“Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full”
(2:43) Fear, Godly—Church: the early believers were a people who stirred souls with a godly fear. Fear (phobias) does
not mean terror or fright. It means...
• a godly fear, a fear of God, of His displeasure and judgment
• a holy sense of God’s presence
• a consciousness that God is working
• a reverence for God and for what is happening
• a sense of awe and wonder
Note what it is that stirs the public to be so aware of God: the signs and wonders being done by the apostles. And note:
there were many.
“His mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation” (Lk.1:50).
“But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts
“What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose”
“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast
wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” (Ps.31:19).
“Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in
darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God” (Is.50:10).
(2:44-45) Church—Unity—Ministry: the early believers were a people who were together and who shared in ministry.
It is critical for the church to pay close attention and heed what is being said in this point.
1. The professing believers were true believers. They were those “that [truly] believe”.
2. The believers were “together” (esan epito auto). This means they were together in the same place because they were
of the same call, mind, and purpose. It does not mean just being in the same location and place. They would not have been
together unless they had been of the same spirit and purpose. This is critical to God’s call.
3. The believers sold their possessions and goods and used the money to minister to the poor and needy. Now note:
⇒ Why would they go to such a drastic extreme to minister? There is one critical reason: Christ commanded
it. The church too often denies and ignores it, but denial of the truth does not do away with the truth. (See
DEEPER STUDY # 6—Acts 2:44-45 for discussion.)
Now note: Who are the rich and who are the poor?
⇒ A rich person is anyone who has more than what others have, more than what the vast majority of the
⇒ A rich person is anyone who has anything to put back beyond meeting the true needs of his own family.
This is exactly what Christ and the Bible say time and again (cp. also Mk.12:41-44; Lk.21:1-4; Acts 4:34-35; etc.).
In a summary statement, who is rich? A rich person is anyone who has anything beyond what he needs. What Christ de-
mands is that we give all that we are and have to meet the needs of those in such desperate need. We are to hold back noth-
ing. This is often the great complaint against Christians, that we just do not believe, not really. The evidence of our unbelief
is seen in the insistence of Christ, the demand that we give all we have to feed the starving and meet the desperate needs of
the poor and lost of the world. But we don’t. Gandhi, the great leader of India’s independence, is said to have never em-
braced Christianity for this very reason. How many others have rejected Christ because of our hypocrisy?
“Go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and
come and follow me” (Mt.19:21).
“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife,
or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mt.6:21).
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Mt.22:39).
“But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you, Fear not,
little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give
alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no
thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be al-
“And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the
poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” (Lk.19:8).
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (Jn.13:35).
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s com-
mandments, and abide in his love” (Jn.15:10).
“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Ro.12:9).
“Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that
they may be saved” (1 Cor.10:33).
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he
became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Cor.8:9).
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