Unity in the Body of Christ

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Acts 4:32-35

After the things which we have seen in the last few sections, Luke gives us a glimpse into the lives of the believers in those early days. They lived in unity of purpose and of mind; they were generous, holding back nothing in their devotion to the Lord and each other. As we can see, those who had means often put their means at the feet of the apostles who used the resources to ensure that no one in the community of faith had unmet physical needs.

It should be observed by all that those donations from the sale of assets were entirely voluntary, for nowhere in our text are we told that anyone directed anyone else to dispose of an asset or give for the needs of others. Rather, we can rightly infer that those who made such gifts did so entirely of their own accord as the Lord led them to do so. Another thing we should note here is that there were believers of substantial economic resources and those with little or nothing in this world within the Body of Christ at that time, and since the text is clear that they lived in unity in “heart and mind” they were not divided along socio-economic lines, a concept as radical in the first century as it would be today; perhaps even more so in that time than this.

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