The Acts 2:42 church has begun with Peter’s yielding to the Spirit of God to boldly announce the Truth of the crucified but now risen Savior, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit-led apostles stand together to teach the Truth of Jesus, why He came with how to be saved from eternal death and live for Him. The Holy Spirit-led church is discovering that the closer they come to Jesus, the closer they come to each other.
Instead of looking inward, the believers first look up to God and then side to side at each other with a new love that is joyful and exciting, unconditional and merciful, and full of grace. Yes, the attitude of this holy group of over three thousand men, woman and children is contagious. They gather daily to celebrate their new life with Christ. They understand that He is for everyone who believes so they are, too. They cannot seem to get enough of His Presence among them as they live in harmony with each other—all because of His love newly born in them.
However, we must realize that God’s people are still living among the oppression of the Romans as well as the greed and power-hungry religious leaders who manipulated the government into humiliating Jesus, their opponent of popularity, in their eyes. These same leaders think they are still “in charge” after managing to have Jesus nailed to a cross. We wonder, friends, if some of them were persuaded to repent.
No matter what, the Spirit of God came, as promised by Jesus to his followers, and now new life in Jesus is taking off like a wild brush fire. That day, God added to their numbers. There was no media blitz, no huge plan to gather the people, only God speaking through totally yielded Peter. Peter, the Rock upon whom Jesus said he would build His church, has done exactly what He said. And God added.
God not only added numbers of believers to the group for strength, for there is always strength and encouragement from large groups of people all going in the same direction to God, He added all they needed to begin His great work. He added His Power to do His work of salvation.
God added the power of His Holy Spirit who washed over the group with His gifts of love for each other that went deeper, beyond what anyone had ever experienced before believing. The apostle Paul, who was dramatically saved by grace, will later write of these gifts of God’s Holy Spirit that all believers eventually exhibit in their new yielded, maturing life with Jesus:
“…The Holy Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.” (Galatians 5)
Paul understood clearly the work of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives! We cannot be “good” on our own, it is only by the power of His Spirit that we learn to walk in God’s ways, in Jesus Name, for His Glory! Believe and be saved. Grow in His grace.
God added unity and harmony to the group of young believers of all ages. The awe and wonders of God taking place among them in spite of what was going on in the world, drove them to help each other, love like Jesus, share and not hold back. Their lives were all for God, because of Jesus. This is the amazing love of God, permeating the community of believers!
God added discipline to their lives that resulted in joyful living in spite of current circumstances. This loving discipline drove them back to commitment to the commandment Jesus gave to the disciples as He ascended to heaven. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28) A promise given. A promise kept.
God added His never-ending Presence among all who believed. And the world was never the same. Hallelujah! Praise God! May God add His power to our lives daily!
ACTS—God’s acts through His Disciples
Acts 2:41-47, The Message
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.
Thank you for teaching us how to be a community of believers living under the authority of Your Holy Spirit. Thank you for the public announcement of the washing away of our sins through repentance to you called baptism. Thank you for pure joy of discipline to come to each morning to begin our day with you. Thank you for continual celebrations of you with others who believe in communion with common meals where you are praised and lifted high. Thank you for always enough to share with those in need.
Thank you for your Holy Spirit that teaches through Spirit-led men and women who teach from Your Word so we stay focused on You and Your ways. Thank you for the realization of your deep love for us as we remember that you desire an intimate growing relationship with you. It is so amazing to think that You, the Creator of all, who is in all, and in control of all, desire to talk with me in conversation. Thank you, Jesus, for the sacrifice you made so I can come boldly to the very throne of God anytime with honesty and sincerity. Thank you for saving my soul. Thank you for continuing to transform me to be all you created me to be. I’m not their yet, but I’m on my way…
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen. I believe.