Acts 3:1-5:42 Empowered to help

        EMPOWERED TO HELP
    Acts 3:1- 5:42            June 8 2008

Peter healed a lame beggar, who had accompanied Peter
and John in to the temple (Acts 3:1-10). A crowd gathered,
and Peter preached about Jesus. The people generally had
rejected Jesus and had facilitated His death. God,
however, had resurrected Jesus. Peter declared the lame
man was healed through faith in Jesus (Acts3:11-16).
The apostle urged his hearers to repent and receive
forgiveness (Acts 3:17-21). He declared Jesus was the
promised prophet like Moses (Acts 3:22-26).
Peter and John were arrested (Acts 4:1-4) and taken
before the Sanhedrin, where Peter courageously
proclaimed Jesus as the Promised Messiah (Acts
4:5-10). Jesus’ power had had healed the lame man.
Peter emphasized salvation is available only in
Jesus (Acts 4:11-12).
Two believers, Ananias and his wife Sapphira , Sold
property but kept part of the money while giving the
impression they were donating the whole amount. When
Peter confronted them, both died (Acts5:1-11). the
apostles performed signs and wonders, the number
of believers increased (Acts 5:14), and the apostles
healed many people (Acts 5:15-16).

    1. Meeting Physical Needs (Acts 4:5-10)

Acts 4:5   The next day the rulers, elders and teachers
of the law met in Jerusalem. 4:6   Annas the high
priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John,
Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family.
4:7   They had Peter and John brought before them and
began to question them: “By what power or what name
did you do this?” 4:8   Then Peter, filled with the Holy
Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!
4:9   If we are being called to account today for an act
of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he
was healed, 4:10   then know this, you and all the people
of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead,
that this man stands before you healed.

Rulers, Elders and Teachers of the law.  The three groups
making up the Sanhedrin, Israel’s supreme court
(Luke 22:66;  Matt 2:4; 15:2; Mark 14:55; Luke 5:17).
Annas . High priest A.D. 6-15, but deposed by the Romans
and succeeded by his son, Eleazar, then by his son-in-law,
Caiaphas (Acts 4:18-36), who was also called Joseph.
However, Annas was still recognized by the Jews as high
priest (Luke 3:2; John 18:13, 24). John . May be Jonathan
son of Annas, who was appointed high priest in A.D. 36.
Others suggest it was Johanan ben Zaccai, who became
the president of the Great Synagogue after the fall of
Jerusalem. Alexander. Not further identified. Filled with
the Holy Spirit . (Acts 2:4).
The stone . . . Rejected . Fulfillment of prophecy was an
important element in early Christian sermons and
defenses. Jesus had also used (Psalms 118:22 (Matt
21:42; 1Peter 2:7 and  Romans 9:33; Isaiah 28:16).

    2. Presenting Salvation (Acts 4:12-13,18-20,31)

Acts 4:12   Salvation is found in no one else, for there is
no other name under heaven given to men by which we
must be saved.” 4:13   When they saw the courage of
Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled,
ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note
that these men had been with Jesus. 4:18   Then they
called them in again and commanded them not to speak or
teach at all in the name of Jesus. 4:19   But Peter and John
replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s
sight to obey you rather than God. 4:20   For we cannot help
speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 4:31   After
they prayed, the place where they were meeting was
shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and
spoke the word of God boldly.

No other name . (Acts10:43; John 14:6;1Tim 2:5;Matt 1:21).
Courage. A certain boldness characterized by the assurance,
authority and forthrightness of the apostles (Acts 2:29;
4:29; 28:31), and shared by the believers (Acts 4:31).
Unschooled, ordinary men . Peter and John had not been
trained in the rabbinic schools, nor did they hold official
positions in recognized religious circles. Cannot help
speaking (Acts 5:29). Was shaken. An immediate sign that
the prayers had been heard (Acts16:26). Filled with the
Holy Spirit . (Acts2:4). Spoke the word of God . They
continued preaching the gospel despite the warnings of
the council (Acts 4:13).

    3. Sharing Financial Resources (Acts 4:32-35)
Acts 4:32   All the believers were one in heart and mind. No
one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but
they shared everything they had. 4:33   With great power the
apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord
Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 4:34   There were
no needy persons among them. For from time to time those
who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money
from the sales4:35   and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it
was distributed to anyone as he had need.

One in heart and mind . In complete accord, extending to
their attitude toward personal possessions (Acts 2:44).
Testify to the resurrection . As significant as the death of
Christ was, the most compelling event was the resurrection
—an event about which the disciples could not keep silent.
Those who owned lands or house sold them. (Acts 2:44).
Levite . Although Levites owned no inherited land in
Palestine, these regulations may not have applied to the
Levites in other countries (Cyprus). So perhaps Barnabas
sold land he owned in Cyprus and brought the proceeds to
the apostles (Acts 4:37). Or he may have been married,
and the land sold may have been from his wife’s property.
It is also possible that the prohibition against Levite
ownership of land in Palestine was no longer observed.
Cyprus . An island in the eastern part of the
Mediterranean Sea. Jews had settled there from
Maccabean times. Barnabas . Used here as a good example
of giving. In this way Luke introduces the one who will
become an important companion of Paul (Acts13:1-4). For
other significant contributions of this greathearted leader
to the life and ministry of the early church (Acts 9:27;
11:22,25; 15:37-39).

        Summary:

            Believers sold property and made the proceeds
available to other believers , but this was not an early
form of communism. Ownership of private property was not
abolished. Selling property and donating the money was
voluntary and was not designed to make everyone equal
economically. The express purpose of sharing material
goods was to meet people’s needs, and genuine needs actually
were met. Out of deep sense of unity came generous sharing
to help others. Acts 4:36-37 give a specific example of one
believer’s generous sharing. Joseph (also called Barnabas,
"son of encouragement’) sold some land and gave the money
to the apostles to be used for needy believers.