Q: When the church gathers today (like ours at FFC), should we expect to see the church’s identity be defined by the same behaviors that are in Acts 2:43 & 45? Why or why not?
A: I think you are referring specifically to the “signs and wonders” (2:43) as well as to the selling of things and subsequent distributing of proceeds to help those in need (2:45). In short, yes. But let me offer further comment.
Though the signs and wonders of Acts 2 were through the Apostles for the purpose of confirming the coming of the Holy Spirit and the message of Christ resurrected, and while we may not see those exact types of signs and wonders for that precise reason, spiritual gifts are, by their very definition, a supernatural enablement that signifies and attests to God’s power and work (1 Cor. 14:24, 25). What we have to be able to do is not seek signs and wonders in an apostolic fashion, but yet be open about our need for God’s supernatural power among us. That means, at times, there will be Spirit-empowered enablements that are beyond our human explanation.
When it comes to selling and sharing, how a body goes about meeting those needs, sharing things, and distributing items to needy people may vary; there seems to be freedom there. But I don’t think the principle behaviors of sharing, giving, and sacrificing are things we can eliminate. Instead, they are essential.
So my personal opinion/answer is yes — expect to see the same principles identify us, but perhaps not always the same exact practices. Realizing that, one of the things that helps me here at FFC is knowing that, while we may struggle in finding the best way to experience both of those, we will never debate their importance or necessity.
Let me turn the tables for a moment — how would you answer the question? What would you say specifically about these two identifying marks of the early church being evidenced in the body of Christ today?