Good teachers begin with what the students know and then extend their learning from that point forward. Sometimes you have to reach back, revisit old information, explain it and then present new information that ties to the old. Peter does just that…so the world will know why Jesus came, their sin and how they can be saved. Simple and complete. God’s church is born as a result with four basic tenets that allows them to grow exponentially.
These four actions are the basics of what God intended His church to be. WE, as God’s church everywhere need to step back and visit this old information and see where we might have slipped away. Let God’s Holy Spirit speak to our hearts as we read and meditate on Peter’s message that rocked the Jewish world…Peter the rock upon which Jesus would build his church…remember?
Acts 2, The Message
David said it all:
I saw God before me for all time.
Nothing can shake me; he’s right by my side.
I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic;
I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope.
I know you’ll never dump me in Hades;
I’ll never even smell the stench of death.
You’ve got my feet on the life-path,
with your face shining sun-joy all around.
29-36 “Dear friends, let me be completely frank with you. Our ancestor David is dead and buried—his tomb is in plain sight today. But being also a prophet and knowing that God had solemnly sworn that a descendant of his would rule his kingdom, seeing far ahead, he talked of the resurrection of the Messiah—‘no trip to Hades, no stench of death.’ This Jesus, God raised up. And every one of us here is a witness to it. Then, raised to the heights at the right hand of God and receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he poured out the Spirit he had just received. That is what you see and hear. For David himself did not ascend to heaven, but he did say,
God said to my Master, “Sit at my right hand
Until I make your enemies a stool for resting your feet.”
“All Israel, then, know this: There’s no longer room for doubt—God made him Master and Messiah, this Jesus whom you killed on a cross.”
37 Cut to the quick, those who were there listening asked Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers! Brothers! So now what do we do?”
38-39 Peter said, “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.”
40 He went on in this vein for a long time, urging them over and over, “Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!”
41-42 That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.
43-45 Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.
46-47 They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.
Questions to ask ourselves…
–How wrapped up in our sick and stupid culture are we? Are we in or out? According to God’s Word, there are only two choices. We are with God…or not.
–How committed are we to the BASIC FOUR…the teaching of God’s Word, life with God’s church in harmony, joyfully sharing life together, eating common meals and praying together? This seems to be the key to a healthy, growing in love, church! Let’s us constantly evaluate to see how helpful we are to those seeking to know Truth above all else in this world.
Where IS that church…an ACTS 2:42 church? I want to go there, don’t you? Maybe you are blessed to have this simplicity. Thank God for it.
Dear Heavenly Father, We are devoted to the teaching of Your Word through those apostles you assigned to write down Your ACTS of mercy and grace to those who would believe. Thank You for beginning with what we know and extending our learning. Thank you for pointing out our sin and giving us a way to be forgiven of those sins. Help us to be a part of your growing people of faith, love, mercy and grace. Continue to show us Your ways. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen