Sharing and having common stewardship of all things is what I call Level 3 Unity.
Acts 2:44-45 says, "All who believed were together and had all things in common. They sold their property and goods and distributed them to all, according to their need."
The fourth question for Level 3 unity:
- What responsibilities do church pastors and clergy have to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in His work of unity at Level 3?
The role of church leaders in this highest work of the Holy Spirit is the role of modeling agape love. In the church and in person. Many, many churches in the West today have little to no semblance to the early church. These churches are more like a business model than Acts 2:44-45. Many have practices that dictate that the church hoards six- and seven-figure reserves designated for "future capital projects only" or "rainy-day fund"! This is a slap to the One who said:
"But you say, 'If a man says to his father or mother, "It is Corban," that is to say, "What you would have profited from me is a gift to God," he shall be free'" (Mark 7:11).
We should know that this is a principle that doesn't just relate to "parents." Churches often cry "Corban" when confronted by the needs of the very ones they are to serve. Their own sheep are often sent to the government for help while resources are sitting in the bank, or CDs, or land or other assets. The Western church is hamstrung by such secular ungodly practices. Acts 2:44-45 is not even considered applicable!
And many church leaders carry the mindset of a capitalist or materialist culture that takes precedence over submission to the Spirit of agape love in their own personal life. Psalm 82, Micah 6 and Isaiah 58 are some of many rebukes to God's people along with a plea for repentance.
This must change. And it will.
Be assured that Level 3 unity will be demonstrated to the world in the last days' church! Level 2 unity will be demonstrated. And of course, Level 1 unity is always present.
This 12-part series has explored in depth the real, tangible measurable reality of the unity of the Holy Spirit in the church. There are 3 levels of unity possible in the body of Christ in the earth today.
All 3 were evident in the early church in Acts 2:42-47:
Level 1 – Doctrine, fellowship, prayer, communion.
This is the lowest common denominator(LCD) - all authentic Christian groups have this level of unity.
Level 2 – Signs and wonders are common occurrences.
The fear of the Lord is always present in believers at this level, which results in cessation of sinful lifestyles. Level 2 unity will come: a) sovereignly, as God judges sin in the church, or b) as believers forsake sin. Or both! But it will come!
Level 3 – Sharing of all things within body for common well-being.
At this level, agape love—self-sacrificial love—is the motivating spirit. Level 3 unity comes as: a) believers freely open their hearts with compassion, or b) as believers experience affliction, which then results in open hearts to their brethren. Or both! Yes, it will come!
All three levels of unity in the Spirit will certainly be present as God's final testimony to man in the last days' church before the return of Jesus, just as in the early church. Then the testimony of Jesus will be completed in the earth. Then comes the end (and the beginning!) that creation is longing for!
Louis Posthauer is the executive director of Hunters of the Harvest Ministry. He has been actively involved in the local church for more than 37 years and currently serves as a lay leader and teacher at Living Word Church of the Nazarene in Houston. For more information, visit huntersoftheharvest.org.
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