An Expanding Fellowship

KEY VERSE: “All that believed were together, and had all things common.” —Acts 2:44

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:43-47; 6:1-7

AFTER Peter’s wonderful sermon on the day of Pentecost, the Jews who believed were deeply moved and remorseful because they had crucified the Lord and Christ. They asked what they should do, and Peter responded, “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 Spirit. 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.” (Acts 2:38,39) To be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ meant to those Jews that they believed Jesus was their Messiah, and that he came and died to provide the means for their deliverance as foretold in the Scriptures. The means for their release from sin and being made right with God was through the shed blood of Jesus which provided for their justification. Having been justified, they would be begotten of the Holy Spirit. This opportunity was a peculiar privilege offered to the Jewish nation first, but in due time it was to be extended to those afar off, and to as many as the Lord should call.

The account then continues, stating, “They that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41) The enlightening power of the Holy Spirit on the minds of the disciples and all those who had accepted Jesus and been baptized had an immediate transforming power in their lives. They were in awe because of the revealment of God’s plans and purposes and their special privilege of cooperating with him then in promulgating the Gospel. But more than this, if faithful in serving the Lord, they would have the opportunity of sharing with Jesus in the work of blessing all the families of the earth in the kingdom.

They realized they were a people set apart because of their relationship with the Heavenly Father. They all felt so close, and the common cause was so engraved in their hearts, they sold their goods and pooled the money for the general good of all. The account continues, “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.” (Acts 2:46,47) It is interesting to note the last phrase of this text, ‘such as should be saved’. This brings to mind the fact that the Lord does not coerce anyone to receive his truth. It is the responsibility of those who have accepted the Lord to preach the truth, but only those with a hearing ear will respond. Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”—John 6:44

Therefore, it is the obligation of the footstep followers of Jesus to sow the seed, and those whom the Lord calls, willingly answer. It is not God’s purpose to convert the world during this age. The world’s day of opportunity will come in the kingdom when, as the Revelator says, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”—Rev. 22:17

The Apostle Paul, in speaking of the privileges and responsibilities of the footstep followers of Jesus down through the Gospel Age, said, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed, and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard, and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! … So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom. 10:13-17) ‘The feet of him’ is a symbolic expression which is used in the sense of being a messenger for the Lord, carrying forth the message of truth. In II Corinthians 5:18-20, the apostle confirms this thought, saying, “All things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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