by Harley Howard

This content is part of a series.

The Book of Acts, Chapter 2:45-47 (9 of 44)
Dr. Howard

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted
them to all [men], as every man had need.

Land and property as well as personal goods were being
sold. After they were sold, they were distributed to
all that had necessities. What a simple verse to
interpret and understand.

There was not one great sale going on in the church,
but an on-going process, in which needs which arose
were met by the sale of some property. People
retained ownership of their goods but sold goods from
time to time to meet the pressing needs of others.

Several things characterize the generosity of the
early church as described here.

1. The sale of goods was voluntary. There is no
indication of this taking place by compulsion. This
will be confirmed in Acts 5.

2. The sale of goods took place spontaneously and not
in some orchestrated way.

3. We may well conclude that giving was done
directly, from the donor to one in need. This is no
intermediary mentioned here, no "middle man" at this

4. The emphasis falls on the church caring of its
own. Luke informs us that they shared everything in
common, and this is explained by the fact that when
one was in need, another sold some possessions and met
the need. Thus, the church was taking care of its own

I will elaborate on this subject to a greater degree
when we get into chapter 5.

When another was in need of their possessions (or the
money the sale of them would produce), they put that
item up for sale and gave the money to meet the need.
It was that simple and the church continued to grow
and was blessed. It grew to the place where everyone
was so together that they wound up being impoverished
together and the other churches, both Jewish and
Gentile, sent relief to the home church! They too
understood the same truth that these new converts
understood: that once ...

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