Friday, April 12, 2013

An international Sunday school lesson commentary

For Sunday April 14, 2013

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(The HOLY SPIRIT can fill and empower us)
(Acts 2)

In Acts chapter 2 Luke chronicles events that took place during the “Pentecost” observance, which was celebrated fifty days following the resurrection of CHRIST JESUS, or traditionally, seven weeks after the final day of “Passover” (Leviticus 23:15-22). Pentecost, which means, “fiftieth”, is also known as the “Festival of Harvest”, and the “Feast of Weeks”. In New Testament times, Pentecost also commemorated Moses’ receiving and giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.
In Acts 2:1-4, as Christians met in a house somewhere in Jerusalem, we see three great phenomena occurring, which serve to make the coming of the HOLY SPIRIT on that Pentecost day, an unmistakable and unique event. First we see the “roaring of a mighty windstorm” come down and fill the house that the Apostles and the others occupied (Acts 2:2). Secondly, we see the “flames of fire” appear and settle on each person in the house (Acts 2:3). And finally, we see that they began speaking in foreign languages, as the HOLY SPIRIT gave them these abilities (Acts 2:4). These “visible signs” are unique in that, in all of recorded Scripture, this is the only time when these three things occur together during a distinctive act of GOD. 
Since that day, the HOLY SPIRIT has come to dwell in every person that believes in their hearts in CHRIST JESUS, and we, as a result, belong to GOD. GOD has bought us at a high price by sacrificing the life of HIS only begotten SON as a ransom for our release from the bondage of sin and death. As we live in fellowship with GOD, HE will fill us and keep us filled, and when HE does, we will be able to serve and grow, and conform more fully to HIS word and will.
The HOLY SPIRIT adds “supernatural power” to the “shared nature of GOD” that we have in us already from birth, and HE enables us to win the battles within ourselves, between “reason” and “passion”, that, without HIM, we would not otherwise win a great deal of the times. HE further enables us to resist the temptations of life, that, without HIM, we’ve already proven to be too weak spiritually, to resist. In fact, HE actually makes us more aware of those times when we are about to move out of the will of GOD, and will prevent us from doing so, IF we listen, or heed to HIS prompting.
In Acts 2:37, we see the HOLY SPIRIT convicting those members of the “first Christian Church, through Peter’s words to them, regarding the wrong that was perpetrated on JESUS, by way of their role in HIS death on the cross. Peter goes on to tell them, that, the promise of the HOLY SPIRIT was not only for those present in the room that day, but it is a promise that extends to all who come to know CHRIST, and answer the call of GOD, in all future generations.
In Acts 2:41-47 we see quite vividly, the spiritual characteristics of the early Christian Church on display. We see quite clearly a picture of what the term “United by the SPIRIT” really means, and, we can see that the power of the HOLY SPIRIT transcends race, gender, and nationally, and, HE unifies us with GOD, through CHRIST JESUS. Here in this passage lies, perhaps, one of Scripture’s greatest examples of “Christian Unity” actually being lived out by the original Christian Church through their;

(1). “teaching and learning”- (verse 42)
(2). “prayer and fellowship”- (verse 42).
(3). “fear and reverence for GOD”- (verse 43).
(4). “sharing in the Church”- (verse 44-45).
(5). “worshipping GOD together daily”- (verse 46-47).
(6). “being filled with joy”, - (verse 46).
(7). All in all, they were a church where “good things were happening constantly”
      and “new people were receiving Salvation daily”- (verse 47).

What a wonderful example for modern-day churches to emulate. We see here in this passage, an example of “Christian Unity” that has been placed before us, and available to us, since the very birth of the Christian Church in Jerusalem. And even though this all first occurred on that memorable day of Pentecost, way back in the first century A.D, still, to this very day, in a very real sense, we’ve never shown an ability to duplicate GOD’s great example that we see here.  In fact, we have failed, as GOD’s greatest creation, to follow suit in too many other biblical examples also, simply because, too often, we only seem to place value on our own “human ingenuity”, and thereby, we de-value the things of GOD, even in “the Church House”.
I’ve often stated that, it seems as if GOD has placed a hunger and thirst inside of each of us, innately from birth, and the only way to satisfy that hunger or thirst is by seeking and ultimately finding HIM. It is for the purpose of GOD that mankind was ever created in the first place, and just as no man has never created anything that wasn’t for his own purpose or benefit, so it is with GOD. Man was created to serve GOD, and until we are able to grasp and understand that, we’ll just continue to meander around, looking for physical answers, to problems, that have always been spiritual.  

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

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