October 6, 2013 “Responding to and Living out the Gospel” Acts 2:37-37
It’s the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, and Jews from all over the known world are gathered in Jerusalem. But the Holy Spirit has come down upon the followers of Jesus Christ, and they have spoken in all different languages, certainly getting everyone’s attention. Peter has preached a powerful message explaining who Jesus is, what He came to do, and now we see the people’s response.
Let’s ask some questions about what we read here:
1. What do we see God doing here? What actions are only possible because God took the initiative? [Some are stated explicitly, while others are implied.]
A. He cut them to the heart (37)
B. He forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ (38)
C. He gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to those repent (38)
D. He makes good on His promises (39)
E. He calls people (39)
F. He adds people to the community of believers (41)
G. He fills them with awe (43)
H. He does wonders and signs through the apostles (43)
I. He moves in the hearts of the believers in radical ways (44-46)
J. He allows them to have favor with all the people (47)
K. He adds people to the community of believers; He saves people (47)
Praise God the Father for His wonderful plan of salvation!
Praise God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, for the work he did for us!
Praise God the Spirit, for His ongoing ministry within us!
Sing the Doxology (Hymn # 731)
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
2. Have you personally experienced these works of God? Do you see these works of God as part of your life?
Think about how God has worked in you and is at work in you.
Would a few of you testify to God’s work in you by speaking up and sharing in a just a phrase or a brief sentence? For example, “Thank you, Lord for calling me to Yourself when I was blind and dead in my sin.”
Amazing grace! – how sweet the sound – that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place
1 How sweet and awesome is the place With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays The choicest of her stores.
2 While all our hearts and all our songs Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongue, “Lord, why was I a guest?
3 “Why was I made to hear your voice, And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice, And rather starve than come?”
4 ‘Twas the same love that spread the feast That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste, And perished in our sin.
5 Pity the nations, O our God, Constrain the earth to come;
Send thy victorious Word abroad, And bring the strangers home.
6 We long to see your churches full, That all the chosen race
May, with one voice and heart and soul, Sing your redeeming grace.
3. How do the people respond in Acts 2:37-47? What are the responses and responsibilities of those who are convicted by God’s Word and God’s Spirit?
A. They hear the gospel message and ask “What shall we do?” (37)
B. The people accept the gospel message: they repent and are baptized, and are added to the community of believers (41)
C. They devote themselves to:
i. The apostles’ teaching
ii. The fellowship
iii. To the breaking of bread and
iv. To prayer.
D. The believers are together (44)
E. They have everything in common (44)
F. They sell their possessions and good, and give to anyone as he had need (45)
G. Daily they meet in large group in the temple courts (46)
H. They meet in small groups in their homes, eating together with glad and sincere hearts, and praising God (46-47)
John Stott sums it up this way:
i. They relate to the apostles (in submission); hungry and devoted to hear, obey, and believe God’s Word through their teachers.
ii. They relate to each other (in love): sharing, caring, and helping one another.
iii. They relate to God (in worship): with joy and in awe; together in the temple and in small groups in homes.
iv. They relate to the world (in outreach): the Lord saves and adds people to the church, and He uses their witness.
4. Are you responding to God’s grace like the early believers did? Do these attitudes and actions describe your life? Your small group? Our church?