A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
Study 5: SUPERNATURAL WONDERS IN A SPIRIT-BAPTIZED CHURCH
The purpose of Pentecost immediately became visible for all to see. The promise of the baptism was given so that we receive power to be effective and fruitbearing witnesses of Christ. The best proof of a Holy Spirit ministry is the conversion of souls. At the beginning of Christ’s ministry, the Lord had promised, “I will make you fishers of men” and this first evangelistic event after Pentecost proved the promise fulfilled. The response of about 3000 souls who became stedfast disciples of Christ after hearing a single message preached by Spirit baptized Peter must have reminded them of Christ’s promise.
The 3000 souls were genuine converts. The proof of genuine repentance and conversion was that they continued stedfastly in the teaching of Christ as expounded by the Apostles; they were all separated from the world and in fellowship with the believers. They also expressed complete, unwavering dependence on the Lord as they continued in breaking of bread, and in prayers, trusting in the Lord without any reservation or vacillation. All the Apostles, disciples and new converts became a witnessing community “and the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). Such as were saved, truly saved; and “such as should be saved”, finally saved. The addition happened DAILY because the believers were all preaching the saving gospel, the life-changing gospel, the heart-transforming gospel DAILY. “And DAILY in the temple, and IN EVERY HOUSE, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42). May the whole Church be committed to doing the same thing today.
SUPERNATURAL CONVERSION IN AN UNSPOTTED CHURCH
Acts 2:37-42; 3:19,26; Matthew 18:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10; John 17:6-8, 14-16; James 1:27; John 8:31,32; Acts 11:23-26; 14:21-23; 1 Timothy 4:15,16; 2 Timothy 3:14; Hebrews 10:25,38,39.
In response to the question of convicted sinners, the Apostle emphasized, “Repent”. Repentance implies sorrow for sin as committed against God, with a purpose to forsake it. The sinner sees sin to be evil and hates it. He trembles at the thought of future unending punishment and flees from the wrath to come. True repentance is the work of God in the sinner’s heart, and it leads to definite and lasting conversion (Acts 5:31). Such repentance will enable the sinner to turn and to return to the path of righteousness. The whole heart turns unto God, he forsakes sin and follows Christ wholeheartedly. Turning from all past sins, he receives forgiveness; all the sins are blotted out and washed away and a new life begins in the grace and power of God.
These converts gladly and joyfully received the Word; they rejoiced in the privilege of becoming reconciled with God through Jesus Christ. They so yielded themselves to God with all readiness of mind and submitted to water baptism as commanded by Christ. Immersed in water and raised up, they identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. By the public observance of water baptism, they separated themselves from the world that crucified Christ and would henceforth live and keep themselves unspotted from the world. From that time on, each one knew that “the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).
SINGLE-MINDED CONGREGATION, AN UNSELFISH CHURCH
Acts 2:43-46; 4:29-33; 5:12-16; 8:6; 15:25-29; Romans 15:4-7; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 2:2-8; Acts 11:23; Romans 6:17,18; Ephesians 6:5,6; 1 John 3:11-18.
These converts in the sanctified, Spirit-filled church continued stedfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine. The members of the single-minded congregation were saved, separated, stedfast, sanctified, sacrificial, spiritual and successful in soulwinning. They were cheerfully devoted to the study of God’s Word and dedicated to living by the Word. Their love for God and for one another was practical, uplifting and encouraging. They all partook of the Lord’s supper frequently and received great spiritual benefits. The week-day prayer meetings and study of the Word were fully attended. Their commitment to God’s Word, God’s way, God’s will, and God’s worship is an example as well as an encouragement for the Church today.
“And many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.” The Apostles who had just been baptized with the Holy Ghost were endued with power from on high. They had power to preach, power to heal, power to do exploits and perform miracles, signs and wonders, power to subdue circumstances, to do the will of God, power to live victoriously and overcome the world.
“And all that believed were together, and had all things common,” ministering “to all men, as every man had need.” Faith in Christ enabled these believers and they loved one another as Christ loved them. There was no discrimination, discord, debate or disagreement among them. Their love had a purposeful, positive and profitable demonstration. The grace of God and the power of the Spirit are still the same and God’s believing people can also demonstrate the same fellowship, love, unity and power today.
SOUL-WINNING COMMITMENT IN AN UNSTOPPABLE CHURCH
Acts 2:47,41; 4:4,31-33; 5:14,17-20,27-29; 6:4,7; 8:3-5,14,25; 9:29-31; 10:24,27,33-44; 11:19-24; 14:1-3, 21-23; 17:1-4,11,12; 18:4,8-11; 19:18-20.
“And the Lord added to the church DAILY such as should be saved.” Daily evangelism and sacrificial soulwinning characterized the early church. Addition to the church, church growth and church multiplication naturally became the result of thousands of believers sharing their testimonies, demonstrating the love of Christ, preaching the gospel and leading souls to their Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. “And the Lord added to the church.” The addition was not through infant baptism; it was through the repentance and conversion of sinners to Christ. The growth of the church was not the result of granting religious titles or position to unconverted people in the society; the Lord added saved souls to His Church. Only the Lord can effectively add to His Church. Not all the additions done by men are part of His church. Men may add Simon whose heart is not right or righteous (Acts 8:21), Ananias and Sapphira who lie to the Holy Ghost (Acts 5:3), a damsel who follows the servants of God to prayer (Acts 16:16,17) or the sons of Sceva who go about trying to cast out devils (Acts 19:13-15) but all those additions will be separated from the true Church on the final day. “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom ALL things that offend, and THEM which do iniquity” Matthew 13:40,41.
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