Great Grace. Self-Giving Love. Unity.

Acts 4:32-37: Great Grace. Self-Giving Love. Unity.

I hope these things can be said of our church. This past Sunday, we looked at Acts 4:32-37 where we see a beautiful vision of what the church looked like in Jerusalem. When you read this passage, it really flies in the face to Western Individualism that marks our current cultural context. Acts 4 give us this picture of what kind of community God creates through the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus. Lets break these elements down:

Great Grace (4:33): In other words, there was a tangible manifested experience of the power of God. It was tangible. You could see it in people’s lives and you could feel it in the air through all of the church’s environments. God was forming and making a new people with different priorities than the world. That work was evident for all to see. Even if you did not believe in Jesus, this work of grace happening among them was irrefutable. And it is interesting when you see how God was doing this at the beginning of Acts 4:33. It was through the “testimony” of the Apostles to the “resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” In other words, as these church leaders were lifting up the person and work of Christ, God was doing a work in and among the people. God was present with them as they fixed themselves upon Christ.

Heart and Soul Unity (4:32a): Through the centrality of Jesus, there was a deep felt unity of these believers. When someone says “I am with you heart and soul” what they are saying is they are unity with you about a particular issue as much as they can be. There is something happening on the interior of them - in their heart and soul. God was creating a people that was so unified around the Gospel that nothing could divide them. The unity of the Gospel was an unshakeable unity that could weather any storm, persecution, fear, and suffering. They were one with one another.

Self-Giving Love (4:32b): What you get glimpses of in this passage is a community that was so deeply connected that they all loved one another as they would love themselves. They had “everything in common” and truly shared their lives on a deep, intrusive level to the point that no one could claim that anything was their own. Their lives were about God, and therefore deeply connected to one another. This was a counter culture even in their day. Only the power of God could create such a heart and unity.

Could you imagine being a part of a community like this? We are all longing for a deep involvement and connection to a community. In Christ, we can truly experience that.

And that community is not completely deferred to eternity. One day, we will be in deep fellowship with one another around the name Jesus Christ forever. But we do not have to look just to that day. Instead, we can eagerly and expectantly pursue that type of relational depth and generosity now. Through the Holy Spirit, the reality of the New Heavens and New Earth comes near. There is a sense that we should expect a first installment of the inheritance that we are promised.

I just want to encourage our church family to pursue this relational depth. My hope is that Sola would become a church marked by the Grace of God seen through her relational beauty, generosity, and self-giving love, and that tangible manifestation of His grace would compel our community to repentance and faith in Christ. I believe that is the greatest way that we can live our lives on mission: bearing the marks of Christ through reconciled relationship with one another.
In Christ,
Alex Gailey

PS - Corey McGrail is going to be preaching this Sunday out of John 16 as a complement to our study through the book of Acts. Be in prayer for him the next few days as he prepares.

PSS - We are having a Sola Men’s Gathering on November 10 at Jon and Darian’s House in their backyard. Here is what to expect: Guys sitting around a fire, eating smoked meat, worshipping together in song, praying together, asking the Holy Spirit for “more”, and short teaching. Bring a lawn chair. Its gonna be awesome. Go ahead and put it on the calendar.

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