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The Fellowship of the Believers

Ben Holt January 28, 2016

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First of all, I must admit I am not a theologian. Seriously, if it weren’t for spell check I would have misspelled the word theologian. However, for the past 30 years I have read my bible on a consistent basis and recently I have revisited the book of Acts.

Often churches encourage members to “be in community.” We are encouraged to “do life together.” Over the years I have discovered that life change occurs – locally, over time with people – so being in community is integral to true growth and therefore is a really good idea.

But let’s get back to the book of Acts.

When I read the section from Acts 2 entitled, “The Fellowship of the Believers” I am encouraged, I am challenged and I often ask the question: Really? Did the author really mean what he said in verse 45?

45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

How much of their property and possessions did they actually give? 10 percent? Based on how this reads, I bet it was more, a lot more.

Personally, I get the part on community found in verse 42.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

This is a common experience in the small groups I have participated in; studying the bible, fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer. This is understood and it is comfortable.

43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.

What an amazing time in history to come to know Jesus. Miracles were being performed, the teachers were people who actually knew Jesus personally and the church was growing rapidly.

44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.

When reading this verse I am reminded of my experience as a counselor at Kanakuk Kamps. We were young, our faith was fresh, we saw campers placing their faith in Jesus and we were consistently exposed to great teaching. While we were at camp nothing else mattered, we had everything in common with our fellow counselors. We were on point, we had a mission and we saw God moving.

Now, back to the verse that is so intriguing to me. Based on this verse, it appears as though our fellow believers in the first century were incredibly generous.

45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

Interesting, the verse doesn’t say they went to the ATM and withdrew from their accounts and gave. It doesn’t say, they wrote a check to those who had need.

No. It says, clearly I might add, they sold property and possessions.

Why property and possessions? My bet is because this is what they had to give. Their wealth was probably in stuff and not in cash, which frankly is also true today.

Are members in your church helping to meet the needs of people in your fellowship? Do people who are in community see a need and come alongside the person to help financially? Has anyone ever sold property and possessions to meet a need in your church body?

It is my prayer the answer to these questions is yes. It is my prayer your church body is experiencing such a strong movement of God that it is common for people to give of what they have, whether it be cash, cars, real estate or what have you, to those in need.

If this were more common, my bet is the world would look differently upon the church. Today, it feels as though we are met with skepticism versus being embraced for our generosity.

This blog post provided by Ben Holt with his team at iDonate.  Ben is a church planter, worship drummer, husband and father and is Director of Customer Success with iDonate.  His job allows him the privilege to serve churches and ministries by helping them increase revenue using technology and best practices.

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