Acts 2 is an incredible and pivotal point in the New Testament. It is here that the Church begins on the Jewish feast day of Pentecost fifty days after Jesus' resurrection. It is here that the plan of salvation is spelled out as Peter uses the keys to open the entrance into God's Kingdom Matthew 16:19(i.e. the door to allowing God through his Holy Spirit to rule in our lives). It is here that we see the incredible fellowship that happens among God's true people.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
In verses 1-4 we see the Holy Spirit come upon Jesus' followers and they speak in different languages specific to at least 16 different nationalities (vs. 5-12). Peter then gets up and preaches his sermon about Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and our responsibility for his death (vs. 14-36). Then in response to their being cut to the heart and their request of what to do, Peter tells the way to make things right with God, i.e.,
(1) surrender and confession to who Jesus really is
(2) acknowledgment of our responsibility in crucifying him through our sin and hurtful hearts
(3) allowing our hearts to be cut or broken because of this
(4) repenting of all our sins and
(5) being baptized in the name of Jesus so those sins are washed away we personally receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
God, on the day of Pentecost here in Acts 2, not only had come to earth in the flesh through Jesus but now has began to dwell in the lives of men, including us, through his Holy Spirit.
There are many evidences of in-reach in this chapter where disciples are found seeking God in a beautiful way through their relationship with one another.
Verse 1 finds the disciples "all together in one place." They were "together."
* What type of togetherness was it? ( Weren't they all waiting on the Lord and his promise of the Holy Spirit? Could there have been a unity of mind and heart?)
* How unified is our heart to work together, to wait together on the LORD and his promises?
2. Evangelize as a unit
Verse 14 states: "Then Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd."
* Since it is only Peter that seems to give this sermon, why do you think the terms "with the eleven" are stated? Could it mean that they were totally unified with each other and Jesus' message?
* How unified are we today in giving out Jesus' message?
* What type of heart does it take to be unified? Is humility involved? Where is my and your heart? How humble are we?
3. Little Christs
Verse 41: "Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."
* Note the terms "accepted," "baptized", and "added to their number."
* Why does it say "added to their number?" What was so special about their number? Did they know who each other were?
* Do these terms set us as Christians apart from others and make our relationship special?
* Do we cherish being a part of God's people? How special do we see each other?
* The term "Christian" means "little Christ." Do we treat each other as such?
The most in-depth in-reach part of chapter 2 is found verses 42-47. Here we find They devoted themselves to
(1) the apostles' teaching (God's Word)
(2) to the fellowship (sharing in each others lives)
(3) to the breaking of bread (the Lord's Supper)
(4) to prayer
These four things have been the outward (and inward) marks of true disciples of Jesus and the true church from Pentecost down to today.
Are we "devoted" to all four of these all the time or just occasionally? If not, what is it in our hearts that keeps us from this?
Note that this was not just a personal quiet time, but rather they were doing this together (vs. 44). Is there any such thing as solo Christianity or a solitary faith?
May God give us a heart for loving one another, being loyal to each other, to be with one another, to share with one another, to meet with one another, to give to those in need among us, to have daily contact with one another, to be devoted to the Word of God with one another,to be devoted to the fellowship, to be devoted to prayer with one another, to be devoted to sharing communion with one another.
Let us ask God for and seek after the heart of in-reach to one another.