Distinguishing Marks of the Infant Christian Church (Acts 2:42-47)

Acts 2:42-47

Who does not like a good photograph? Photographs capture the special times in life, the birthdays, weddings, and moments that crystalize what is important in life. Though cameras were yet to be invented at the birth of the infant Christian Church, Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote down words that give us photographs of that church. The widest angle shot appears in Acts 2:42-47, after Peter’s Pentecost sermon. There we see what the church was doing in those early years. Those happenings represent what the one, true church has always been.

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I Made the Man of Sorrows Sorry (Acts 2:36-41)

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Acts 2:36-41

The protestant reformer John Calvin starts the first chapter of his theological magnus opus with the words, “Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.” It is tempting to think Calvin means that the pursuit of wisdom involves searching our souls and experiences. Continue reading

We are all like Judas but do not need to share his fate (Acts 1:15-10)

Acts 1:15-20

The philosopher Alasdair McIntyre once said that for something to make sense it needs to be put into the context of a story. So many of our disagreements today stem from arguments over what the real story is. The Bible offers us a story that can be counted on, one that makes sense of the world we live in. This story can be trusted because it comes from God.

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What if only prayer can fix this? (Acts 1:12-14)

Acts 1:12-14

Prior to the day of Pentecost, Jesus’ disciples committed themselves to prayer in an upper room (Acts 1:12-14). Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the gift God the Father had promised (Acts 1:4). Never underestimate the power of prayer. God has many times used the prayers of his people to accomplish great things.

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Jesus told his disciples to wait (Acts 1:1-5)

Acts 1:1-5

At his ascension, Jesus told his followers, “…wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about (Acts 1:4).”

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The Day of Pentecost was a Histrionicus moment (Acts 2:14-21)

Acts 2:14-21

The philosopher Alasdair Macintyre said that for something to be understandable it must find its place in a story. For example, suppose you are waiting outside a store on Main Street when all the sudden a young man comes up to you and says, “The Latin name of the common wild duck is Histrionicus histrionicus histrionicus.” The sentence makes complete sense, but you have no idea what to make of it. Maybe this young man suffers from mental illness, and he is repeating this phrase for no apparent reason. Maybe he has mistaken you for someone else he met at the last meeting of his bird watching club. He thinks you are the person who asked him, “Do you happen to know the Latin name of the common wild duck?” To which he now answers your question from the other day. Maybe this young man is a spy, and he just uttered the code sentence to identify himself to his contact.

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Fear and the Future (Acts 17:30)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Acts 17:30

Recently I met a friend I had not seen since the pandemic began. He was not his characteristic confident self. He was fear stricken. Understandably being in his 70’s he must be prudent and safe, but his demeanor was that of anxiety and fear as was our conversation. Continue reading

What is the church? (Acts 2:42-27)

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Acts 2:42-27

As a pastor, numerous people have told me that if they were to walk into our church building, the roof would cave in. I jokingly reply, “It has not caved in on me yet.” Continue reading

Pentecost – Can it Happen Again? (Acts 2:1-13)

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Acts 2:1-13

On the day of Pentecost we are told that Jesus’ followers were gathered and filled with the Holy -Spirit. They began declaring the wonderful things of God in languages that they previously had not known. (Acts 2:1-13) What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Is the Pentecost event to be repeated in some way? In this brief article, we tend to these questions. Continue reading