4 Marks of Great Unity in Acts 4:32-37
vs. 32 The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that any of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. In this passage we see four Marks of Unity within the church:
1. Great Humility
A. Notice these words and look for the heart of humility that God produced in the early Church. They did not claim their own things as their own. Greed was not present, everyone helped to meet everyone else’s needs. They were living the two great commands: Love the Lord God will all your heart, soul, mind, and strength & Love your neighbor as yourselves. Pride of having and shame of not having was not present. They had one heart and one soul!
The main Greek word in the N.T. for “proud” is hooperayfanos and it means appearing above another, haughty. It is seen most vividly in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican found in Luke 18:9-14 where the Pharisee states, “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” The idea being I’m better than everyone else. Psa.10:2: The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor: Psa.10:4:The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God:Prov11:2: Pride comes, then comes shame: Prov.13:10: Only by pride comes contention: Prov.15:25: The Lord will destroy the house of the proud. Prov.16:18: Pride goes before destruction,
A word used alot in the N.T. is “tapinos” meaning: base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly. In the parable it was said concerning the publican: he was, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Luke 18:13 And Jesus said… “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.” Js. 4:6: But God gives more grace…God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 1Pe.5:6: Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Prov.16:19: Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. Prov.29:23: A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit. The church that is not divided by issues of pride is a church that has unity. It takes Great Humility to cause us to be of one mind and spirit and to look out for each other and care for each other deeply. And to love one another enough to suffer long with each other as Ep.4:1-3 shows us.
2. Great Power
A second mark of the GREAT UNITY that God produces is GREAT POWER: Acts 4:33:with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Notice two things:
First, Great Power
: Power, this is the Greek word Dunamis. The root word from which we get our word dynamite. We also get our word dynamic and dynamo from this word. Same word used in Mark 5:30 when virtue or power flowed out of Jesus to heal. Great Unity produced Great Power: 3000 being saved at one time (Acts 2:41): The
Lord added souls daily. (2:47)5000 were saved in a day. (Acts 4:4) Healings, Miracles, Provision. God’s power will produce whatever we need if we’ll protect the Unity that He produces.
Secondly, Notice The Witness:
The power was not attached to some unknown or unidentifiable entity. It was attached to the witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What a powerful object of witness – the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Listen to Paul speaking of the resurrection in 1Cor. 15:12-23
. The power that we have is because Jesus Is Alive! Because He lives I can face tomorrow and because He lives I can face today. NoticeRomans 10:13-17
. A bold powerful witness of the gospel is a sign of unity!
A third sign of unity is Great Grace. Acts 4:33, …and great grace was upon them all. Luke 2:52: It was said of Jesus that he grew in wisdom, stature and favor with man and God. When a church is in unity: preaching the gospel and meeting each others needs this same thing can happen now. What would happen if our community noticed that none of our members had to worry about daily needs, because they knew the church – the body of Christ – would see to it that they had what they needed? I believe Psalms 133 describes this Grace. The definition of Grace is: that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, and loveliness, good will, loving-kindness and favor. It speaks of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues. If the Grace of God is upon us you and others will see and feel these spiritual conditions of being governed by the power of God’s divine grace.
4. Great Giving:
We’ve looked at 3 of the marks of Unity: Great Humility; Great Power; Great Grace and finally we come to Great Giving. Acts 4:34-35 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
The First Century Church was a Giving Church. They did not say to a neighbor in need, “This is mine, go get your own.” They gave liberally to meet the needs of others for the furtherance of the gospel. Tabernacle of Praise is a giving church. I commend you for that, so many give sacrificially.
But what about those who haven’t had the revelation of giving. – If the Lord is blessing us with 30-40% tithers (I’m guessing liberally because I do not know who does or does not tithe & the national average is 20% tithers) think of what He could do through us if we had 70 – 80 – or even 100% tithers! This church, since I’ve been here has been there as much as possible for people. We have helped with payments, utility payments, medical payments, vehicle payments, bought food, provided meals, sent folks on missions trips and sent kids to camp. This is not including many offerings for missions and needs for those outside the membership of this body. This is a sign of unity because we look upon each other as family and love one another. It is this selflessness that the gospel set’s in action. God gave His all for us, so we should be willing to give for others.
In Conclusion I’m praying God will continue to give us unity as a church and that we’ll guard the unity He gives us. Let us continue to allow our GREAT GOD to produce and demonstrate GREAT UNITY in the Church by causing Humility, Power, Grace and Giving to characterize each of our lives.