God’s Saving Word: Faith
Acts 2:22-47: Peter continues his speech, speaking about Jesus’s death and resurrection and placing Jesus in the line of David as the Messiah. He invites the people to be baptized, and three thousand new believers are baptized in one day. The early church gathers each day for prayer and fellowship.
22 “Listen to these words, fellow Israelites! Jesus of Nazareth was a man whose divine authority was clearly proven to you by all the miracles and wonders which God performed through him. You yourselves know this, for it happened here among you. 23 In accordance with his own plan God had already decided that Jesus would be handed over to you; and you killed him by letting sinful men crucify him. 24 But God raised him from death, setting him free from its power, because it was impossible that death should hold him prisoner. 25 For David said about him,
‘I saw the Lord before me at all times;
he is near me, and I will not be troubled.
26 And so I am filled with gladness,
and my words are full of joy.
And I, mortal though I am,
will rest assured in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me in the world of the dead;
you will not allow your faithful servant to rot in the grave.
28 You have shown me the paths that lead to life,
and your presence will fill me with joy.’
29 “My friends, I must speak to you plainly about our famous ancestor King David. He died and was buried, and his grave is here with us to this very day. 30 He was a prophet, and he knew what God had promised him: God had made a vow that he would make one of David’s descendants a king, just as David was. 31 David saw what God was going to do in the future, and so he spoke about the resurrection of the Messiah when he said,
‘He was not abandoned in the world of the dead;
his body did not rot in the grave.’
32 God has raised this very Jesus from death, and we are all witnesses to this fact. 33 He has been raised to the right side of God, his Father, and has received from him the Holy Spirit, as he had promised. What you now see and hear is his gift that he has poured out on us. 34 For it was not David who went up into heaven; rather he said,
‘The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit here at my right side
35 until I put your enemies as a footstool under your feet.’
36 “All the people of Israel, then, are to know for sure that this Jesus, whom you crucified, is the one that God has made Lord and Messiah!”
37 When the people heard this, they were deeply troubled and said to Peter and the other apostles, “What shall we do, brothers?”
38 Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit. 39 For God’s promise was made to you and your children, and to all who are far away—all whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
40 Peter made his appeal to them and with many other words he urged them, saying, “Save yourselves from the punishment coming on this wicked people!” 41 Many of them believed his message and were baptized, and about three thousand people were added to the group that day. 42 They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers.
Life among the Believers
43 Many miracles and wonders were being done through the apostles, and everyone was filled with awe. 44 All the believers continued together in close fellowship and shared their belongings with one another. 45 They would sell their property and possessions, and distribute the money among all, according to what each one needed. 46 Day after day they met as a group in the Temple, and they had their meals together in their homes, eating with glad and humble hearts, 47 praising God, and enjoying the good will of all the people. And every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.
Today’s Key Verse: Acts 2:38
Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit.”
How did people react to Peter’s message (verse 37)? What did Peter tell them (verses 38, 39)?
What is the promise he speaks of? What does that promise mean to you? How is life among the believers described in verses 43-47? How would you describe life among those who are members of your community of faith?
I thank you, Lord God, for the gift of your Holy Spirit and for your promise of forgiveness in Jesus’s name. Bind all believers in close fellowship to worship and serve you. Amen.
And now, join us in praising God that audio Bible listening groups are opening hearts to God’s Word throughout Africa. Sovereign God, when churches worldwide were forced to close their doors during the worst of the pandemic, audio Bibles became invaluable tools for building faith and reaching the lost. In Togo, a 16-year-old girl heard your Word for the first time, and her life changed forever. She has accepted Jesus as her Savior despite being persecuted by her family and others in her village. Thank you, Lord, for her life transformation and for the generous support of Bible-A-Month Partners that help audio Bible listening groups reach over 2 million people in more than 50 countries around the world every year with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Praise to you, Lord God, that your Word brings the light of your love to those who had been living in darkness. Amen.
Acts 8:4-25: The gospel is preached in Samaria.