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Acts 2 and some other scriptures are instructive on salvation, membership and obedience. Let us consider the 3,000 spoken of in Acts 2 that were added to the church Jesus is building (Matthew 16:16-18).
A. Acts 2:1-13. They witnessed the miracle of the 120 disciples of Christ speaking in a way that many people with many different native languages understood what was being said. This was the result of the 120 being filled with the Holy Ghost and thus empowered by the Holy Ghost to so communicate with such people from many different nations and thus who only spoke their native nation language. One should note that such a speaking in tongues is not applicable to a church/congregation where the speaker and all hearers speak the same language such as the English language. Therefore that demonstration of God's power was essential to the Acts 2 event but not to an environment where all speak the same language In fact, for an English speaker to speak non-English in a church/congregation where everyone speaks English, to put in mildly the scripture says is disorderly conduct (1 Cor 14:20, 33, 40).
B. Acts 2:14-21. They witnessed both male and female prophesying which is speaking as the Holy Spirit gives utterance (Acts 2:4); this was not reading and/or preaching from or based on written scriptures but this was God speaking directly through the 120 as that is the difference between prophesying and regular preaching. This act fulfilled Joel 2:28-32. Note that Joel was fulfilled before any of Peter's and Paul's scriptures were written. That means whatever they wrote considered and is not invalidated by this prior fulfilment of Joel 2.
C. Acts 2:22-36. They heard Peter preach that God has raised up the slain crucified Jesus of Nazareth from the dead for he is Lord and Savior. They learned that anyone who shall call on the name of Jesus since he is Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21, 36).
D. Acts 2:37. After witnessing and hearing all of that, they asked what were they to do.
E. Acts 2:38-41. To their question Peter responds as follows at first saying:
2. and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
3. and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
F. It is common sense that repentance necessarily happens first as repentance is about sincerely turning away from those things that do not please God unto those things that do please God.
G. However, with respect to the above numbers 2 (baptism) and 3 (receipt of the gift of the Holy Ghost), Peter is not saying they occur in the spoken order the same for every believer. In Acts 19:1-7 the Holy Spirt fell upon the believers after being baptized. Yet, in Acts 10:44-48 the Holy Spirit fell on the believers before being baptized. So let us not be concerned about the sequence. Let us do our part and God will do his part in the sequence and timing and to the extent that pleases him for he is faithful that promised (Hebrews 10:23). Let us trust God to respond favorably to us as we do our part. Let us trust God to determine what the phrase "gift of the Holy Ghost" means as it applies to our lives. Regarding the gift of the Holy Spirit, let us not get caught up on how God dealt with the 120 nor other folks in the Bible nor other folks we personally know or meet or observe. Believers do not receive the same "gift of the Holy Ghost" (1 Cor 12:4) but every believer receives the Holy Ghost (John 20:22; Rom 8:9) and no received gift makes any believer better than another believer.
H. Now that means that the two things all of should be able to do are:
2. Be Baptized
I. If you have not repented and/or been baptized I advise all to take up your cross (Matthew 4:17; Luke 9:23-26; 1 John 1:9) by repenting today right where you are by sincerely calling upon the name of Jesus (Luke 19:10; Acts 2:21; Rom 10:8-13) and as soon as possible be baptized (Acts 2:38). Indeed, baptism is the one thing we can easily do to be Christ-like since Jesus was baptized (Matthew 3:13-17).
Then look to God to lead and guide and equip you with and by His Holy Spirit to live for him a lifelong continual life of repentant faith (John 8:31-32; John 14:26; John 14:15; Matthew 5:16; 2 Tim 2:15; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
(1) Admit you like all of us need a saviour and Jesus is the Savior we need (Luke 19:10; Rom 3:23).
(2) Unashamedly Publicly Confess and Be Baptized (Luke 9:23-26)
Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved (John 3:16-18; Rom 10:8-13; Eph 2:8-10).
Be baptized out of obedience to Jesus example (Matthew 3:13-17) and commandment (Matthew 28:18-20) as exemplified by the spirit of the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-29).
