Acts Lesson 2 Day 5

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Acts 2:36-47

Questions

About 3000 responded to Peter’s words

12. Peter’s response to the question, “What shall we do?” 

—Repent–By turning towards God we turn away from our views and purpose, accepting the will of God instead of rejecting it. We “don’t have to continue the way [we’ve] been going, [we] can turn to God.” (Guzik)

—Be baptized in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One. At that time, only Gentiles who wanted to become Jews were baptized. By being baptized, these Jews showed they felt strongly about needing Jesus. (Guzik)

—If they repented and gave evidence of their faith and obedience by baptism, they “shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38 NKJV)

Personal experience

When I was five years old, sitting on my Dad’s lap in his office in Granberry, Texas, I believed in Jesus and was soon baptized. At the age of 15, I had a dramatic experience I consider Holy Spirit baptism.

13. a. The new believers continued steadfastly

The new believers continued steadfastly — “a steadfast and single-minded fidelity to a certain course of action.” (Longenecker)

Learning: They learned from those who spent many hours with Jesus and knew the scriptures by heart.

Worship and praise together daily.

Fellowship: They got together regularly in homes and the temple daily to pray, eat their meals, and take communion in addition to the public reading of the daily Torah portion in the local synagogue or temple. (Some say Jesus read the Torah portion in Isaiah.)

The Lord added new believers daily.

Sold everything: Jesus became more important than possessions. 

Koinonia of the early church

The ancient Greek word koinonia (translated here as fellowship) has the idea of association, communion, fellowship, and participation; it means to share in something. (Enduring Word)

b. Today

Koinonia

Koinonia goes much deeper than our occasional pot luck dinner.

The typical believer’s weekly (or less often) contact with others involves looking at the back of their heads.

Denominations and affiliations

Believers are segmented into many different factions who seldom associate with each other. In practice, the definition of unity is being in agreement about everything. 

Few new believers

Where I live, I don’t know of any institutional church that has more than the occassional new adult believer. Their’s nothing like the zeal of a new Christian to invigorate an assembly. 

Lack of zeal

Such zeal and devotion to learning, fellowship, praying, and community is rare today. Online friends in other parts of the world and BSF groups come closest to this model that I’ve found in recent years. 

Personal

I’ve experienced infrequent and inconsistent koininia other than BSF and a few short-lived small groups. People often live 30 minutes or more apart, have busy lives and find hosting others is a burden.

Praying together usually consists of bowing our heads while one person opens and closes a meeting.

Afterthought

I heard a podcast interview with a woman sharing about her home-based fellowship that came up with a plan to get everyone out of debt. 

 

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My answers to BSF Bible Study questions Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 2 Day 5