Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 2:41-47
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 2:41, 42
vs41-42 (continued): Luke says they were continually and energetically “pressing into” both the teaching of the apostles and also something he calls “koinonia,” which is a word he uses to describe their shared life as a community. We see those first believers entering into a family-like commitment to each other. Please notice that they did not just get baptized and go on their way. They immediately became part of a dynamic pattern of communal life: day after day in the temple courtyard in large public assemblies, and day after day in homes where they ate and prayed together.

Monday: Acts 2:43
v43: The gatherings in the temple must have drawn many onlookers. There, the apostles preached and taught, and also prayed for the sick and cast out demons, using exactly the same model of ministry as Jesus. The continuous flow of miracles taking place through the apostles kept everyone profoundly aware that God was powerfully present. Jesus could not be thought of as simply one more religious leader or His teachings as one more school of philosophy. A person need only go to the temple on any given day and watch the sick healed or people being baptized in the Holy Spirit to be reminded that God is real and powerful and to realize that He sees everything we do. Luke literally says, “…and fear came to every soul,” and his meaning is clear: people were very careful in the way they conducted themselves. Hidden secretive sins weren’t happening. All were conscious of being in God’s presence. Doubt was at a low level.

Tuesday: Acts 2:44, 45
v44: In this passage (vs 42-47) Luke is describing the depth of their communal life. Here he says, “…and all who believed upon it (the name of the Lord) had all things common (as common property).” In Acts 4:32 he is even more precise in the way he says this: “…not one said any of his possessions was his own, but all things were common to them.” v45: They were selling real estate (houses, fields, land) and other possessions (livestock, jewelry, heirlooms…) and were giving the revenue into a fund managed by the apostles (Ac 4:34, 35) who “divided to all as anyone had need.” They were living out Isaiah 58:7, dividing their bread with the hungry, bringing homeless poor into the house, clothing the naked, and caring for the impoverished members of their own family. We should emphasize that none of this was planned or required. These were individual acts of generosity responding to genuine need.

Wednesday: Acts 2:46
v46: One of the main ways this sharing took place was by means of daily common meals. There must have been regular offerings taken for the food. Feeding a houseful of guests each day would have cost way too much for any one family to afford. In this verse Luke tells us again that their communal life was expressed in two gatherings: a large gathering in the temple (for teaching, evangelism and ministry), and many small gatherings in private homes throughout the city, where they ate and prayed together in an atmosphere filled with the joy of the Lord and a sincere love for one another.

Thursday: Acts 2:47
v47: Their conversations in these home meetings were filled with praise to God. There was so much to give thanks for. Jesus had saved them by His death and resurrection, and was mightily at work doing miracles among them. The more they prayed together, the more they saw God answer their prayers, the more they testified to answered prayer, the more everyone’s faith grew. Constant intercession must have been going on for unbelieving family and friends, and delighted announcements would have been shared when spiritual breakthrough arrived. This, combined with praise for all God was doing in their gatherings at the temple, created an atmosphere of celebration and hope.

Friday: Acts 2:47
v47 (continued): All of this created an environment that was attractive to everyone in the city. Luke says they had “favor with all the people, and day after day the Lord was adding the ones being saved upon it (saved by calling upon the name of the Lord).” Their reputation was excellent and their gatherings were open and welcoming, so whether people came to faith at the temple or around a dining table they were immediately adopted into this growing spiritual family. By saying, “…the Lord was adding the ones being saved…” Luke is explaining that this remarkable growth was the result of a divine move of God. In no way was it merely the result of human planning or persuasiveness.

Saturday: Acts 2:47
v47 (continue): Something was happening that could not be explained by human effort. The growth of the church went far beyond what any amount of human effort can produce. It’s true that God is at work every time an individual is converted. He’s the one who convicts us of sin, reveals the way of salvation, and gives us faith to be saved. Without the Holy Spirit no one can come to God. But this fundamental truth, that God is at work in the salvation of the individual, is not what Luke is saying here. What he is saying is that it was clear to them all that they were merely helping God. It was His Spirit that was responsible for what was taking place.

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