Saturday, August 14, 2010

from perplexed to persuaded

Acts 2:12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "Whatever could this mean?"
Acts 2:36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Acts, chapter two, is famous for the arrival of the Holy Spirit at the celebration of the Pentecost feast.  Flaming tongues of fire and believers speaking in the languages of other nations are the burning images of the chapter.  But these are just an introduction to an amazing summary of the process of coming to faith, which is also captured in this chapter.  We see people who are total strangers to Jesus moving from ignorance to salvation and we see the major steps that must occur for us all, if we are to be born again into the kingdom of God.  It is first necessary for the Lord to get our shake us out of our complacence and awaken us to new possibilities.  This is what took place when people heard the uneducated Galilean disciples speaking of the wonders of God in every language of the known world.  This personalized the message.  Becoming "perplexed" is step one.  We must realize that there are answers that we don't have to questions we may never have considered.  Once we are perplexed we become open to new thoughts.  This is when Peter reviewed the prophecies of the Old Testament and their fulfillment in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus...and the appearance of the Holy Spirit in their midst.  At this point we face a decision: will we yield to the Lord and open our hearts and minds to His reality and truth?  We need a revolution to occur within our individual personalities for this to happen (called repentance).  That day, in Acts chapter two, three thousand people went from being perplexed to being persuaded.  The church that had begun with twelve disciples...then 120 had begun to multiply.  And the ripples caused by the Holy Spirit that day continue to travel over the world and across time.  I hope that you have been perplexed by the reality of God...convinced of your absolute need for Him and persuaded to repent (in a sense to revolt against yourself!) and receive Him and His Spirit.  As Peter said in Acts 2: 39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."
Rob Smith

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