| Peter : The Preacher
The book of Acts is written by Luke the doctor around 63A.D. Its the book that links the 4 gospels to the rest of the New testament. The gospels talk about the life of Jesus and starting Romans it describes how the churches spread to different regions. But Acts tells us how the churches started with 120 disciples and then 3000 got added on the 1st day alone. Today we are going to see the life of Peter the first 12 chapters are totally about his inspiring life.
1. Preach the Word
36 "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."
41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Peter is full of the holy spirit and he is fired up to preach the word of God. He lets them know that they (Israelites) were responsible for crucifying Jesus.
Q: Why does Peter hold those Israelites responsible who were not even present during the crucifixion? (Its their sin that crucified Jesus) V37 says that their heart was cut and they were broken about their sin.
Q: What kind of sorrow did they have? [Godly Sorrow]
Some of us get emotional when challenged on our sin, or weakness. Getting emotional is worldly sorrow where what you are saying is "come and encourage me". Worldly sorrow makes you feel good but does not bring about the desired change in character. Today have you repented of all your bad attitudes, laziness, impure thoughts or motives. Acts 3:19 says when you totally repent times of refreshing comes. If you are getting repeatedly challenged on the same sin, have you repented?
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
V38 Peter instructs them to get baptized after they repented? Q: Do you remember how you felt the day you got baptized? (Share about the last person who got baptized in your family group) V40 Peter warns them and pleads with them to save themselves from this corrupt world.
Some of you are coming week after week without making any decision, the Bible says the only way to be saved and enter the kingdom of God is to get baptized. Then not 1 or 2 or 3 but 3000 got baptized in that eventful day. What an inspiring way to start the movement? Satan must have been most unhappy on that day.
Q: Do you come to witness the baptisms of your zone or family group? Satan's happy is when you don't even go see your brother / sister's happiest day of their life.
2. Stay in the family
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The first century Christians were a family. That's what Jesus wants our family group to be like.
( They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching ) V42
Q: Are you devoted to Bible study? Are you learning, applying, following or is it another legalistic thing that you fulfill because you are a Christian. Q: Do you bring your Bible to the meetings? Q: Do you have a book when you write notes.
( They were devoted to fellowship ) V42
Q: Could it be said about you?
Q: Are you giving at the meeting, encouraging the speaker, answer when questions are asked, eager to share good news, encouraging others, singing or are you are the one who looks for others to encourage you?
( They broke bread together ) V42
Q: Do you invite others to your house for tea, snacks or even a simple meal?
( They were devoted to prayer ) V42
Q: How is your quiet time? Do you feel close to the Lord after you have prayed?
( They had everything in common ) V44
Q: Do you share your life with others? Do you share others burdens. Do you help others when they are sick, jobless, discouraged? Its usually not a good idea to give financial help to those in need of money. It makes people dependent on the helper and does not teach him to be financially disciplined.
( Everyday they continued to meet together ) V46
Q: What's our excuse for not coming for three meetings of the body? Lets get fired up about meeting together. Meeting together brings unity. Everyone knows about each others needs. Everyone seems to know about the other persons life and should take an interest in their life too.
( The Lord added to their number daily ) V47
When a church is a family it grows. People in the world need to see the love, concern, hospitality and want to be a part of the movement. When they see that they are ready to give up anything - O.T., worldly friends, sins that they struggle with, laziness to become a disciple, they also want to join the family. To make our family group a family it start with you.