Saturday, December 10, 2011


For Sunday December 11, 2011

(Believers have all the important things in common)
(Acts 2)

The Book of Acts has been called the “Gospel of the HOLY SPIRIT”, and it is The HOLY SPIRIT that makes it possible for a person to be able to look forward to a future of obedience to GOD, after accepting the gift of Salvation. It is also that “common ground”, or source of power that every Christian shares once we invite CHRIST into our lives as our LORD and SAVIOR.
In the Greek, there is a wonderful sounding word that New Testament writers use for “promise”. It is “epaggelia” (ep-ang-el-ee-ah), and it is “an announcement of divine assurance of good”. In Matthew 11:28, JESUS promises us goodness, when HE says “Come unto ME, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (KJV).
In Acts chapter 2, Luke chronicles events that took place during the first “Pentecost” observance of the Christian Church. It was celebrated fifty days following the resurrection of CHRIST JESUS, and traditionally, seven weeks after the final day of “Passover” (Leviticus 23:15-22). Pentecost, which means, “fiftieth”, is also known as the “Festival of Harvest”, or the “Feast of Weeks”. In New Testament times, Pentecost also commemorated Moses’ giving to the Israelites, GOD’s Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.
In Acts 2:1-4, as Christians met in a house somewhere in the midst of Jerusalem, we see three great phenomena occurring, which serve to make the coming of the HOLY SPIRIT on that Pentecost day, an unmistakable and unique event. First we see the “roaring of a mighty windstorm” from the skies above, come down and fill the house that the Apostles and others occupied (v. 2). Then, we see the “flames of fire” appear and settle on each person in the house (v. 3). And finally, we see that they began speaking in foreign languages, as the HOLY SPIRIT gave them these abilities (v. 4). These “visible signs” are unique in that, in all of recorded Scripture, this is the only time when these three things occur together, during a distinctive act of GOD. Since that day, the HOLY SPIRIT has come to dwell in every Christian (1 Corinthians 6:19), and we as a result, belong to GOD, because HE bought us at a high price, sacrificing HIS only begotten SON, JESUS CHRIST.
As we live in fellowship with GOD, HE will fill us and keep us filled, and when HE does, we will be able to serve and grow and conform more fully to HIS Word, and HIS Will. The HOLY SPIRIT enables us to win battles within ourselves, between our “reason” and “passion”, that, without HIM, we would never be able to win. HE enables us to resist the temptations of life, that, without HIM, we would never be able to resist.
The HOLY SPIRIT is the “spiritual conscience” that becomes infused in those of us, who live in CHRIST. HE make us more aware of those times when we are about to move out of the will of GOD, and will prevent us from doing so if we listen, and heed to HIS prompting. HIS job is to provide us with the power to fight against the evil forces of satan, and to help us to avoid sin by attacking it in the thinking stages, and not, to make us feel remorse, after we sin. True repent is a “change of mind”, before we sin, and it requires us to actually grow to hate the sin itself. If our hearts are truly broken by sin, and we long to return to GOD, then a change in our lives will soon follow.
In verse 37, we see the HOLY SPIRIT convicting those members of the “first Christian Church, through Peter’s words to them regarding the wrong that was perpetrated on JESUS by way of their role in HIS death on the cross. Peter goes on to tell them that, the promise of the HOLY SPIRIT is not only for those present in that room that day, but it is a promise that extends to all who come to know CHRIST and answer the call of GOD, and, it is extends to all generations.
In verses 41-47, on the heels and momentum of Peter’s, now famous, “Pentecost Sermon”, the first sermon ever preached in the Christian Church, the believers began meeting together on a daily basis. A deep sense of awe and reverence for CHRIST had come over them after their receiving of the HOLY SPIRIT, and we now see them begin to display many characteristics that would come to be prominently identified with the early Church.    
What we see, in this particular passage is a somewhat rapid-fire summary by Luke, of those characteristics, as they were manifested in the believers in the early Christian Church Community.

(1). The early church had “teaching and learning” (verse 42).
(2). The early church had “prayer and fellowship” (verse 42).
(3). The early church had gained a “fear and reverence for GOD” (verse 43).
(4). They were a “sharing church” (verse 44-45).
(5). They were a church that “worshipped GOD together daily” (verse 46-47).
(6). They were a church “filled with joy” because of their fellowship with each other,
       and, their generosity toward each other (verse 46).
(7). They were a church where “good things were happening constantly”
      and “many new people were receiving Salvation daily” (verse 47).

What a wonderful example for modern-day churches to emulate. We see here in this passage, that, it is an example that has been placed before us, and available to us, since the very birth of the Christian Church in Jerusalem.
And one other thing can also be noted; the miraculous signs and wonders that were performed by the Apostles (v.43), served as a verification of a “divine truth” that would authenticate their calling by CHRIST to others. The use of these miracles would help to convince and encourage others to work in the establishment and development of the Christian Church in its infancy. And, after all, many of the believers had also seen JESUS perform these same signs and wonders, during HIS powerful three-year ministry.


(1). Reflect on how you’ve benefited from being a part of a Christian community
       and how you’ve helped to benefit others.
(2). Think of three reasons why you believe the Christian community is essential in
       today’s society, in showing it how to share.
(3). Get in the habit of thinking of ways in which you can work to benefit the
       community in a Christian way, by sharing your time, talent, and treasure in
       your home, church, job, school etc.


Pray and ask GOD to give you the mind, desire, and spirit to deepen your commitment to CHRIST and HIS work in your community. Ask GOD to show you how to be faithful in these endeavors, and how to be a good steward with the time, talent, and treasure that HE has blessed you with.


Deuteronomy 15:4-8, Luke 12:13-21, & Mark 10:17-31

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