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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 4 - Verse 34

Verse 34. That lacked. That was in want; or whose wants were not supplied by the others.

As many as, etc. The word used here is employed in a large, indefinite sense; but it would be improper to press it so as to suppose that every individual that became a Christian sold at once all his property. The sense doubtless is, that this was done when it was necessary; they parted with whatever property was needful to supply the wants of their poor brethren. That it was by no means considered a matter of obligation, or enjoined by the apostles, is apparent from the case of Ananias, Ac 5:4. The fact that Joses is particularly mentioned, Ac 4:36, shows that it was by no means a universal practice thus to part with all their possessions. He was one instance in which it was done. Perhaps there were many other similar instances; but all that the passage requires us to believe is, that they parted with whatever was needful to supply the wants of the poor. This was an eminent and instructive instance of Christian liberality, and of the power of the gospel in overcoming one of the strongest passions that ever exist in the human bosom—the love of money. Many of the early Christians were poor. They were collected from the lower orders of the people. But all were not so. Some of them, it seems, were men of affluence. The effect of religion was to bring them all, in regard to feeling at least, on a level. They felt that they were members of one family; belonging to the same Redeemer; and they therefore imparted their property cheerfully to their brethren. Besides this, they were about to go to other lands to preach the gospel. They were to leave their native country; and they cheerfully parted with their lands, that they might go and proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. See Barnes "Ac 2:44".

 

{*} "lacked" "wanted"

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