Acts 2:42-47 NIV
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.  All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
This is the image of the church as it began. What an inspiring description!
We are going to focus on Acts 2:44-45
Fellowship (Acts 2:42) is the translation of the Greek word koinónia (transliteration), which means to have in common, a partnership. The last word in verse 44, ‘common’ (NIV), is a translation of the Greek adjective koinos, which has the same root and represents the same idea as koinónia.
In the movie Lord of the Rings, there are very unlikely companions that form the Fellowship of the Ring. Driven by a huge need they come together for the greater good and not for personal gain.
As Christian, we come together for the greater good of glorifying God.
We have so much stuff that we call ‘private property’.
Nobody commanded them to sell their possessions and share them with their needy brothers and sisters in Christ. They did it willingly. That’s what makes fellowship.
1) In View of His Mercy
Romans 12:1 NIV
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
God saved us through Jesus in his mercy!
What’s your motivation to be a living sacrifice?
- Pleasing people
- Fear of hell
All the false motivations are exhausting and will not last. God’s mercy needs to be our proper motivation!
We still sin after we have been saved. God is still forgiving and loving us. When I really see God’s loving mercy then I want to offer myself as a living sacrifice.
2) Offer Yourselves
In Romans 12:1 Paul is using the language of the old testament sacrifice tradition. The sacrifice had to be the best, without blemish and fault.
God gave his very best for us. Because of his mercy and Jesus’ sacrifice he sees us as blameless in Christ.
God expects us to give him our very best, not just the leftover. Why? Because we live our lives out of gratitude.
True and proper (Romans 12:1 NIV) is a translation of the Greek word logikos (transliteration) from which we have our word logic.
Being a living sacrifice for God is the only logical thing to do when I see what God has done for me. The opposite is true too: It’s totally irrational not to live a life of gratitude for God if I have grasped the full extent of his grace.
That’s what lead the members of the church in Acts 2 to live selfless and sacrificial lives.
Let’s have God’s love and mercy as our motivation.
What needs do I see around me?
If I feel burdened by the sacrificial Christian life then it’s usually because I have taken my eyes of God’s loving mercy. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on God and his amazing grace so that we may share everything together.
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