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                   "CONVERSIONS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                     The 3000 On Pentecost (2:1-41)


1. The Book of Acts serves a unique role in the New Testament and the
   history of the church...
   a. It picks up where the gospels leave off, and provides a backdrop
      for the epistles
   b. It details the spread of the gospel, and expansion of the Lord's
   c. It is the only record, inspired or otherwise, of the first thirty
      years of the church

2. Included in the historical record of Acts are many examples of
   a. In which we find the apostles and other preachers leading people
      to Christ
   b. In some cases we can read the very sermons used to proclaim the
   c. We also have descriptions of what people were told to receive
      God's saving grace

3. The value of such examples of conversion cannot be overstated...
   a. For today we can hear or see many different "gospels" being
   b. Even when the gospel facts are faithfully proclaimed, sometimes
      people are told to respond in a manner not found in the New
   -- With the help of The Book of Acts, we can make sure that the
      gospel facts and commands are faithfully proclaimed!

4. In this series, we shall examine several examples of conversions as
   described in Acts...
   a. Noting the background of each conversion
   b. Considering the sermons proclaimed and the responses to them
   c. Analyzing the sermons and responses, seeking to glean the
      elements of the gospel message and what response to expect of
      those coming to Christ

[In this study, we start with the first example of conversion, "The
3000 On Pentecost", as recorded in Acts 2.  As we begin, let's do so


      1. An annual Jewish feast, celebrated 50 days after the
         presentation of the firstfruits
      2. One in which Jews would travel great distances to attend - Ac

      1. As promised by John and Jesus - Ac 1:4-5; cf. Lk 24:49
      2. Accompanied by audible and visual signs...
         a. A sound as of a mighty rushing wind - Ac 2:2
         b. Divided tongues as of fire sitting upon each of them - Ac
      3. Enabling the apostles to speak in foreign languages - Ac 2:
         a. Every man heard them speak in his own language - Ac 2:6,11
         b. That those who spoke were "Galileans" (Ac 2:7), suggesting
            the apostles
            1) For the apostles were from Galilee
            2) Whereas the 120 disciples were from all over Palestine
      4. The reaction of the crowd was mixed - Ac 2:12-13
         a. Some were amazed and perplexed
         b. Others mocked, accusing the apostles of being drunk

      1. It was too early for them to be drunk - Ac 2:14-15
      2. Rather, it was a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy - Ac 2:16-21
         a. Found in Joel 2:28-32
         b. In which God promised to pour out of His Spirit on all

[So we find a large gathering of religious people initially drawn by
the miraculous events which occurred this day in Jerusalem.  Having
explained the meaning of the events, Peter immediately proceeded with
the first recorded gospel sermon...]


      1. Peter began with the life and miracles of Jesus, with which
         his audience was well acquainted - Ac 2:22
      2. He laid the blame of Jesus' death at their feet, but said it
         was in keeping with God's predetermined plan - Ac 2:23
      3. He declared that God raised Jesus from the dead, and provided
         three lines of evidence - Ac 2:24-35
         a. The testimony of David - Ac 2:25-31
            1) Who prophesied of the resurrection of God's Anointed
               - Ps 16:8-11
            2) Who could not have been speaking of himself, but of
            -- Thus, the testimony of Scripture
         b. The testimony of the twelve apostles - Ac 2:32
            1) Who had to be eyewitnesses to qualify as apostles - cf.
               Ac 1:21-26
            2) With twelve witnesses, the demands of Scripture were
               overwhelmingly met ("by the mouth of two or three
               witnesses every word may be established.")
            -- Thus, the testimony of eyewitnesses
         c. The testimony of the Spirit's outpouring - Ac 2:33-35
            1) The outpouring of the Spirit was evidence of:
               a) Christ's exaltation to the right hand of God
               b) Christ receiving from the Father the promise of the
            2) And so another prophecy of David was fulfilled - cf. Psa
            -- Thus, the testimony of the day's events
      4. Finally, Peter reached the climax of his sermon - Ac 2:36
         a. The Jesus they crucified, God had made...
            1) "Lord" (Ruler of all - cf. Mt 28:18)
            2) "Christ" (The Anointed One prophesied in Scripture)
         b. This fact they were to "know assuredly"
            1) To understand, to accept as fact
            2) To believe firmly

      1. The listeners were convicted - Ac 2:37
         a. They were "cut to the heart"
         b. They asked "what shall we do?"
      2. Peter replied with commands and a promise - Ac 2:38-39
         a. The commands to repent and be baptized for the remission of
         b. The promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, a promise for
            "as many as the Lord our God will call"
      3. Luke then summarized what followed...
         a. Peter continued to offer testimony and exhortation - Ac 2:
         b. Those who "gladly received his word were baptized" - Ac 2:
         c. 3000 souls were "added" (later, we learn it was the Lord
            who was adding them to His church - cf. Ac 2:47)

[With this response to Peter's sermon, the Lord's church began in
Jerusalem (cf. Ac 2:42). It was an amazing day, in which 3000 souls
responded to the gospel of Christ. What can be gleaned from this
example of conversion?]


