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Why stop at Acts 2:38?

Submitted: 1/9/2006
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Question: Why is it the Apostolic faith hinges everything on Acts 2:38? The second chapter of Acts goes beyond verse 38. It goes on to having all things common and selling their possessions. If you were to compile a list of the pros and cons of having everything common, the pros of common greatly out weight the pros of keeping the 'to each his own' philosophy. Common would negate greed, coveting, individualism, and a host of other things the Bible speaks against. It would also leave more assets to be used in furthering the Gospel of Christ. I understand that this would mean great trust and sacrifice of self for the kingdom, which are regularly spoken of with favor. So again my question is why not? Jesus did tell the young prince he MUST sell everything. I have heard people say 'it is not possible in today's society,' however to say that is to say our God is not all powerful and can not perform what he said must be done.

Answer: Some apostolic people may hinge everything on Acts 2:38, but we do not agree that the Apostolic faith rests on this verse alone. We do believe that Acts 2:38 is the foundational summary of how the gospel is to be obeyed, but we also agree with you that the Bible requires more than merely obeying Acts 2:38.

Acts 2:38 can be thought of as the 'gate,' but once the gate has been entered there also is a 'way' that must be walked in order to reach everlasting life.

We consider the entirely of Acts 2 to be foundational, which includes the idea of commonality concerning our possessions. We do not believe that this necessarily means that every believer must sell all his possessions. First Timothy 6:17-19 says, 'Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.' This passage does not say that the rich must sell everything they own; only that they must be ready to give and willing to share. We see this as the broader application of the spirit of Acts 2.