Act Three

The Active Church (v.1)


The New Testament Church was on the move. The thing about movements is they move. What sometimes starts out as a movement is institutionalized into a monument. Monuments are only appreciated by patriots and pigeons. In chapter three of Acts, Peter and John are going to the temple to pray. Someone might ask them “why are you going to that church?” They were going to pray not stay. There is a difference.

Just outside the beautiful gate a beggar asked for alms, “expecting to receive something.” I don’t know about you, but when I go to a church, I expect to receive something. It is sad when people come and go and receive nothing. It is sadder when people “think” they have received something, when in fact, they have received much less than God intended. A lot of church work involves giving people what they want instead of what they need. The beggar would have been happy with a few coins. He ended up with so much more.

The early church did not have much of a budget. As a matter of fact, Peter said, “silver and gold have I none.” It is true that “silver and gold” can really come in handy if we want to do and have things, but God wants us to have more and sometimes that might mean having less.

That “such as I have” was worth more than all the gold in Egypt or King Tut’s tomb. When we talk of “blessings” today we often mean one thing, God means another. The secret of the New Testament church was not in its pocket book. It was in its message. Peter preached the name of Jesus. “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” 3:26