Daily Bible Reading – December 07, 2022

(This is 24 hours late since I went early yesterday to hike in Palo Duro Canyon. It was a perfect day for that!)

The second half of Acts 2 tells us clearly who a Christian is, and what he/she does. A Christian is one who responds to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, first with belief that “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah” (2:36). The second response to conviction is repentance: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (2:38a). Repentance is agreeing with God that one is a sinner, turning away from sin, and turning toward Christ in faith. Then, the obedient Christian who has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in salvation, “You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (2:38b), will be baptized in water: “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day” (2:41). This baptism by immersion symbolizes one’s death, burial, and resurrection: “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ” (Rom. 6:11).

Acts 2:42-47 gives six activities of a Christian. The first four are found in verse 42: (1) They “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching,” which is found in the epistles. Christians devote themselves to the study of God’s word. (2) “And to fellowship.” This unique and exceptional fellowship led them to be “together and have everything in common” (v. 44), and to “continuing daily with one accord” (v. 46, NKJV). This fellowship included eating “together with glad and sincere hearts” (v. 46). (3) “The breaking of bread” is a reference to the communion service. They were faithful to the Lord’s instructions: “Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor. 11:26). (4) “And to prayer.” The study of the book of Acts proves this emphasis on prayer. One example is 4:23-31. “They raised their voices together in prayer to God” (v. 24).

(5) The activity of worship was prevalent. They spent time daily in the temple (v. 46), “praising God” (v. 47). (6) Evangelism was the resulting sixth activity of these new Christians. They were “enjoying the favor of all the people, and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (v. 47). The Holy Spirit had been given to them so they could witness for Jesus, and “many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand” (Ac. 4:4).

-Al Gary





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