The First Members of the Church
A. History is fascinated with firsts.
1. First people
2. First people to discover America
First President of the United States
First color television
First person to climb Mt. Everest
First man on the moon
B. May 28, 30 A.D. was indeed one of the
greatest days in the history of the world.
Over 4,000 years in the making.
We read about it in Acts 2
1. It was the Day of Pentecost. A Day of Pentecost had been observed annually
for approximately 1,477 years, but none had been as special as this one.
one was the birthday of the Lord’s Church.
C. That day was the culmination of events
prepared for over 4,000 years.
had been in the mind of God before the foundation of the world was laid.
God had promised it.
The Old Testament prophets had foretold it.
John the Baptist had preached that it was at hand.
Jesus preached that it was at hand and promised to build it.
The apostles had been trained to proclaim it.
It had been about 52 days since Jesus had been crucified and 49
days since He had been resurrected.
Only ten days before on Thursday, May 18, Jesus:
given the great commission. Matthew
ascended back into Heaven. Acts 1:9-11
world would never be the same again.
D. According to the divinely inspired Word of God
in 1 Corinthians
very purpose of the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection was for the
redemption of mankind. “Moreover,
brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you
received and in which you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast
that word which I preached
to you — unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you
first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was
buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”
E. Just ten days before the church was established
in Jerusalem, Jesus taught two great truths to His
then eleven apostles.
1. God had given Him all power in Heaven and
earth. Matthew 28:19 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
2. He was utilizing that
power to tell His followers what to do henceforth.
Matthew 28:19-20 - Go therefore and make disciples of all
the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
20 teaching them to
observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age." Amen.
bible clearly shows that Christ requires all accountable people to:
a. Believe the gospel . . . . . . The Good News
b. Repent of sins
c. Be baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy
F. But first, the eleven were to return from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem and tarry there until
they be endued with power from on high . . . That is, until the Holy Spirit
came upon them.
1. That power was the Holy
2. Promised in John
16:3-15 and arrived in Acts 21-4
G. From Acts 2 these truths are revealed:
1. The 11 apostles did “tarry” in Jerusalem as Christ had charged them in Luke 24:49. They did in Acts 1:13
2. It was not time for the Word of the Lord to go
forth from Jerusalem just as Jesus had foretold in Luke 24:47-49 – And that repentance
and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning
48 And you are witnesses
of these things.
49 Behold, I send the
Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued
with power from on high."
H. The stage was set for establishing the
1. Jews from all nations were gathered in the
city of Jerusalem for the observance of
Pentecost. Acts 2:5 - And there were
dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
2. According to Acts 2:6 - And when this sound occurred, the
multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them
speak in his own language.
3. This was indeed a great audience, and in the
providence of God, a wonderful opportunity for beginning to spread the gospel
to all the nations.
Day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. was a GREAT day of many firsts!
First Members of the Church Became such in Acts 2 . . . It Was Great!
A. A Great Day - Day
Saturdays plus one day according to Leviticus 23:15-16
day God chose for the beginning of the church.
day prepared for since early Old Testament days.
B. A Great City – Jerusalem
& Micah had foretold it.
2. They foretold that Jerusalem would be the city
wherein God would do great
C. A Great Power - The Holy Spirit
had promised it.
Jesus sent it.
D. A great Speaker - The apostle Peter
1. In Matthew 16:18-19 – Jesus had promised
to give Peter the keys to the kingdom.
2. Keys open doors so that entrance can be
3. Peter opened the doors to the kingdom.
a. For the Jews in
Acts 2 . . . . . . Jerusalem.
b. For the Gentiles in
Acts 10 . . . . . . Caesarea
E. A Great Audience - 15
Dwellers in Mesopotamia
Dwellers in Judea
Dwellers in Cappadocia
Dwellers in Pontus
Dwellers in Asia
Dwellers in Phrygia
10. Dwellers in Pamphylia
in Lybia about Cyrene
Strangers of Rome
F. A Great Message - The gospel was preached. These truths were preached:
the prophecy of Joel was being fulfilled that day. Acts 2:16-21
2. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God
(perhaps inferring that He was
not approved of the audience) was evidenced by
the miracles and signs he performed.
have taken and crucified Him. Acts 2:23
raised Him up to be alive again. Acts 2:31
now sits on throne. Acts 2:30
has now made Jesus both Lord and Christ.
