In Acts 4:32-37 we read about how the early church eliminated poverty within their own community. From the context we learn that there were several thousand believers in this young fellowship. In verse 33 we read, “And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” Why were they so generous? It was because great grace was upon them all. They didn’t cling to their things and in fact viewed them as if their property didn’t even belong to them (4:32). As a result of this generous spirit in the early church their was not a single person among them who had a severe lack of resources to take care of their necessitites (4:34). In the middle of this we have already pointed out that they were giving testimony to the resurrection with great power. How did this “great power” manifest itself? Certainly in the preaching of the word, but also in the way in which the early church successfully erased poverty among those in their group. Keith Green once said that the welfare system wasn’t something that used to be needed because the church was the welfare system. What if our mission statements included a sentence about us seeking to eliminate poverty within our bodies? This would certainly cause unbelievers to take a second glance.

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