The DEEP

They Were Selling Their Possessions

All of them?

Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

This passage is easy to misunderstand. At first glance, it sounds like they all quit their jobs and lived in some kind of hyper-commune where you couldn’t even have your own toothbrush. That would be silly, unethical, and nothing like what actually happened.

They wouldn’t have lasted six weeks living like that. Obviously, Luke is describing something else.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship. The key word here is, “devoted.” It’s one thing to have fellowship, but quite another to be devoted to it. These people really loved each other.

And we’re not talking emotion here; they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. That’s real Christian love – serious sacrifice for one another. There’s nothing syrupy about this. It’s about doing love, not feeling love.

But this still can be misunderstood. They were selling their possessions – but not all their possessions. They couldn’t have been breaking bread in their homes if they had sold them. Too be sure, selling real estate was part of this – see Acts 4:34-35 – but this was not done in an unwise way.

The call of Christian fellowship is to boundless love and sacrifice, not to stupidity.


We still fall short. But the root of this problem isn’t our greed or our affluence; it’s that we don’t follow the first part. The first Christians devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching.

This wasn’t a weekly thing either. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.

They were full time Christians. Yes, they kept their jobs and kept their homes but day by day they studied, and worshipped, and celebrated, and ate together.

These DEEPs are an attempt at facilitating daily study of the word and daily connection with the Lord. But they’re just a start. Ask God to show you how you can make Him a more steady part of your life. Also, ask Him to show you how you can fellowship more regularly with your brothers in Christ.


The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.