What Acts 2:42-47 means today

Acts 2:42-47:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Here is what I think this passage means for me/the Church today:

We ought to be “devoted to the apostles‘ teaching and to fellowship and to breaking of bread and to prayer.” I don’t think we ought to do this simply because it’s in the Bible, but I think, when looking at how we ought to follow Christ, we ought to observe those who literally “followed” christ. They probalby had a pretty accurate view on how to apply Christ’s teachings. So, does that mean that we need a church service with communion every day? I don’t think so. I do however, think we would do well to move in this direction.

We ought to be “filled with awe and wonder.” In our western culture, beauty is a bit lost. Miracles are less evident and much less publicized. Amazing transformations are happening in our midst. I know high school students who have seen there situations dramatically change. There aren’t too many times when a church will stop and simply marvel at God’s creation (unless you count using a nature scene as the backdrop of a powerpoint slide). Does this mean that if we’re not performing miracles on a regular basis, we ought to give up? Nope. But the Western church would do good to move in this direction.

We ought to be united as believers and have everything in common. Does this mean that we all live in a commune and share are produce, cars, and clothes? It doesn’t have to, but I think churches definitely need to move in this direction. We (me included) are doing a freaking horrible job at this in America (though there are some who aren’t doing such a horrible job).

We ought to sell our possessions and goods and provide for those in need. Does that mean that we have to be homeless? Nope. I do think we’d do well tois at a  sell things that we have and give the money to those in need. I write this thinking of two friends. One friend has a summer car (an expensive car that they joy ride around in the summer) and the other friend doesn’t have a job. So, if we apply this passage (or – frankly – many many other passages) what would the result be? You decide….

We ought to meet regularly. We do this in church services, however, many of our church serves aren’t condusive to community (if they were, why would we sit in rows?).

We ought to “eat together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God.” I think this one is obvious.

I think the last part of the passage – “enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – is more descriptive of the results of this Jesus community.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Check out Rob Bell’s tag team sermon with Ed Dobson from Pentecost Sunday. They did a great job with this pasage theologically and practically.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Chris on June 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Right on!

    Also, big ditto to kbone4real. I was at the service, and it was amazing.

    I’ve never seen so many tears of joy in a church service. It’s still blowing my mind. You seriously need to take the next hour of your life and go and listen to it.

    Reply

  3. kbone and chris,

    I was driving to speak at a youth retreat and was listening to some podcasts – i had a 4 hour drive – and came across the podcast you speak of.

    It was hot out and I had no air conditioning, but i kept the windows rolled up so I could catch ever word. Needless to say, Rob and Ed’s message changed what I was speaking on that weekend.

    Reply

  4. you wrote the message on the way? I should ask for money back. OR give you more for being led by the Spirit.

    I liked your use of “should” or “would do well” in the post. I recently listened to some teaching on wisdom literature and thought it was good that God’s commands are good for us because they put us in line with our true nature and the ways things are meant to be.

    So when God commands the rich young ruler to “sell everything he has and give everything to the poor”, he is saying “if you do this, then you will be more like yourself. The yourself I MADE you to be. The self on that path to eternity with me, walk it with me. In fact, I AM that path. If you don;t leave me, you are guaranteed to make it.”

    Reply

  5. Posted by Gregory Shelton on May 15, 2011 at 4:21 am

    probalby should read probably on this page

    Reply

  6. […] Click here for a commentary/study  […]

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