Acts 2:44 MEANING

Acts 2:44
(44) All that believed were together. . . .--The writer dwells with a manifest delight on this picture of what seemed to him the true ideal of a human society. Here there was a literal fulfilment of his Lord's words (Luke 12:33), a society founded, not on the law of self-interest and competition, but on sympathy and self-denial. They had all things in common, not by a compulsory abolition of the rights of property (see Acts 5:4), but by the spontaneous energy of love. The gift of the Spirit showed its power, not only in tongues and prophecy, but in the more excellent way of charity. It was well that that inimitable glow of love should manifest itself for a time to be a beacon-light to after ages, even if experience taught the Church in course of time that this generous and general distribution was not the wisest method of accomplishing permanent good, and that here also a discriminate economy, such as St. Paul taught (2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 3:8), was necessary as a safe-guard against abuse. It was, we may perhaps believe, partly in consequence of the rapid exhaustion of its resources thus brought about, that the Church at Jerusalem became dependent for many years upon the bounty of the churches of the Gentiles. (See Note on Acts 11:29.)

Verse 44. - Were together (ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό; see Acts 1:15, note, and above, ver. 42). Had all things common. Just as the Transfiguration gave a passing glimpse of the state of glory, so here we have a specimen of what Christian love and unity in its perfection, and unchecked by contact with the world without, would, and perhaps some day will, produce. But even at Jerusalem this bright vision of a paradise on earth was soon troubled by the earthly dissensions recorded in Acts 6; and the Christian community received a timely lesson that things good in themselves are not always practicable in an evil world, where sluggish virtues require the stimulants of bodily wants to draw them out and strengthen them, and where hypocrisy often claims the kindly offices which are due only to disciples indeed.

2:42-47 In these verses we have the history of the truly primitive church, of the first days of it; its state of infancy indeed, but, like that, the state of its greatest innocence. They kept close to holy ordinances, and abounded in piety and devotion; for Christianity, when admitted in the power of it, will dispose the soul to communion with God in all those ways wherein he has appointed us to meet him, and has promised to meet us. The greatness of the event raised them above the world, and the Holy Ghost filled them with such love, as made every one to be to another as to himself, and so made all things common, not by destroying property, but doing away selfishness, and causing charity. And God who moved them to it, knew that they were quickly to be driven from their possessions in Judea. The Lord, from day to day, inclined the hearts of more to embrace the gospel; not merely professors, but such as were actually brought into a state of acceptance with God, being made partakers of regenerating grace. Those whom God has designed for eternal salvation, shall be effectually brought to Christ, till the earth is filled with the knowledge of his glory.And all that believed were together,.... Not in one place, for no one house could hold them all, their number was now so large; but they "agreed together", as the Arabic version renders it: all these believers were of one mind and judgment, as to doctrines, they agreed in their sentiments and principles of religion; and they were of one heart and soul, were cordially affected to each other, and mutually were assisting to one another in temporals, as well as in spirituals:

and had all things common: that is, their worldly goods, their possessions and estates; no man called anything peculiarly his own; and whatever he had, his brother was welcome to, and might as freely take, and use it, as if it was his own.

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