Sermon Notes 10/17/21 “Is God a Socialist?”

The message this week is very relevant but also a difficult subject – prayer appreciated!

The basic question is this:  I God a socialist? (Acts 4:31-37)

There are plans in the works for new programs and fellowship opportunities – so stay tuned for more information.

Acts 4:31-37 Part 4 – Is God a Socialist?
“…‘what must I do to be saved?’ They said,
‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” Acts 16:30-31 (NASB)
Key x-References – The perennial problem of poverty and the Church’s responsibility Acts 2:43-47 (NAS) What caused this fellowship (sharing) pattern in the early church? “Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. *“common” > root of “koinonia” Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
Deuteronomy 15:11 (NAS) *A perennial problem-Basis for the basic principle of giving “For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.’” *Note: According to Scripture there will NEVER be total victory in the war on poverty!
2 Corinthians 8:1-15 (excerpts NASB) *The balanced biblical concept of “equality” “Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abun- dance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality.
For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints…not only to do this, but also to desire* to do it. But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable accord- ing to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality—at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality.”*Note: importance of motive
1 Timothy 5:8 (NASB) *God’s 1st priority – one’s own family (“household,” cf. Gal. 6:10) “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Galatians 6:9-10 (excerpts NASB) *God’s 2nd priority – fellow believers; 3rd others “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”
Key Terms (most words have a ‘field of meaning’ —> various translations) “common” (v.32) Greek #2839 (17x), NASB koinos : common:– common (3), common property (1), impure (2), unclean (5), unholy (5)

  • koinos and koinônia come from same root “common = shared or profane (secular)
    “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.”
    Acts 9:31 (NASB)
    The Book of Acts Series #12 10/17/21
    The Birth and Expansion of the Church of Jesus Christ “…you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
    Acts 1:8 (NASB)
    Introduction – The transitional nature of the Book of Acts 1:1-5 I. Christian witness in Jerusalem 1:6-8:3
    A. The Risen Lord – The 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection & ascension 1:6-26 B. Pentecost – Outpouring of the Holy Spirit – The birthday of the Church 2:1-47 C. Healing the lame man in the Temple, Peter’s 2nd Sermon 3:1-26
    D. The beginning of persecution 4:1-37
  1. Peter and John arrested for preaching the resurrection of Christ 4:1-12
  2. Submission vs. non-violent resistance to civil authorities 4:13-23
  3. Confidence in the face of persecution because of God’s sovereignty 4:24-30 4. Signs of God’s presence include boldness & true koinonia fellowship 4:31-37
    a. Believer’s prayer (4:23-30) answered- shaken, filled, speaking boldly 4:31 b. Is God a socialist? – The believers had “all things in common” 4:32-37
  4. General principal – A “one heart and soul” bond between believers 4:32 2. The source – The resurrection unlocks the power of God’s grace 4:33
  5. The evidence of grace – Meeting needs within the Body 4:34-35
  6. The specific example of grace – Joseph/ Barnabas 4:36-37 (cp. 5:1-4)
    E. Purging from within, more persecution from without 5:1-41 F. Choosing co-laborers – The first deacons 6:1-7
    G. Stephen, the first martyr 6:8-8:3
    II. Christian witness in Palestine and Syria 8:4-12:25 A. The Christians Scattered 8:4-40
    B. The Conversion of Paul 9:1-31
    C. The Conversion of Gentiles 9:32-11:30
    D. The Christians Persecuted by Herod 12:1-25
    III. Christian witness to the uttermost part of the earth 13:1-28:31
    A. The First Missionary Journey 13:1-14:28
    B. The Council at Jerusalem 15:1-35
    C. The Second Missionary Journey 15:36-18:22 D. The Third Missionary Journey 18:23-21:26 E. The Journey to Rome 21:27-28:27
    Conclusion 28:28-31
    Key Verse(s)- Seeking balance between conflicting priorities in the Christian life
    Acts 4:32 (NASB) *Unity in the Body – Responsible selflessness rather than selfishness
    “And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.” *Note: “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev.19:18; Gal. 5:14)
    “…the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit .” Acts 13:52 (NASB)

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