This page is a daily devotion. It will study a chapter of the Bible for 5 days one section at a time. Then it will move on to another chapter for 5 days. Included is a verse to memorize.
Acts chapter 2
Memory verse: Acts 2:38
Each book of the Bible has a unique importance. None is more important than the others, but each one has a special main purpose. For example, you read throughout the Bible that God is our Creator. However, there is only one book of the Bible that actually contains the account of the creation – Genesis. Certainly the 4 accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John of the ministry of Jesus are of utmost importance. Yet the church did not actually start in those books. It started in the book of Acts. The new testament is based on the blood of Jesus (Matthew 26:28). It is based on His death (Hebrews 9:13-18). A last will and testament is just a piece of paper until the person who wrote it dies. When Jesus was born, the old testament of the law of Moses was in effect. When John the baptizer came, the transition to the new testament began (Matthew 11:12-13, Luke 16:16). He prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1, Malachi 4:4-6). The teaching of Jesus recorded in the 4 gospels can be looked at as the writing of the will. It was put into force in the book of Acts after His death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus said the beginning of the ministry of the church would be in Jerusalem when the disciples received the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Luke 24:46-48, Acts 1:1-8). This occurred in Acts chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost. Peter looked back to that day after being converted in Acts 2 (Luke 22:32), and also called it the beginning (Acts 11:15). It is believed that the day of Pentecost fell on the same day Moses received the 2 tables of the ten commandments in Exodus 20. God now writes His covenant on our hearts with His Spirit (Jeremiah 31:33, 2Corinthians 3:3, Hebrews 8:10, Hebrews 10:16). As the presence of God descended on Mount Sinai in fire, and all heard the voice, His presence descended on the day of Pentecost in fire, and all heard the Holy Ghost giving utterance of the works of God. The book of Acts is the only place in the Bible where you read actual accounts of the early church “reading” the will, and executing it.
Day 1 – the baptism of the Holy Ghost with speaking in tongues
Pentecost was one of 3 Jewish feasts for which they were required to travel to Jerusalem (Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:10 & 16, 2Chronicles 8:13). It was called the feast of weeks because it was seven weeks after Passover. They were to count fifty days from Passover until the start of the feast (Leviticus 23:16). It was a celebration of the start of the harvest season. It was in the morning of this day that Holy Ghost fell. The disciples gathered there were apparently the same ones described in Acts 1:13-15. First they heard a sound like a rushing mighty wind. Then the saw individual tongues of fire on each of them. Then they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance. There were Jews there from all over for the feast. They heard these Galilaeans speaking in the foreign languages of the lands they had come from without having learned them. They were amazed, marveled, were confounded, and doubted. Some thought they were drunk. Alcohol certainly makes people behave strangely, but it does not impart divinely miraculous power. Some people think this example of speaking in tongues shows that its purpose was to spread the gospel to foreign lands. That is not true for several reasons. The hearers were Jews, and could understand Peter when he preached to them afterwards in the common language. Preaching does not occur with 120 people speaking simultaneously to the same group. That is the confusion Paul spoke of in 1Corinthians 14. When people received the Holy Ghost and spoke with tongues in other places, this was not to preach the gospel (Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:6-7, 1Corinthians 12 & 14). It was the initial outward evidence of being filled with the Spirit.
Day 2 – these are not drunken
Peter answered the curious crowd. He said they were not drunk seeing it was only 9:00am. He then quoted from Joel 2:28-32, and explained that what they were seeing was the fulfillment of prophecy. He was telling these Jewish people that what was happening was scriptural and from God, and not some bizarre demonstration of man. Unfortunately that did not settle the matter. 2,000 years later people are reacting the same way. Some are amazed, marvel, are confounded, and doubt. Others openly mock. Yet this is still scriptural and from God, which is actually redundant. People see miracles every day. Some just choose to be willingly ignorant (2Peter 3:5). That means they purposefully choose not to acknowledge it (Romans 1:18-32, 2Timothy 3:5). We need to pray that God will help us be aware of what He is doing.
Day 3 – God raised Him up
The same Peter who just over a month earlier was falling asleep in the garden, warming himself at the fires of the murderers of Jesus, denying he knew Him, and hiding behind locked doors (Matthew26:38-75, John 20:19), was now boldly peaching about Jesus after being filled with the Spirit. God confirmed who Jesus is by the miracles which they had seen. Yet according to the already determined plan of God, they killed Him. Yet God raised Him from the dead. Peter then quoted Psalm 16:8-11 to again show them the fulfillment of scripture. Peter preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. That is the gospel (1Corinthians 15:1-4).
Day 4 – what shall we do?
Peter continued his message saying that David never rose from the dead. He was a prophet, and knew that the promise of God was a prophetic one about the Christ, who was to be his descendant. Jesus fulfilled it, and now was pouring out His Spirit. Peter then quoted Psalm 110:1 as further evidence of this. Peter continued his message to these Jews that the whole nation should be sure that Jesus is the Christ. The hearers were sharply pierced in their hearts by this. They had been waiting for the Messiah for about 2,000 years. Now they had fulfilled the prophecies about Him, rejected Him, and killed Him. It is possible some of the same people who were shouting “Crucify Him, crucify Him” just 52 days earlier were in the crowd. They asked Peter and the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” They were not saying, “Oh no! I can’t find my keys”, or “Oh no! I forgot to stop for milk on the way home”. They were responsible for killing their own Savior, who had come out of love for them. They needed to know what they were to do now. The response Peter gave is the same response we are to give today, for it was our sins that drove Him to the cross. We are also responsible. We need the same remedy Peter offered. It was exactly what Jesus gave him (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-20, Luke 24:46-53, John 20:21-23, Acts 1:1-8). God has not changed the answer. It is still, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call…Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” This is our response to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We die to sin in repentance, we are buried with Him in water baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ, and we are raised up in newness of life by the power of the Holy Ghost (Romans 6:1-4, Romans 8:1-17, Colossians 2:8-13).
Day 5 – the church is born
That day about 3,000 obeyed the gospel and were baptized, and so the church began. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers (Acts 2:42).” They had the fear of God, continued seeing miracles, and became a community of believers like a family. The Lord added to the church daily. As Jesus said in Acts 1:8, the apostles preached the death burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and people responded by repenting, being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and receiving the Holy Ghost. This happened first in Jerusalem (Acts 2, Acts 3:12-36 & Acts 4:4, Acts 4:8-12 & 33, Acts 5:14 & 21, Acts 5:29-32 & 42, Acts 6:8-10), then in Judaea (Acts 8:1), then in Samaria (Acts 8:5-25), and then in the uttermost parts of the earth or to the Gentiles (Acts 8:26-40, Acts 10, Acts 13-28). God has never changed the message or doctrine of the church, nor its basic pattern as layed out in the book of Acts. There are over 2,500 churches listed in the Chicago Yellow Pages. That sound great, except when you consider they are not all preaching and practicing the same things. That is not the doing of God. That is the doing of the religion of man. God did not give us a menu where we can pick and choose how we want the church to be. He gave us the Bible, and the book of Acts in particular, to see how He started the church. The formula has not changed, and it still works (Galatians 1:6-9, Ephesians 4:4-6, Jude 3).