“With many other words [Peter] warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day”
(Acts 2:40-41, NIV)
(Acts 2:40-41, NIV)
Some of those who heard Peter’s Christ-centred preaching wanted at once to do something about it. So he told them to repent. And to show their true repentance, they must be publicly baptized. About 3,000 did so that very day of Pentecost. What a joy that was to Peter, to all the disciples, to those who were just saved, and to the Lord Himself in heaven! If you read further in Acts 2:42-47, you’ll noticed evidences of Spirit-filled people. Because nowadays many churches are so obsess with modern day’s ‘Pentecost’, let’s check what happened to the first century church lead by the Holy Spirit as describes in the Book of Acts. They became…
A Learning Church. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…” (v.42). First evidence of Spirit-filled people is their hunger for the truth. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. And the Truth of God is the Word of God (“the apostles’ teaching”). I’m convince that Spirit-filled church is New Testament church that hold firm to the New Testament teachings and doctrines. They will not despise Christian mind and theology, but embrace it together with their passion for Christ. Don’t ever think that theology is dry as sand, true theology will produce rivers of living water. See here, there were “many wonders and signs performed by the apostle” (v.43).
A Loving Church. “…and to fellowship…” (v.42). Spirit-filled people love to be together. “All the believers were together and had everything in common” (v.44). Because the Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and the Spirit is in us; this love of God become the ultimate source for our love with one another. Not only that, because the Father and the Son loves to give good things for us, the Spirit teaches us to give and share with others too. For example, first believers volunteeringly “sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need” (v.45). Not that we have to do the same, but the attitude of giving should be the attitude of the Spirit-filled church. Their love is visible.
A Worshipping Church. “…to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (v.42). Worship is the expression of Spirit-filled people. Here I notices that their worship (or can I say their prayer meetings?) was both formal “in the temple court” and informal “in their homes” (v.46). Also, I realized that both the fear of the Lord “filled with awe” (v.43) and the joy of the Lord “praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people” (v.47) are mutually together. There is a place for formal worship. And there is a time for informal worship. But one thing for sure: We all must worship God with joy and reverence.
An Evangelistic Church. “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (v.47). Harry Boer in his challenging book Pentecost and Missions writes, the Acts “is governed by one dominant, overriding and all-controlling motif. This motif is the expansion of the faith through missionary witness in the power of the Spirit… Restlessly the Spirit drives the church to witness, and continually churches rise out of the witness. The church is a missionary church.” No doubt, Spirit-filled people are missionaries. As we go and witness the Good News of Jesus to the world, remember the Lord is the One who saved people. Once saved, they belong to us. Oh, may our church today become Spirit-filled church: continuous learning, extravagance with love, ever praising God, and missionary-minded. Amen.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.