Does Acts 2:42-47 Teach Socialism?

Does Acts 2:42-47 Teach Socialism? I answered that question on the this episode of Real Truth. Real Quick.

Show Notes:

Principles:
  1. Acts 2:42-47 is a description of the very first gathering of believers who understood what the finished work of Christ had accomplished.
  2. This is the first time a group of believers had been assembled together, led by the Spirit of God, and lived with a kingdom ethic in their love for one another.
  3. The first church was not responding to imposed law from a ruling elite but was voluntarily loving and providing for one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Acts 2:42-47 tells the story of a kingdom people, living with a kingdom ethic to the glory of their King, and following the sacrificial example of their leader, who is Jesus.
  5. The fact that our government has to care for the poor, the widow, and the orphan is a judgment on the Church…or it is a judgment on people who choose to live irresponsible lives and do not want to work.
  6. It is not loving to fund an irresponsible lifestyle.
  7. Socialism and communism compel individuals to share wealth through government-enforced demands and control.
  8. People who are able to work but who will not work should be left to their hunger so their stomach can “work” for them by compelling them to work so they don’t hunger.
  9. We should not force people to be generous, celebrate greed or enable irresponsibility.
  10.  Acts 2:42-47 does not support socialism. Scripture does support generous, selfless, others-centered living.
Scripture:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.” Acts 2:42-43

And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common… Acts 2:44

and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Acts 2:45

at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; as it is written, “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack.” 2 Corinthians 8:14-15

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 1 Peter 2:13-14

Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10

Other Resources:

What Does It Mean to Be in Biblical Community?

Should A Christian Give Money To The Man On The Corner?

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