All things in common?

Note: this page is still in progress so what I say here may be clarified in the future, expanded upon, or otherwise altered as I gain new insight on the issue covered. 

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The New Testament Church at Jerusalem, the first Church, was a pretty incredible Church.  In many ways it is the Church that best exemplifies the way the Body is supposed to be.  It was fresh and new and the men and women who had been with the Lord and had learned from Him personally were the one’s who were instrumental in it’s formation. 

Look at how that Church is described in Acts…

Acts 2:41

So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.   They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;  and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.

Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,  praising God and having favor with all the people And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Doesn’t that describe the kind of Body that we wish the Church of today was? 

I mean who wouldn’t want that? 

Continually devoted to the Word, to fellowship, the breaking of bread, and to prayer.  The power of God’s love operating within the Body to enable them all to share things in common and to treat each other as members of His one Body.  Being together day by day, having favor with the people, and with the Lord adding daily to their number as new people got saved.

There is a second passage where this Church is again described.

Acts 4:32

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.

One heart and soul!  Again a description of how they had all things in common.  Great power to witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ!  Not a needy person among them.

Anybody know of a Church like that anywhere around San Diego or anywhere in the U.S. for that matter?  I sure don’t! 

Let me if I may focus in on just one aspect of the Church at Jerusalem I would like to touch on.  Having all things in common. 

I believe such was not a one time thing unique for that Church at that time but rather the most natural expression of the oneness that Jesus prayed for His Body to be and experience. 

John 17:10

…and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.  “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.

Notice the oneness Jesus describes between Himself and the Father.  “all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine”.  Isn’t that what the Church at Jerusalem practiced? 

Think about it.

We readily acknowledge that all things that are ours on this Earth belong to the Lord.  We surrender all to Him, at least in theory. 

But we shrink back from following that up to surrender all things to each other as members of His Body.  Why? 

Could it be that we are not really surrendered to Him and are simply mouthing empty words when we claim to surrender all? 

I mean His Body is His Body is it not? 

If all that we are and all that belongs to us actually belongs to the Lord does it not stand to reason that it also belongs to His Body?  Is that not the fullest expression of what we claim to believe with our words?  That we are one Body and individually members of it? 

That is not just good theology folks!  That is to be our practice.  That is…we are to act as though we truly are members of one Body!   Would you allow a member of your own Body to experience unmet need?  How about a member of His Body? 

Jesus and the Father modeled the oneness that we, as members of His Body, are to have with one another.

That oneness involves not just a oneness of mind but a practical oneness where we share in each other’s lives.  We share all that we are and all that have to better the Body that we are members of. His Body.

We share as an expression of our love for God.  As a visible expression of His love operating freely among us. 

That the world might see the love of God in operation.  Not just in words but in deed. 

There is power in such love.  True, Christ-like love…the kind where we are laying down our lives for each other is the greatest demonstration of God’s living reality that there is.  There is none greater.

For God is love and only God can produce the kind of faith that works itself out in a demonstration of love the likes of which the world does not see in it’s natural self. 

In our natural selves we are self-centered and selfish.  Even our good deeds are tainted by self.  In our natural selves we do not love as God does.  Freely.  Without expectation of return.  For the good of another whether they ever respond to our love or not.

Only God in us can produce that kind of love.

The New Testament Church was a wonderful example of that kind of love in action and the results of that love and the power of God that moved through the Church as a result speak for themselves. 

Are you willing to share with members of His Body as though they were indeed members of His Body? 

If not…why not? 

Carlos

One Comment on “All things in common?”


  1. […] another note….if anyone is interested I wrote a new article at my companion blog called All Things in Common?. I think it’s quite good and right on Scripturally wise. Please comment at that article page […]


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