What Shall We Do?

Shortly after Jesus had ascended back into heaven, the disciples were gathered in Jerusalem. Being the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1), a Jewish feast day, there were many Jews from different regions who had come to Jerusalem (Acts 2:5, 9-11). It is at this time that Peter delivered what we often refer to as the first gospel sermon. In a sense, the gospel had been preached before. It was preached in promise to Abraham (Galatians 3:8). When Jesus began His public teaching, He taught the “gospel of God” (Mark 1:15). But this was the first time the gospel was preached in its fullness. The gospel was the good news of salvation from God made available by Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead which gave us hope of eternal life. Before, this was said to be coming. By the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, it was a reality. This was the first time the gospel was preached since all these things were fulfilled.
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Be Filled with the Spirit

Recently I heard someone describe some religious services he had attended. He told me of the bizarre and chaotic assemblies in those churches in which the churchgoers seemed almost out of control. Those caught up in this behavior would attribute their actions to being filled with the Holy Spirit. But are these outbursts the result of the Spirit’s influence, or are they an overexcited, emotional release on the part of these people?

Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus and said, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). The contrast is made between being filled with the Spirit and being intoxicated. Both being drunk with wine and being filled with the Spirit will affect ones behavior. So how does being filled with the Spirit affect us? Does it result in spontaneous, uncontrollable action? Let us notice the context.
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What’s the Point?

[This article was written by Matt Nevins.]

Each day millions of people wake up in the morning, go through various activities through the day, and go back to sleep that night. Some have developed a schedule that is followed daily. Life becomes repetitive and people tend to get stuck in the rut of everyday life. The monotony that may occur will cause individuals to raise the question, “What is the point to life?” Mankind has a fundamental need of purpose and a sense of value in order to have a satisfying or meaningful life. Answering the question, “What is the point?” will provide the drive needed to establish a meaningful life.

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The Strait and Narrow

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, KJV).

These familiar verses are a portion of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7). He was teaching the multitudes at this time about the coming kingdom of God. He showed them the character of one who would be part of that kingdom so they would be prepared when the time came. These two verses help show the type of person who would be Jesus’ disciple and, as a result, obtain salvation.
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They Think It Strange

The Christian life is different from the life of one in the world. Paul told the Christians in Rome: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). While Paul was giving his defense before Agrippa, he used that opportunity to try and “persuade” the king “to become a Christian” (Acts 26:28). The statement by Agrippa showed that he realized that Paul was trying to convince him to become a Christian. The very fact that he had to be persuaded to become a Christian shows that living as a Christian requires one to be different from the world. In writing to Christians, Peter said that the ones who knew them before they were Christians would “think it strange” that they do not live in the same manner that they lived before (1 Peter 4:4). Why would they think it strange? What is it about the Christian life that is different from the world? We will notice a few points from the context surrounding 1 Peter 4:4.
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Great Plainness of Speech

2 Corinthians 3:12

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12, KJV).

Paul told the Corinthians that he deliberately made his words and his message clear and understandable in his work as a minister of the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6). The new covenant Paul referred to is the gospel. He used “great plainness” as he preached. Why use such plainness? It is because of the hope we have under the new covenant. Those who obey the gospel have the hope of heaven because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. But why is “great plainness” necessary in preaching the gospel? Let us notice a few reasons.
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