Summary: Purpose, unity, direction, impact
A UNITY THAT GUIDES OUR STEPS
Acts 2:42-47 (p 772) February 27, 2011
When I was 6 years old my family took a trip out West…we traveled in a dodge Van that converted into a little camper…5 of us crammed into this little space…but it was one of my favorite childhood memories. We stopped at the corn palace, tons of little places on route 66, we visited the Rose Bowl…but the two places that stand out in my memory are Disneyland and the Grand Cany9on…Disneyland is a natural thing for a 6 year old to remember but the Grand Canyon was indescribable…Dad got us all up at sunrise the morning after we arrived …I remember watching as the dark purple sky turned into a glorious golden canvas…and stretched out for as for as you could see was the canyon….It was enormous….I'm sure I didn't know the word back then…but the word I would use now to describe the experience is "Awesome"
Even at 6 I understood this was something huge and beautiful….something so big it just didn't fit into my little mind…that's what "being in Awe" of something is all about. Your mouth drops open…there are no words to describe it…you just stand there admiring something way beyond your understanding.
It was just such a feeling which was going through the early church in Jerusalem…they were witnessing something so big, so majestic, so far beyond words…that the only word that Luke could use to describe it was "Awe" It bound this early group of believers together with a spiritual glue that could not be broken.
As you remember the day of Pentecost found all the disciples in one place and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter, the denier was now Peter the proclaimer…he preaches the "good news", that Jesus is the messiah. He bloody proclaims "This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge and you…with the help of wicked men put him to death of nailing him to a cross…but God raised him from the dead….(Acts 2:23,24)
At the end of Peters message he says "Therefore, let all Israel be assured of this God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36)
And when the people heard this message it broke their hearts. They cried out what shall we do? An Peter told them to "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for rhe forgiveness of their sins…and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
3,000 plus came forward to do just that. It was the birthday of the Church…and only one word can describe what was happening…."Awesome"
Here's what our test says followed. Read text Acts 2:12 -47 (P772)
As the early believers began their journey into the unknown with Jesus two qualities confirmed the church: Devotion and Unselfishness.
I DEVOTED TO THE CORE FOUR
"They devoted themselves…" this was a conscious choice of priorities.
These early followers of Christ had to make a decision for themselves, about what would keep them on the right path…what will help them be a the people Jesus wanted them to be and the church Jesus wants them to be…and 4 things immediately became the glue: