it certainly could, it should not be each man or family to his own, but to the well-being of the body as a whole.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

          Originally posted by Nick View Post
          Why does this not apply today?
          We (the western world) have exponentially more and greater opportunities for productivity than the early church. An automobile alone would have solved a lot of the issues which would necessitate the model in Acts 2. I'd imagine that persecuted communities of our brothers/sisters would benefit more from it than we who are temporarily spoiled. It's not right or wrong - just different.
          「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
          撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

            Originally posted by Nick View Post
            The Fellowship of the Believers

            42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

            Why does this not apply today? Rarely do you see this. Is "church" a noun or a verb?
            I'm hoping there are a few churches left who devote themselves to the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. And I hope that when full blown persecution comes to America, Christians will support each other this way.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

              Originally posted by BroRog View Post
              I'm hoping there are a few churches left who devote themselves to the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. And I hope that when full blown persecution comes to America, Christians will support each other this way.

              I hope so too BroRog, but regarding this, also take note of the following Scripture:

              "Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction."

              “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people."

              We can only hope and pray that God will give us a spirit that would not love life so much as to shrink away from death, while keeping the testimony of Jesus and t he word of God.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

                Originally posted by BroRog View Post
                ... And I hope that when full blown persecution comes to America, Christians will support each other this way.
                Perhaps you’ve touch on one of the reasons the early church was this way. If those early Christians were persecuted for their faith, many of them may have lost everything including family as they were rejected from the family because they converted to Christ. Those who did not have property and wealth would literally be left with nothing and those who did have property and wealth sold what they had to support those who did not. This was the teaching that John gave in 1 John 3:17 “But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
                "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
                C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

                "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
                "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

                "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
                "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
                "Our Hope is unchanged"
                "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

                  Originally posted by Dmcal57 View Post
                  I hope so too BroRog, but regarding this, also take note of the following Scripture:

                  "Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction."

                  “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people."

                  We can only hope and pray that God will give us a spirit that would not love life so much as to shrink away from death, while keeping the testimony of Jesus and t he word of God.
                  Plus we have to discern the purpose of persecution as well. Back in the day, persecution was what pushed the disciples away from Jeruselam and actually go out into the world to spread the Gospel.
                  Slug1--out

                  ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

                    Regarding the 'if he doesn't work he shouldn't eat'...where I live, jobs are very hard to come by right now. If you are lucky enough to find one, most don't pay much more than minimum. As for the op, I don't see much of this in the churches here. I have seen christians tell others to go on food stamps, find a shelter, etc. Heaven forbid they actually help. "I will pray for you." is easy, thinking that is doing something, because doing something else might actually require sacrifice on their part. God forbid they have to sacrifice their vacation to pay rent for a month for someone who is struggling.
                    I have also seen this 'they got themselves into this mess, they can get themselves out.' I'm really glad Jesus didn't think that way when He sacrificed His life for me. The only difference I see in the lives of christians around here where I live, according to their facebook posts and conversations I have had, is they sit in a church on Sunday. Otherwise, the vacations, cars, Iphones, shopping trips....looks just like the rest of the world. As you can see, I think the church does a horrible job of taking care of their own...and the world sees it. This problem has much to do with the falling away and the lack of new believers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

                      Originally posted by Lyndie View Post
                      Regarding the 'if he doesn't work he shouldn't eat'...where I live, jobs are very hard to come by right now. If you are lucky enough to find one, most don't pay much more than minimum. As for the op, I don't see much of this in the churches here. I have seen christians tell others to go on food stamps, find a shelter, etc. Heaven forbid they actually help. "I will pray for you." is easy, thinking that is doing something, because doing something else might actually require sacrifice on their part. God forbid they have to sacrifice their vacation to pay rent for a month for someone who is struggling.
                      James 2:14-16 “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, (16) and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? (17) Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

                      1 John 3:16-18 “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (17) But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? (18) Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”

                      John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

                      In order for all men to know we are His disciples they have to see us loving one another in practical real life ways.

                      Originally posted by Lyndie View Post
                      I have also seen this 'they got themselves into this mess, they can get themselves out.' …
                      I don’t remember the references right off hand but I seem to recall that in the OT God would sometimes punish the rebellious by bringing poverty upon them yet at the same time commanded those around them to provide for their brothers who were in need. With one hand He takes away but with the other gives back. You’re right we need to do better job of allowing God to use us as His other hand.
                      "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
                      C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

                      "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
                      "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

                      "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
                      "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
                      "Our Hope is unchanged"
                      "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

                        Originally posted by Nick View Post
                        The Fellowship of the Believers

                        42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

                        Why does this not apply today? Rarely do you see this. Is "church" a noun or a verb?
                        A thought... while "tithing" is not a term many will support while others do support... when ALL in any church gave freelly, be it offerings or outright tithing, there would be not much of a need to "sell" belongings. Instead, "GIVE" BACK to God of the provision received as God blesses us.

                        Seems those who have no provision as in the scriptures presented, they sold what they owned so they had something GIVE to the church Body. Those with provision... shouldn't they just GIVE of their earnings?
                        Slug1--out

                        ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

                          Originally posted by Old man View Post
                          James 2:14-16 “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, (16) and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? (17) Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

                          1 John 3:16-18 “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (17) But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? (18) Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”

                          John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

                          In order for all men to know we are His disciples they have to see us loving one another in practical real life ways.


                          I don’t remember the references right off hand but I seem to recall that in the OT God would sometimes punish the rebellious by bringing poverty upon them yet at the same time commanded those around them to provide for their brothers who were in need. With one hand He takes away but with the other gives back. You’re right we need to do better job of allowing God to use us as His other hand.
                          In certain situations I think we need to use discernment. If someone is continuing to pile on debt knowing they can't pay for it, then going to the church for help that's one thing. But I feel if someone messed up and is repentant and trying to right their wrongs, we should help them get back on their feet.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

                            Originally posted by Lyndie View Post
                            In certain situations I think we need to use discernment. If someone is continuing to pile on debt knowing they can't pay for it, then going to the church for help that's one thing. But I feel if someone messed up and is repentant and trying to right their wrongs, we should help them get back on their feet.
                            There is also a difference between someone who is piling on debt they "know they can not (will not) pay back and someone who piles on debt because they have never learned (been trained / discipled) how to manage and control their finances. In the later case they need to be discipled and trained and even perhaps helped financially to get them out of the hole they dug so they can get a handle on their situation having been trained how to manage their money in a Godly way they should be able to avoid the problem in the future and mature. The other case is simply fraud and theft and they should be held accountable for it.
                            "He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion."
                            C.S. Lewis, "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

                            "Oh, but sometimes the sun stays hidden for years"
                            "Sometimes the sky rains night after night, When will it clear?"

                            "But our Hope endures the worst of conditions"
                            "It's more than our optimism, Let the earth quake"
                            "Our Hope is unchanged"
                            "Our Hope Endures" Natalie Grant

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Acts 2:42-49 - Is this the church today?

                              Things started to change in Acts 9;


                              4

                              And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?


                              And as time went on more things began to change.

                              Don't forget God turned from the Jews on to the Gentiles......!
                              Eph. 2:8
                              For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
                              9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

                              Comment

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