Speaking of the mighty deeds of God. - Vs 11
I think it's interesting that when most of us read this passage we get hung up on the theatrics: The noise of the rushing wind, tongues of fire, speaking in tongues, wonders and signs.
It's a case of form versus function. And that has always been a problem for us as Christians. We read a passage like this and the temptation is to try and replicate the methodology used to get the results they received. But we risk leaving out some key ingredients. We stress the how and lose sight of the what.
In the midst of all the excitement, what was really going on? The disciples, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, were "speaking of the mighty deeds of God" (vs 11). Sure, they did it in a pretty spectacular manner - in a wide variety of languages that none of them naturally knew how to speak. But it was NOT the tongues that brought about the conversions that day, it was the disciples proclaiming the incredible deeds that God had done. Peter summarized what those deeds were in his address to the people.
- God delivered Jesus up to die as part of His predetermined plan
- God raised up Jesus from the dead
- God exalted Jesus back to His position of authority at His right hand
- God poured out the Holy Spirit as promised
- God made Jesus both Lord (master) and Christ (Messiah)
What was the result of Peter telling the people about God's mighty deeds?
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do? - Vs 37
Peter answers their question by telling them to repent and be baptized, so that they might "be saved from this perverse generation" (vs 40).
The results are pretty amazing:
- They added 3000 converts to the church that day
- They were devoting themselves to hearing the Word of God
- They practiced fellowship and community
- They experienced an ongoing sense of awe
- They witnessed signs and wonders from the hand of God
- They were meeting each others needs
- They were glad and sincere in heart
- They were praising God daily
- They were attractive to the lost community around them
- They saw their numbers grow daily
Pretty amazing stuff. But we risk missing out on it all if we just focus in on the spectacular nature of the tongues. The truth is we have all the ingredients to see these same kind of results today.
A hand-full of dedicated followers + the Holy Spirit + telling the mighty deeds of God = transformed lives
Are you telling others of the mighty deeds of God? Or to ask it another way, are you sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ? That's what this story is all about. It is the plan of God as lived out through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. That is what we are to tell. Like the disciples, we are witnesses to the reality of this story, because it has changed our lives. We are witnesses to the transformational, life-changing power of Jesus Christ and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. So let's start telling and watch what happens.
Father, your deeds are indeed mighty. But sometimes I want to see more. I want to see you do additional mighty deeds and lose sight of the ones you have already done. Help me to never forget that the greatest deed has already been done - You sent Your Son! And because of that, my life has never been the same. Give me the boldness to tell others. Amen.