Event(s): Peter’s Sermon; The Church Grows
Today’s Text: Acts 2:14-47
Tomorrow’s Text: Acts 3:1-10
Peter, the first disciple to recognize the truth of who Jesus was, is also the first one to speak boldly and bear witness of the Holy Spirit. We read in yesterday’s text how this move of God caused amazement in some, but drew criticism from others. Peter had previously been one to coward under pressure and questioning. But now, he stood boldly and preached his first sermon. Anytime we see the marvelous works of God manifest, they should point to the Person of Jesus so that those works will fully glorify Him. As here we see here, that effect was revival.
Acts 2:14 “but Peter, standing up…raised his voice” In the book of 1 Samuel, the prophet had explained to Saul that when the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him, he would prophesy and he would be turned into another man. (1 Samuel 10:6) The Spirit of the Lord transforms us. We are a new creation. Actually, we become more fully the person we were created to be. And here, Peter’s transformation is evident by the bold urgency with which he spoke. He had clearly been turned into another man. The bold, courageous leader he was born to be.
Acts 2:16 “But this is what was spoken” Once Peter saw the evidence of what was happening in their midst, the words of the prophet Joel and the words of King David quickened in Peter’s heart. He immediately made the connection, declaring that what they were experiencing was the ushering in of the new era they had all waited for. But the move of God could not be experienced or celebrated outside the Person of Jesus, who had made it all possible (vs 38).
Acts 2:44 “had all things in common” When the Spirit is active in our lives, our priorities change. Things that once mattered don’t seem to matter as much anymore and we find ourselves becoming somewhat detached from them and instead, become more attached to Christ and His body. We have an awakened hunger for the things of God. The benevolence the disciples extended towards one another was spontaneous and reflected God’s love in their hearts as they lived with an open hand.
Much of our effectiveness depends on our perspective. How do we see the world we live in? Do we only focus on how bad things are? Or do we see all of that pain and brokenness through the filter of how good God is and what He has done so that we can walk in freedom from it?
In verse 17, we find the phrase “the last days”. Jesus often used this phrase as well. And here in the book of Acts, those days are associated with some of the most magnificent manifestations of God’s power in the world.
But sadly today, most of the time we hear someone speaking of “the last days”, it is only with the most negative of connotations. Conjuring up pictures of destruction, increased sin and violence in the earth. Though the Bible does make it very clear that sin will abound (or increase) in the last days, He follows that up by saying that when that happens, His grace will that much more abound, or increase (Romans 5:20).
It is very important that we do not let the wrong perspectives set the agenda for our lives. We must become more aware of what God is doing, or rather, what He has done, and what He has made available us, to enable us and empower us to make a difference in our world.
The truth is, we are in the midst of a beautiful era, one that generations before us could only dream about. It is an era filled with the empowering grace of God to go about doing good, as Jesus did, and destroy the works of the evil one. The last days, most importantly, refer to the era of The Church, which started at Pentecost and will end when Christ returns. And these are some of the most glorious days the body of Christ has ever seen.
Today, it may be a good idea to consider what our perspective is – about the challenges we face personally, and about the challenges we see in the world around us. What do we see? And what is the filter through which we see those things? Do we only see all the bad that is going on, leaving us hopeless and overwhelmed? Or do we see the solution that God has so graciously blessed us with, and see ourselves as a vital part of the solution? Our perspective will either limit us, or cause us to rise up and make a difference.