Luke zooms out here to describe the Jerusalem church more generally. “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul”(Acts 4:32). The “full number” here emphasizes that the group has no divisions in it (although these will crop up along racial lines shortly, Acts 6:1). “One heart and soul” means that there is a unity of focus and commitment, accompanied by a mutual love. “No one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common”(Acts 4:32). This unity is typified by the fact that they are even willing to share their possessions with their brethren.
This unity produces a tangible result: “There was not a needy person among them”(Acts 4:34). The poor Christians have all they need because of the Christ-inspired generosity of their brothers. “for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need”(Acts 4:34-35). Not satisfied to give what they have at hand, many disciples sell their homes or land to raise money to share. Barnabas is given as an example of this remarkable generosity (Acts 4:36-37).
It is easy to dismiss these examples of early Christianity as not sustainable, yet the Bible presents them as evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence among them (Acts 4:31, 5:3). We cannot afford to miss the connection: believing in Jesus means a willingness to give to help other people, especially our brothers. This is part of sharing in “one heart and soul.”
------------- One Thing to Think About: Am I “of one heart and soul” with my brothers?
One Thing to Pray For: A willingness to help others—even if it requires sacrifice
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