Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pentecost 2

Today's readings: Hosea 2:14-20, Acts 2:36-47 (sermon text), and Mark 2:13-22.

We see here the early Christians in addition to similarities with a Christian's life today. Four sequential points are made: (1) The pilgrims to Jerusalem crucified their one true Hope; (2) They were reunited with their Hope; (3) They were baptized; and (4) They were blessed as they continued in their Baptismal life.
  1. God the Holy Spirit, through Peter, horrified the pilgrims, cutting them to the heart. Just like them, we were enemies of Christ, betraying and crucifying our one true Hope. So we should ask, "What should we do?" And God will answer: "Repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
  2. This reunites us with our one true Hope. This is no altar call - it is anti-Scripture to decide *for yourself* for Christ. Verse 40, in Greek, has a definite passive voice (both the NIV and ESV err here).
  3. The promise of salvation is for children as well as adults. Let both be baptized.
  4. Verses 41 and 42 are grammatically linked in Greek, indicating the totality of the Christian life: Baptism --> being taught sound doctrine + fellowship + breaking bread + the prayers. The common feature to all of God's family members is forgiven sins. So, because we are family, we share in the Body, helping our brothers and sisters. We all have the very blood of Christ coursing through our veins.
Finally, prayer is us speaking back to God. The sum total of all four elements is the Divine Service, the center of our week.

"And the Lord added daily to their number those who were being saved."

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