Church 101: The Promise is for You

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)

For the next few days, we’re going to drop in on the first days of the church. The word “church” has a lot of different meanings to people. What we mean this week is a group made up of all Christians everywhere – and also the members of that group that come together to “do church” in a certain town or neighborhood.

church_350Today’s passage is the invitation from Peter at the end of his sermon just after the Holy Spirit had come to fill all the believers in Jesus. This is after Jesus’ resurrection and after he had gone back up into heaven. The arrival of the Spirit drew a huge crowd because it was loud and it involved supernatural sights (“fire tongues” above people’s heads) and sounds (people speaking fluently in languages they didn’t know so all could understand).

Peter’s testimony was that this display of spiritual power was evidence that Jesus – the one who had just been crucified and resurrected – is “both Christ and Lord.” Convicted, the people wanted to know what they could do. Today’s verse was Peter’s answer – and 2,000 years later we still offer Jesus as the answer to all who want to know what to do to be forgiven for their sins and receive the gift of Holy Spirit themselves.

Think: How would you put into your own words the basic message we, the church, hold out to everyone who does not yet know Jesus as “Christ and Lord”?

Pray: If you’re a Christian, thank God for forgiving your sins through your faith in Jesus and for giving you the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Do: Read Acts 2 to catch the entire story of this amazing day known as Pentecost.