Acts 2 picks up with the disciples still waiting on the promise of God after picking a new disciple to replace Judas. We are told that they had unity. What a great place for the church to start. Is it possible for us to walk in the unity that they did?
All this took place on the Day of Pentecost (or Shavuot in Hebrew). This was the Jewish celebration of first fruits or harvest. They would bring the first fruits of their harvest as an offering on this day. We see the first fruits of the church born on this day.
There is tradition in some circles that the giving of the law to Moses happened on this same day many years before this. The correlation here is that the law and the Spirit were given on the same day. There is not support for this in the text but its an entertaining thought none the less. There are some comparisons to be made between the two events regardless if they happened on the same date or not. 3000 died at the giving of the law when Moses came down, 3000 were saved on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit came down. Fire was present at both events.
As we progress we see the rushing of wind in the place where they gathered. May we be filled with the breathe of God like that place was filled with His wind. Tongues of fire appeared on each of them. Jesus was prophesied by John the Baptist to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with Fire. May we embrace the cleansing fire of His Spirit.
They began to speak with other languages and magnify God. They were declaring out the wonders of God. May our speech be so God-glorfying that it causes others to marvel at it. May the world be as amazed and perplexed by our words.
Others were confused but Peter stood up to address the crowd. Only day earlier Peter had denied Christ but empowered by the Spirit he stood bold. He explained to the people carefully what they were seeing. He walked them through the prophecy of Joel. I love that everyone was included in this prophecy; young, old, female, male. He talked about the signs that would follow the Spirit Filled life.
Then Peter transitions to preaching about Jesus. Jesus must be at the center of our preaching. Not just the miracle working Jesus but Jesus who paid the price for our sin. Not just the teaching Jesus but the resurrected Jesus. The disciples preached the resurrection because that was the power of God on display. Peter pointed back to David because thats someone the people would know and respect. He called them to repent and be baptized.
As earlier stated 3000 were added to the church that day. The church was born with a bang. The believers had an interesting start. They devoted themselves to several things:
- apostles teaching – submitted themselves to the spiritual authority of these men as a result that the church was in awe and miracles, signs and wonders were performed
- fellowship / breaking of bread – the church was a family, theres was unity and sharing of goods, they took care of one another’s needs
- prayer – communion with God, they praised Him and enjoyed his favor
God continued to add daily as many who would be saved. So we see a big growth and a gradual growth happening in His church. It wasn’t a result of a growth strategy but surrendering themselves to God.