Friday, March 16, 2012

Mar 16: Acts 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is Acts 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • So now things get really different. The Holy Spirit fills the disciples and they start praying in other languages that they don’t know. It’s so strange that a crowd gathered and thought they were drunk. At this point, Peter stands up and raises his voice to explain what is happening. He shows that this event was foretold and goes on to say that Jesus, who was crucified, rose from the dead and is now ruling from heaven. The crowd is “cut to the heart” and asks what they should do. They believe and trust Jesus as their savior and leader and get baptized… three thousand of them! After the baptisms, the now-large group of Jesus’ followers starts sharing life together.
  • The Holy Spirit plays a big role in this chapter and also through the rest of the book. Here it says that the Spirit filled the disciples. Other places in the book will label this as "baptism in the Holy Spirit." In Acts, three things usually happen when the Holy Spirit shows up powerfully like this:
    • People pray to God in languages they have never learned.
    • People speak to others what God wants them to hear (the fancy word for this is "prophesying").
    • People praise God.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Other places in the Bible tell us that the work of the Holy Spirit is to:
    • Convict people of their need for Jesus (John 16:7-11)
    • Reveal the truth to people (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit is working inside those who follow Jesus to change them into the person God made them to be. Sometimes the Spirit fills believers with power to accomplish God‘s work, like in this chapter.

    NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

    • When the believers get together after the baptisms, they devote themselves to four key things that we should also live by:
      • The Apostles teaching: which was about how to follow Jesus as taught by the twelve disciples. An apostle is someone who is sent to preach (Mark 3:13-19) and in the Bible is usually a reference to the twelve disciples mentioned in the gospels.
      • Fellowship: sharing time with others in a way that encourages following Jesus.
      • Breaking of bread: remembering Jesus by having communion (Luke 22:17-19) or just having meals together.