And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. – Acts 2:42.
Those whose hearts were moved by the Holy Ghost through Peter’s sermon now said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (v. 37b).
Then Peter said to them: “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. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying: ‘Save yourselves from this untoward generation [the scoffers]” (v. 40). “Then they that gladly received his Word were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul. And many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house-to-house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved” (vv. 41-47).
What a pentecostal festival! What powerful grace from the Holy Ghost through the means of Peter’s sermon! Three thousand repented and believed in the Savior and were baptized! They were baptized for the purpose of their sins being forgiven and washed away (Acts 22:16). And, having obtained such forgiveness through God’s Word and Sacrament, they also continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine in order to ground and strengthen themselves more fully.
They loved one another; and it was a true, self-denying, and most active love. The most immediate fruit of such a justifying faith is love, love for the Lord and love for the brethren. And they continued to hear the Word and to receive the Sacrament, to offer prayer, praise, and thanksgiving. Their light shone. Even more souls that embraced Christ in faith were added to the congregation. Let us, the believers today, imitate more and more the faith, the love, and the gratitude of these Pentecost Christians, remembering more and more, with them, what our God has graciously and mercifully done for us through Christ, through the Gospel of peace, that powerful tool of the Holy Ghost!
The Word which we have preserved among us is just as potent and just as efficacious as that which was preached by the disciples on Pentecost. May the Holy Spirit, through that same powerful, living Word, continue to work in us now as effectively as He did it then!
PRAYER – My God, I am ashamed of the times when I have neglected Thy Word and neglected the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through that Word. Assure me of Thy forgiveness for Jesus’ sake! O grant that in true and heartfelt repentance I may be renewed by Thy Holy Spirit working through Thy Gospel, that I may become an ever brighter light to others, pointing them to Jesus and salvation in Him, in whose name I make this request. Amen.
We all confess the Holy Ghost, who sweet grace and comfort giveth;
and with the Father and the Son in eternal glory liveth;
who the Church, His own creation, keeps in unity of spirit.
Here forgiveness and salvation, daily come through Jesus’ merit.
All flesh shall rise, and we shall be in bliss with God eternally. Amen.
(TLH) – Hymn 251, 3: