“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace (1 Cor. 14:33, ESV).”
This truth spoken by the apostle Paul could not be more pertinent to our world right now. This world is filled with chaos. Turn on the news, and you will see crisis after crisis after crisis happening somewhere in the world—sometimes even in our own communities. It can be a brutal cycle to behold to without the right perspective.
As Pastor Mike talked about in his sermon on Sunday, the first church was experiencing a very tumultuous time in history, and after a long track record of ups and downs for the Israelites (to put it lightly) Acts 2 gives us a vital turning point.
The Church is born!
As Luke describes in Acts 2:1-11(ESV):
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
“Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.’”
Way back during the events at the Tower of Babel, recorded in Genesis 11:1-9, men were separated from each other by their languages and confusion reigned. Now, we see, on the Day of Pentecost, clarity had finally come to all who were present that day. And the “mighty rushing wind” that “filled the entire house” at that time is still available to us, right here at Harvest Christian Church and beyond … if we choose to follow Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to guide the way.
Just a bit later in Acts 2:38, Peter tells the people there with him, “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.” God has offered us the free gift of salvation through His Son, and Peter is here communicating the promise of the Holy Spirit in response to that repentance and salvation.
So comes that same question our series has been asking these last few weeks: Now what? How do we continue to follow Jesus as our apostle brethren began to show us 2,000 years ago?
Here in Acts 3:19-21 (ESV), Peter begins to show us the path Jesus laid out in front of us: “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.”
We first must repent of our sins and decide to turn the opposite way of what can lead to our worldly destruction. For it is only at that time we can begin to experience the Holy Spirit’s peace and direction.
After that, comes baptism into God’s wide-spanning Church—His Church that all of us here at Harvest are blessed to be a part of. We have, in fact, an immediate opportunity to do this right here in this building next Sunday, May 2: Baptism Registration [Click Here].
And then comes the beautiful Christian life. It is an epic adventure to be a part of! And one Paul emphasizes for all of us when he says this in Romans 6:3-7 (ESV):
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.”
For those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, growing and becoming more a part of what God has planned for us is now a guarantee, so long as we willingly participate in the relationship—trusting all along that Jesus spoke truth when He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matt. 6:33, ESV).” We are no longer slaves to sin, but rather, as we focused in on a couple of weeks ago, “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ (link to https://www.harvestworld.com/now-what-do-you-want-to-do-with-your-life/).”
Confusion no longer needs to reign in our lives, for God can and will deliver on that same promise He fulfilled at the birth of His Church way back in Acts 2. Thus, we can come to the peace and clarity that “surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7, ESV)” through Jesus Christ.
Do not stay in the dark anymore!
Join me for our 3-week dive into some of the key “Pillars” of our Christian faith, starting this next Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: REGISTER HERE. $20 to register. Lunch and childcare provided.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF …
- Have you been baptized?
- What more do you want to know about the Christian life?
- What, if anything, keeps you from better understanding who Jesus is? What sort of clarity on His identity would you benefit from?
- Where do you want to grow in your Christian faith?