A crowd was attracted by the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost. There were cynical explanations. The followers of Jesus were drunk. There always seem to be cynical explanations.
Peter defended the new faith. Later, Paul would preach the same faith. Peter would also reiterate it after the gospel had spread to the Gentiles (Acts 2:1–41; 10–11; 17:16–34; 1 Corinthians 15:1–28)
First and primary, Jesus had risen from the dead. He was dead and became alive again. This was the foundational demonstration of the God’s power. He was the center of a restored relationship with God.
Secondly, God had given his Spirit to the followers of Jesus. This was the fulfillment of promises made long ago. Jesus’ followers would have power to live in a world that was focused on the now and the material. They would be able to see that there is more to life and that life does not end with death. (Joel 2:28–29; Jeremiah 31:31–34)
Finally, those who heard this message could respond and live powerfully in this world. It was possible to change.
We are faced with difficult challenges in our bent and fallen world.
Peter’s message is a reminder of how we can live. Jesus has risen. The Spirit has been given and we can respond to these challenges. We don’t need to be immobilized and distracted.
Jesus told his disciples that he was leaving, he would be betrayed, and he would be denied. He also told them not to be troubled. He was coming back. The Spirit would be given to them. And, they would have power to live in a world that would, for the most part, reject them. (John 13:21–14:31; 15:18–27)
This was the core of the powerful message that Peter gave in Pentecost.
How do we make these powerful choices?
First, we believe that Jesus did rise and that he is the Messiah promised throughout the Hebrews Scriptures.
Then, we know that we are empowered by God’s indwelling Spirit.
Then, we join the community of Jesus’ followers. We are not alone in this world.
Then, we make little steps of choices to align with Jesus in a world that seems far away from faith.
As a result of these choices, we join God in his mission in this world. (Acts 2:42–47)
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