These are the words we discussed last night in week two of our series, “The Church.” In Acts 2, we find the formula for inviting people into a relationship with Jesus Christ. First, Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit. While we might not see fire or speaking in other languages like the apostles did that day on Pentecost, it’s still an unbelievable miracle that God would send the Holy Spirit to live within those who pray to receive Him (John 14:16-19). Second, the apostles then preached of how repentance and faith lead to ultimate forgiveness found in Jesus. Finally, they watched God move in the hearts of many. While Acts 2 gives us great motivation and inspiration, how does that translate in our invitations today? I believe we can learn 6 keys from this passage.
I. Expect the Amazing!
As mentioned previously on this blog, because Christ is the cause, catalyst, and culmination of the church, then the church CANNOT and WILLNOT fail! We place people’s faith with God’s faithfulness, literally anything is possible, and we need to pray this way as Christians. Sometimes I feel is though we don’t think God is big enough to handle our problems, doubts, and requests, when Ephesians 3:20-21 tells us that God is capable of doing far more than we could ever think or dream!
II. Speak in their language, not yours.
While the discussion of speaking in tongues can be covered in a later time, I want to point out that in Acts 2, the purpose of tongues in this situation was so that people would hear the Gospel in their own language. When we invite our friends and neighbors into a relationship with Jesus, we should use language that can be understood by them so that they can make decisions for themselves.
III. The Spirit saves, we share.
This statement should give us boldness, encouragement, and freedom. We should have boldness because we know that we’re not responsible for how the meal’s cooked, but rather we simply need to get the meal to the table. We should have encouragement, but the pressure is off our presentation, and more on our application. We spread the seeds, but only God provides the growth. Finally, it should give us freedom, because we don’t need to be selective with whom we share.
IV. You’re not responsible for how they respond.
Even in the presence of a miracle, some thought Christians were merely acting drunk and they rejected Jesus (Acts 2:13). However, while some mocked and others rejected, three thousand people accepted Christ that day as their Lord and Savior! Don’t be discouraged by those who reject the message. Instead focus on those who receive this message!
V. It’s called the “Good News,” not the “Big Accuse”
Peter does shout to the people to “Repent,” however the goal of repentance is forgiveness and the gift of life. There is a difference between yelling at someone and pleading with someone. If a prisoner found a way out of the jail cell, he would not turn around and mock those still in jail, but rather say, “Come with me, I found a way to freedom!” We’re all sinners, saved by grace through faith, and therefore, we can talk of repentance, but with the ultimate goal of forgiveness.
VI. Honesty about sin leads to the beauty of forgiveness.
Peter does talk about sin and repentance because it is an important about of the Gospel. We can’t have forgiveness if there is not first recognition of our sin. It would be like offering someone a cure for a disease he didn’t even knew he had. Sin doesn’t detract from the Gospel, but rather, shows its glory. I love epic movies, and one of the reasons is because the ultimate victory comes with the greatest circumstances at stake. Sin when left to itself leaves us feeling shameful and empty, but sin when placed with the cross and Christ’s resurrection leads us to joy!
Invite someone today into a personal relationship with Jesus!