The Book of Acts Chapter 2 Part 3
Introduction: A key idea in the books of Acts is that Christians should be witnesses wherever they go. Today, we hope to discuss the results of Pentecost.
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Read Acts 2:37-47
3. The Results of Pentecost. In this section of the book of Acts we see the people asked what should they do, in light of being convicted by the message.
Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. About 3,000 were added to the number of the believers.
There was a great sense of godly community. Not only was there teaching, praying, and fellowshipping, but people sold their stuff and gave to essentially the community chest. From the community chest, the needs of the people were met.
- Good heartfelt preaching. Notice in vs. 37 of chapter two of the book of Acts that the people wanted to know what they should do, as a result of hearing the word of God.
Good preaching should inspire people to want to do what God is calling them to do. Especially when we are living in sin, we should feel pushed or pulled by the preaching of God's word.
Those who make us feel good, in spite of our sinful living may be more like entertainers than preachers of God's word. Let's look for and demonstrate appreciation of godly preaching. And then we should all be faithful messengers of God's word, even if we don't have a pulpit preaching ministry.
It doesn't show love, when we flatter people. In fact, it shows hatred, when we don't speak the truth in love, because we fear that it is too much discipline (see Pro. 13:24; Eph. 4:15).
- Repentant baptized believers. Notice in vs. 38 of this section of the book of Acts the idea of repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus. A good way to understand this text is that one must turn from godless living (i.e., both sin and trying to pay for our sins with anything less than faith in Jesus' full payment).
Then turn to that of godly living (i.e., accept Jesus as savior by faith and work on the life long process of discipleship or sanctification). This is the nature of repentance. None of us have forsaken all sins and live a perfectly holy life.
Furthermore, one should be water baptized after one accepts Jesus as savior by faith. This is a symbolic way of saying that we identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (see Rom. 6:3-4).
However, whether one is water baptized or not, all believers are spiritually baptized into the universal church or the body of Christ (see I Cor. 12:12-13).
And yet further, as for whose name should we call in water baptism, Baptist like the trinity formula that we were told to follow in Matthew 28:19-20, as opposed to simply following the example of Peter.
However, a safe compromise may be to simply baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Our effort may be better spent living a resurrected life than on arguing over such smaller matters as the baptismal formula.
Let's work on living like repentant baptized believers. This kind of living should be noted for loving God, ourselves, and others.
- Letting God use us to win people. Notice in vss. 41, 47 of this section of the book of Acts that about 3,000 souls were added and more were being added daily.
First, we should be very busy trying to help people get saved and fell comfortable in the church. "Each Reach One," demonstrating love, and enthusiastically worshipping God will prove helpful in this area.
Second, as hard as we try, the adding is really up to the Lord. If the Lord doesn't add then there will be no sustained adding. Let's do our part as witnesses for the Lord, and trust God to do the adding according to His will.
It should be future noted that the more the Lord adds, the more we are responsible for. How well have we done with those whom the Lord has already added?
- Pastoral teaching, fellowship, and prayer. Notice in vs. 42 that the early church was devoted to the Apostle's teaching, fellowshipping and breaking bread, as well as to praying.
First, it is of foundational importance for us to learn and live by the teaching of the teacher/Pastor that God sends. We ought to know and live by the teachings of the Bible being authoritative truth.
Also by salvation through Christ, growing in our discipleship, and being governed by biblical principles in our church family.
Second, in order for us to have sweet and helpful fellowship and breaking of bread (i.e., a feats, a communion service, etc.) we need to work diligently on loving one another.
Love calls for demonstrating kindness and forgiving those who have mistreated us. Third, it would be a grave mistake to overlook the power and practice of prayer in the early church.
It seems that we often would rather to talk to anyone about our problems and concerns than to talk to the Lord together about them. Let's work on being devoted to pastoral teaching, fellowship, and prayer.
With these elements in place, we can do a greater work than any of us could image. But without these elements in place, we may spend our last years of life simply playing church and being average.
- Signs and obedience. Notice in vs. 43 the mention of apostolic signs. Especially for the benefit of unbelievers, God has a way of doing wonderful things in and through the lives of His leaders.
Let's thank God and live according to His will. God doesn't keep on sending signs and wonders. The next phase is often punishment and wrath (see vs. 40). Ask the Jews.
- Glad attitudes and giving. Notice in vss. 44-47 of this section of the book of Acts that the people were united in glad spirits and common wealth.
First, there should be a unity among especially the disciples of the church family that everyone should be able to see.
This unity should not only be seen in the great works that we do together, but it should be seen in our glad and worshipful attitudes. Dead, dry, and rote worship are going in the opposite direction of our text.
Second, the communalism of our text is probably not something for every era of the church age; however, those with much in the body of Christ still have some responsibility for those with little or none in the body of Christ.
We strive to honor this idea with things like benevolent funds, mission offerings, scholarships, and the like. The more the church behaves according to God's will, which includes attitudes of gladness and giving, the more people will look on us and want to be a part.
Let's work on our glad attitudes and giving. For those who think it is alright to rob God of His tithes after they have been members of the church for years, this passage of scripture that shows baby Christians giving sacrificially should move us to grow up more quickly.
Conclusion: Let's work on being witnesses wherever we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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