(3) Recognize and honor the Holy Spirit role in your salvation and obedience and endurance (John 3:1-8; John 14:15-18, 26; Eph 4:30)
(4) Be involved in praise, prayer, and hearing/sharing/studying and doing the Word of God such as:
Praise/Testimony (Psalm 100:1-5; 1 John 4:14; Rev 12:11);
Prayer (Phil 4:6);
Discipleship (Matt 28:18-20; John 8:31-32; 2 Tim 2:15; 3:16-17; Matthew 7:1-5; John 7:24; Matthew 7:6-29);
Fellowship (Acts 2:42);
Service (Matt 5:16; John 14:15; Rev 2:19)
(5) Do all the above with sincerety and commitment to living a life of humble obedient repentant faith.
(6) Be mindful that except for baptism all of the above are to take place on a personal level as well as a group level usually involving people outside of your immediate household.
(7) Be mindful that baptism always involve at least one other person and is therefore by defintion a public activity. Baptism preferably takes place in a church setting but can be in a non-church setting as was the case of Philip and the Eunuch (Acts 8:26-29).
(8) Belonging to and regular participation in the work of a local church supports all of the above not only for self but for others; it is better than being disconnected (Luke 4:16; Hebrews 10:21-27).
Salvation is for those who call upon the name of the Lord for salvation, those who confess and profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior; baptism is for those who profess such salvation.
Realize, Recognize, and Remember the Realness of a Being Who Created You and Is Therefore Supreme, Sovereign, and Superior to You.
Accept that this Sovereign, Supreme, and Superior Being is primarily called God in English but has many names in English as well as other languages.
Confess that you like all have sinned and in need of a Saviour and that God has chosen to provide that Saviour in the form of the biblical Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Do so knowing that Christ did not come to save you from other people sins; but, he came to save you from your own sins.
Believe on the prophetic Holy Spirit conceived virgin born; sinless; crucified unto actual physical death on the cross; shed his blood for remission of sins; buried in a borrowed tomb; resurrected on the third day; and ascended Jesus Christ of Nazareth; who is alive and now sits at the right hand of the throne of God; who promises one day to return to judge the world; and take his church to live in heavenly bliss with God for all eternity; and who speaks of a place called Hell.
Commit to living a repentant obedient life that glorifies God as led by the Holy Spirit knowing that all go through a process of spiritually maturing according to God's purpose and not at the same rate. Not knowing or understanding everything in the Bible or obeying every commandment without failure does not mean you are not saved.
Understand that the believer is first and foremost a disciple of Jesus Christ and a member of the universal church, the worldwide body of Christ. Yet, understand it is good to regularly assemble with other believers for discipleship and fellowship as a formal (declared) or informal (attendant only whether physical and/or virtual) member of a local/regional expression of the universal church in the form of a local/regional church. Understand that such an assembly can be in a house, park, building set aside as a local/regional church, or any other place for it is the purpose not the location that is important. With technology, it can even be a virtual assembly though one should participate in a physical assembly when one can safely and otherwise do so. So then one ought to regularly assemble with other Christians for preaching, teaching, studying of the Word of God and fellowship. Regular does not necessarily mean every week but it certainly does not mean once a year. Every person is intelligent enough to know what does not reasonably qualify as regular.
The Invitation is three-fold:
Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6-8; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 4:16-21; Luke 19:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Matthew 4:17; Luke 24:44-47; John 1:29; John 3:3-8; John 3:16-18; 5:24; 18:33-38; Ephesians 1:7; Acts 4:12; Phil 2:9-11; Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:8-13, 14-21; Luke 9:23-27; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 1:6; John 8:32-32; John 14:15; Hebrews 12:1-4; 1John 1:9; Acts 8:26-39; Matthew 28:18-20; James 2:26; Revelation 12:11; Matthew 5:13-20; Matthew 16:13-18; Matthew 27:1-66; Matthew 28:1-6; Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 9:27-28; 1 Corinthians 15:41-58; Matthew 10:28; Luke 13:28; John 16:13; 14:26; 1 John 2:27 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Acts 5:42; Matthew 18:19-20; Hebrews 10:21-27; Colossians 4:15; Luke 24:36-43
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