Lesson 10: Were the Lord’s Disciples Communists? – Acts 2:41-47

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

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The Lord’s disciples may have lived together in a communal state, but they ate their meat “with gladness” (2:46), so the answer is no!  Communism never produces gladness!

We know they were saved because they “continued” in the apostles’ doctrine (v.42 cf. John 8:31).  We see further evidence that they were saved when they continued in the apostles’ “fellowship” (v. 42).  In our Lord’s day, “salvation was of the Jews” (John 4:22), but after the Jews crucified the Lord, salvation wasn’t just in the Jews in general, but in the “remnant” of believing Jews in Israel (Joel 2:32).  That’s why Peter told them to “save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40), and get into fellowship with the believers in the Lord’s little flock of believers.

The “breaking of bread” (v. 42) can mean just eating meals (Lam. 4:4), but there’d be no need to tell us they continued eating meals!  Here that phrase refers to how they continued to observe the Lord’s Supper, where the Lord also broke bread (Mt. 26:26).  The Lord told them to observe it (Lu. 22:19), so they were observing it!

Finally, Verse 42 says they also continued in prayer, even though they were filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4).  How much more should we who aren’t Spirit filled continue in prayer!

Fear came upon “every” soul (v. 43), even the believers.  The word “fear” here just means reverence, as it does in Psalm 89:7.  And reverence is just honor and respect, the thing kids should give fathers (Heb. 12:9) and wives should give husbands (Heb. 12:9)—and what we should give God (Phil. 2:12).  Fear also came upon unbelievers (cf. Jer. 33:9). As they saw how the believers were living unselfishly for one another, they reverenced the God that enabled them to live that way.

The “tongues” they spoke in (Acts 2:4) are here called “signs” (2:43), and signs like that ceased when the Word of God was completed (I Cor. 13:8-10).

They weren’t all “together” (v. 44) in the temple, for there were 3,000 of them (2:41).  They were together in spirit.

Did you ever wonder who told them to live with “all things common” (v. 44,45)?  Luke hadn’t recorded Peter saying so, but he mentions the “many other words” he preached that day (v. 40).  Since he spoke those words in response to the question of how to be saved (Acts 2:37), we know he told them to do what the Lord said to do to be saved and sell all they had and share the proceeds with others (Luke 18:18-22).

Pentecost was a taste of the kingdom, but this is not how they’ll live in the kingdom.  At Pentecost, no man called anything his own (Acts 4:32), but they will in the kingdom (Micah 4:3,4).  But these disciples were heading into the Tribulation, when the Beast will make it impossible to buy or sell without his mark (Rev. 13:17,18).  They’ll need to share with one another to get through that.  After that, they’ll hunger and thirst no more (Rev. 7:13-16).

You couldn’t continue “daily” in the temple (2:46), or in church for that matter, for you have to go to work!  How come they didn’t?  It was because part of what they sold was their means of making a living (Luke 5:10,11,27,28).  This matches how the Jews will be “a kingdom of priests” in the kingdom (Ex. 19:6).  Priests weren’t allowed to work!  They were allowed to keep their primary houses though, and so eat bread from house to house (2:46).  That’s because they weren’t allowed to sell their inheritance (I Ki. 21:1-16).

“Singleness of heart” (2:46) means they didn’t have a double heart, and so could keep rank and stay focused in times of war (I Chron. 12:33).  That’s what the Spirit-filled disciples had at Pentecost, a laser-like focus on serving the Lord!  The kind Paul says we should have too (Eph. 5:18).  Isn’t that what you give your boss (Col. 3:22)?  Why not the Lord?

This kind of living caused them to have favor with the unbelievers (2:47 cf. Pr. 16:7).  “Such as should be saved” are not some elect group God chose to be saved.  Peter’s already told us who should be saved—those who call on the Lord! (Acts 2:21).

Video of this message is also available on YouTube: Were the Lord’s Disciples Communists? – Acts 2:41-47

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