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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Evidence of Faith

The Church is Kingdom sign and outpost.

Acts (2)

Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 2 (Lesson 2) by clicking here.

Read and meditate on Acts 2.42-47.
A new era, a new Spirit, and a new life demand a new community to sustain and advance them. The writer of Hebrews tells us that faith involves “evidence” of the unseen things we have come to believe and in which we hope (11.1). Here is the evidence of the ongoing work of Christ: People joining together in fellowship, sharing their goods with one another as each has need, learning and praying together, rejoicing in the Lord, and having favor with all their neighbors. This was real. This was new. This was proof.

For reflection
1. No wonder many more were being added daily as they saw what the Spirit was doing in the lives of their neighbors and friends. What do the people of your community see, in your church, that might attract them to the Lord?

2. Let’s not misunderstand the sense of verse 45: The sense of the Greek here is that the people would sell their possessions and distribute the proceeds when a need became known. They did not do this all at once and give everything to the Apostles. People who were being restored to the Lord were also being restored to one another. A new community of Restoration was fulfilling the promise of Micah 4.1-8, and the evidence of the reality of Jesus Christ being risen from the dead was increasing on every hand. Do the churches in your community demonstrate the kind of oneness that Jesus said would convince the world He had truly come in the flesh (Jn. 17.21)? Explain.

3. Just as Joshua and the army of Israel “spoiled” the city of Jericho, so that God’s purpose abounded with good things, so here the people of God “spoil” the devil of his former holdings – themselves and all their possessions (cf. Matt.12.22-29) – and share freely with one another in the joy of the Lord’s victory. What should we expect this to look like in churches today?

4. The Gospel’s conquest of the world is a communal effort, and it brings the community of Restoration to ever-increasing fullness as the Kingdom expands. And all this is happening from the inside-out, because of what we read in verses 42 and 43. Would you describe your experience of Jesus as “inside-out”? Explain.

5. In what ways does your own church resemble this new community in early Jerusalem? In what ways does it not?

The Church is a sign that the Kingdom has arrived. It is also an outpost from which the Kingdom advances in the world. How can you see these first Christians serving both as a sign and outpost of the Kingdom? How should their example inform our own vision and practice as churches today?

Closing Prayer
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.
The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
The LORD raises those who are bowed down;
The LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The LORD shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!

Psalm 146.5-10

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. For more insight to His work in our here and now, order the book,
The Kingship of Jesus, from our online store by clicking here.

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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