30th -31st May
“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need…And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:44-45, 47c
Why did the early church experience so much growth, particularly in the face of persecution? Obviously God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit are huge factors, but could it also be that the unity seen within the church was also a huge factor to church growth?
In today’s church, sadly we often see the opposite. However, of late there seems to be a huge move towards the unification of the church across denominations and across styles of worship. It is so encouraging to see as this unity and attitude promotes church growth. Why? Because the world is crying out for hope, its crying out for unity in a world that is so filled with disunity, corruption, and individualism. Luke tells us in his writings that one of the reason that many people were ‘added to the fellowship’ was because of the unity of the believers.
In fact verses 32 to 34 of chapter 4 tell us that ‘all the believers were united in heart and mind’ and ‘felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had’, so much so that there ‘were no needy people among them’. It is because of this attitude, because of the power of unity, that God graciously added to their number.
This was not some unachievable, ideological elitist club, but a living and breathing tangible organism. The body of Christ is as much alive today as it was in the early church days. The great news is, that as individual members of this body, we too make up the body and we too can contribute to the unity of the church. When people look to church let them not see hypocrisy, slander and disunity. But rather, let us support our pastors, support our leaders, support our brothers and sisters around us, give liberally, love generously, meet regularly and worship faithfully. The church is growing and God will continue to add to our number of people being saved through the power of unity and through the power of the Holy Spirit!!