Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (Acts 4:32-35 ESV)
Immediately after the mention of the Holy Spirit filling the believers and the shaking of the place they gathered, we are given a glimpse of the Jerusalem church in four verses. The effect of God’s work among the believers is that they were united being of one heart and soul. They knew the opposition they faced from the religious leaders. They also understood that they were given a command to be witnesses of the Lord Jesus. How did were they witnesses? First, they were committed to one purpose. They understood the power of the gospel because they had personally experienced it. They were truly united by their commitment to Christ. They may not have always agreed on every issue but they did agree on their role in the community. Second, they loved each other self-sacrificially. They shared their belongings and were committed to meeting needs. They formed a true agape love community that was continually seeking to help other believers. The wealthy were willing to sell property to meet special needs but everyone continually made their personal belongings available to others. Last but not least, they were committed to the ministry of the word and prayer. The apostles preached powerfully about the resurrection and the life. Earlier they referred to Scripture (Acts 4:24-26) during a prayer requesting God’s favor to fulfill his commandment to testify of the things they had seen and heard.
The early Church was convinced that caring for one another was the natural expression of their new life in Christ. They did not close themselves off from the rest of the world. They lived in their own homes and had their own things. They did not abstain from marriage. Instead they lived with a sincere desire to know Christ and make him known. They held material possessions loosely while clinging to the promise of the kingdom of God. They put a premium on love for God and for one another. No wonder it is said of them that great grace was upon them all!
May the love of Jesus fill your hearts with joy and peace as you love and serve one another.