Perhaps the most socially attractive feature of primitive Christianity was the absence of class distinctions. Dividing walls had crumbled beneath the gospel’s weight. The common person triumphed through Christ. Christ transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary. Carpenters, tax collectors, stonecutters, queens, domestic servants, priests, Greeks, Romans, men, women, wealthy, and the destitute all became equals within Christ’s kingdom of grace. In reality, the Christian community was to be a classless society.
What do each of the following texts teach about our common humanity? Considering the cultural background of the time, and of the Bible writers themselves, why might it not have been so easy for them to grasp this crucial concept?
Read Acts 2:43-47, Acts 4:32-37. In what ways did early Christians apply, in practice, the principle of universal acceptance? How did the notion that God loves ordinary, everyday people enable the explosive expansion of primitive Christianity? At the same time, we need to ask ourselves, How well do we, individually and collectively, apply these principles to the ways in which we minister to the world? What kind of things hold us back from doing better in this important area?