      1. Peter's focus was on the Word, not the signs and wonders
         a. His explanation of the miraculous was no more than a
            quotation from Joel
         b. Having explained the miraculous, he directed their
            attention to Jesus
      2. Peter's theme was the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus
         a. His life and death they knew
         b. It was His resurrection and exaltation to God's right hand
            that he sought to prove
      3. His main objective:  for them to accept Jesus as their Lord
         and Messiah (Christ)

      1. The reaction of the people is noteworthy: "cut to the heart"
         a. This shows the power of God's word to convict - cf. Ro 1:16
         b. While convicted, not all people will respond in the same
            way - cf. Ac 7:54
      2. The reply to their question ("what shall we do?") is also
         a. Peter commanded them to "repent", which was what Jesus
            expected Him to say - cf. Lk 24:46-47
         b. Peter commanded them to "be baptized", which was also in
            keeping with what Jesus commanded the apostles - Mt 28:19;
            Mk 16:15-16
      3. The purpose of their baptism was explained: "for the remission
         of sins"
         a. The identical phrase was used by Jesus in Mt 26:28
         b. His blood was shed for many "for the remission of sins"
         c. In both cases, the preposition "for" means "with a view
            toward, in order to"
            1) Jesus shed His blood in order to provide remission of
            2) One is baptized in order to receive remission of sins
               (for in baptism we are baptized into Christ's death
               - cf. Ro 6:3-6)
      4. Those who are baptized were promised "the gift of the Spirit"
         a. I take the gift to be the Spirit Himself - cf. Ac 5:32
            1) Not something the Spirit gives (such as salvation or
               spiritual gifts)
            2) All who become Christians receive the Spirit - Ga 4:6;
               1Co 12:13
         b. The Spirit is therefore "the promise" referred to in verse
            1) Who was promised by the Father and received by Christ
               - Ac 2:33
            2) Who was poured out by Christ on the day of Pentecost
               - Ac 2:33
            3) Thus poured out, one can now receive the "washing of
               regeneration and renewal of the Spirit" in baptism,
               resulting in justification - cf. Tit 3:5-7
      5. Those who were baptized were "added" to the church - Ac 2:41,
         a. When one is baptized (i.e., saved), the Lord adds him or
            her to His church, which is His body - cf. 1Co 12:13
         b. Baptism is therefore the "door" to the church (in the
            universal, not local) sense

      1. When preaching the gospel...
         a. Our focus should be on death, burial, resurrection and
            exaltation of Jesus Christ - e.g., 1Co 2:1-2; 15:1-4
         b. The evidence we offer as support should be:
            1) The testimony of Scripture (e.g., the Old Testament
            2) The testimony of the eyewitnesses (i.e., the apostles)
         c. Our goal is for people to accept the Lordship of Jesus
            Christ, acknowledging Him to be the Messiah, God's Anointed
      2. When people are convicted of sin, and ask "what shall we do?",
         we should reply:
         a. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (though not specifically
            mentioned, it is assumed in the call to "know assuredly")
            - cf. Ac 16:30-31
         b. Repent of your sins - cf. Ac 17:30
         c. Be baptized for the remission of sins - cf. Ac 10:48; 22:16
      3. Along with remission of sins, we should tell of the promise of
         the Spirit
         a. The Spirit's role in the life of the Christian is important
            - 1Co 6:11; Ro 8:13
         b. While the role of the Spirit is often misunderstood, we
            should not hesitate to make mention of Him as a promise and
            gift to those who obey God! - Ac 5:32


1. With the first example of conversion, we find Peter faithfully
   carrying out the commission of his Lord...
   a. To preach the gospel - Mk 16:15
   b. To preach repentance and remission of sins in His name - Lk 24:47
   c. To include baptism along with faith as a proper response to the
      gospel - Mk 16:16
   d. To make disciples by baptizing them - Mt 28:19

2. Is this the gospel and response being proclaimed today?
   a. Some preach the gospel of health and wealth, with a focus on
      "signs" and "wonders", rather than on the death, resurrection and
      exaltation of Christ!
   b. Some would tell the lost to simply "say the sinner's prayer", is
      that what Peter said?

Those who presume to preach in the name of Christ, should be careful to
preach as did His apostles; those who wish to respond to the grace of
God in Christ, should be careful to respond as did those who heard the
apostles preach!

Have you responded to the preaching of the gospel in the same manner as
did "The 3000 On Pentecost"? Remember...

   "...those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that
   day about three thousand souls were added to them." (Acts 2:41)
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