A Pentecostal blessing – it was given by God on the first Lord’s day of this age of grace. We do not here refer to the gift of tongues or to baptism in the Holy Spirit which occurred on that day, but to the divine plan outlined by Peter under the guidance of the newly-given Holy Spirit. It is a blessing which all Christians should accept without question; it is a plan for all Christians to adopt.
The Lord Jesus was raised from the dead on the first day of the week. Fifty days later the Holy Spirit was to descend from heaven, and this He did on a Lord’s day, the day of Pentecost. This was the day a multitude heard a restored, divinely energized Peter proclaim the message to which over 3,000 souls responded. Drawing on Old Testament quotations from Joel and David, he appealed with ringing tones, to “Men of Judea, and all who dwell in Jerusalem” (Acts 2:14) to recognize the momentous truth that God’s approved Man, Jesus of Nazareth, had conquered death and the grave, and was now glorified in heaven (Acts 2:23,24,34). Then came the great challenge. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (v.36).
What a culmination to a power-filled message! What an example to preachers of the word today! There are no limitations or restrictions to this message.Peter proclaims clearly and unequivocally that Jesus is Saviour, Lord and King. The Man of the Cross (Jesus), is also the King of the Throne (Christ), and Master Supreme (Lord). There was no partial acceptance on the part of those who heard. They did not claim the forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus, and then go on their way to follow their own plan. But these redeemed hearts felt the full impact of the Spirit’s message through Peter, and they received it with its full consequences that Jesus was to become their Lord: “They then that received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41). About 3,000 people did this.
What is involved in the word “received”? It means that they welcomed, approved, accepted, and took fully, the truth contained in Peter’s words that Jesus was Lord and Christ. No wonder there was such a mighty response on the part of these redeemed, obedient souls to be baptized. And the same willingness was manifested in their embracing and implementing the rest of the divine plan in their individual and collective lives.
This, then, is the plan:
(1) They that received his word
(2) were baptized:
(3) and there were added about 3,000 souls,
(4) and they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching,
(5) and fellowship,
(6) in the breaking of bread,
(7) and the prayers (Acts 2:41,42).
These were the seven foundation stones connected with the first church of God of this era. There are no excuses to be found here for not being baptized in water; for not being associated with the divine dwelling place; or for not remembering the Lord as He requested. In their first love these early disciples were determined to have and to enjoy this Pentecostal blessing. So they were found to be experiencing gladness, praising God (Acts 2:46,47); they were of one heart and soul (Acts 5:32); the word of God increased, and the number of the disciples multiplied (Acts 6:7); and the outcome was peace, edification,and walking in the fear of the Lord (Acts 9:31).
It is one thing to share a common salvation (Jude 1:3), which all in the Body of Christ do and can enjoy. But it is quite another thing to comply with the divine plan outlined by Peter on the day of Pentecost. How do these truths affect us? Are we prepared to follow the seven principles laid down in Acts 2:41,42, and thus share in the Pentecostal blessing?