| HOLY SPIRIT & CHURCH |
Today we begin our trip through Acts. Acts records how the Holy Spirit used the apostles to plant the early church.
Our chapter today has three main parts.
Acts 2:1-13 describe the extraordinary event of the Holy Spirit coming upon the church so that many nations of people gathered in Jerusalem heard the Gospel. Jesus had said that the disciples should remain in Jerusalem following the resurrection and await the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4). Remember the covenant that God made to Abraham, that through his descendant all the families of the earth would be blessed? This is the beginning of the fulfillment of that blessing. The nations gathered in Jerusalem would hear the Gospel and in the coming chapters the disciples will be scattered among the nations through persecution.
Acts 2:14-41 is largely made up of a sermon preached by Peter. Verses 22-24 are particularly important. Peter makes it clear that Jesus’ death was not an accident, but part of the divine plan of God for the salvation of the lost. When the people gathered before Peter, many of whom were there when Jesus was crucified, heard what Peter was saying, they were convicted of their sin and cried out, “What shall we do?” Peter’s response is to them is the same that is true for us. We must “repent and be baptized.” We must confess our sin and choose to be identified with Jesus in His death and resurrection. It is essentially, putting one’s faith in Jesus that His work is sufficient for the forgiveness of sin.
Acts 2:42-47 record how this budding church began to live in their community together. There are four key elements of their life together. They were devoted to the apostles’ teaching. That is, they were devoted to the eye-witness testimony of the death and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. They were devoted to fellowship. That is, they were meeting together in obedience to Jesus’ command in John to love one another (John 13:34). They broke bread together. That is, they ate together, likely also sharing communion together. It is important that if we say we love one another that we actually spend time together in the normal parts of life, such as eating together. Finally, they were devoted to prayer. Their life together wasn’t about themselves, but about God. They were aware of God’s presence with them at all times.
This is a beautiful chapter that holds all the elements that are essential to the life of the church, right from the very beginning. The church is dependent upon the presence of the Holy Spirit, upon the preaching of the Word and upon the life together devoted to the things of the Lord.