G. A Great Question - Now
when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the
rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Acts 2:37
1. They were not already
saved when they asked this question.
2. They had come to the
a. Peter was
right and they were wrong.
b. Christ had
been right and they had been wrong.
c. God was on
the side of Christ.
d. They were
guilty of crucifying the very Son of God.
e. They were, in
fact, guilty of murdering God’s Son.
H. A Great Answer - Repent, and let
every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
1. Isn’t this what Jesus was talking about in
Luke 24:47? “And that repentance and
remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
2. A closer look at Peter’s answer.
a. Since they were not yet saved when they asked
what they had do, Peter was NOTtelling them what to do because of remission of sins already received, but
rather he was telling them HOW to
obtain the remission of sins they were still in.
b. Why is it important to stress the significance
of the phrase, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
1. Some denominationalists render Peter’s
statement to mean to be baptized because you have already received the
remission of sins.
2. It does not read “unto the remission of sins,”
but rather, “for the remission of sins.
There is a difference . . . . . . There is a big difference . . . . . .
There is an eternal difference.
note carefully the order facts as they are presented.
a. The gospel was preached to those gathered there.
b. Romans 1:16 tells us that the
gospel is “the power of God to salvation.”
c. They were
commanded to “Know assuredly that God has made this
Jesus, whom you
crucified, both Lord and Christ." Acts 2:36
d. They came to believe this as shown by the
question, “men and brethren, what shall we do?” Acts 2:37
e. Peter commanded them to “repent.” Jesus said in Luke 13:3 – “I tell you, no; but unless you repent
you will all likewise perish.
f. Peter further commanded them to be
1. Since they were wanting to know WHAT to do to
be saved, “repent and be baptized” in order to be forgiven of their sins.
2. Had the sermon ended at that point, which it
didn’t, they people would have known that they would need to “repent and “be
baptized” in order to be saved.
3. They would have known that they were to both
repent and be baptized in order to be forgiven of their sins.
4. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”
a. In the order given, one’s repentance precedes
(comes before) one’s baptism.
is by the authority of Christ.
has a purpose . . . it is for the forgiveness of sins.
is a burial in water. “Baptizo” –
1. “Repent AND be baptized” are both connected by
the coordinate conjunction “AND.”
2. This makes both repentance and baptism
necessary for the remission of sins.
3. The conjunction ties the two together like the
coupling of two boxcars so that when the first car moves forward , the other one moves in the same
direction with it.
4. The word AND is a coupling word . . . A
5. Peter used it here to tie “repent and be
baptized” together and to make both to look forward to remission of sins to be
received upon these conditions being met.
5. Matthew 26:28 – “For this is My blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
a. Goodspeed’s translation of Acts 2:38 – “You must repent and
everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, in order to have your
sins forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit.”
b. I have never seen a translation that renders
it “because of the remission” of sins.
c. The Thayer Greek-Lexicon renders it: “To obtain the forgiveness of sin.
d. This is the way to:
1. This is the way to be
saved by grace through faith.
2. This is the way to
trust in Christ for salvation.
3. This is the way to be
saved by the blood of Christ.
I. A Great Response - “About
3,000 souls were added to them.”
1. Acts 2:41 – “Then those who
gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls
were added to them.
2. Verse 42 tells us what they did after their
obedience; “And they continued
steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread,
and in prayers.”
3. Acts 2:41 & 42 tell us about
their response to the Lord . . . But what about the Lord’s response to
them? Acts 2:47 - “. . . And the Lord
added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
J. A Great Beginning - The
Lord’s Church, for which He died, was now established.
1. The church began that
Satan could not prevent.
2. The church began that
Satan could not destroy.
3. The church began that
will never be destroyed.
4. The church began that
will be delivered up to the Father in Heaven.
church that God’s earthly family is a member of.
A. The first members of the church . . .
1. Were such because they obeyed God’s message
preached by Peter
2. Were such because they obeyed
the gospel by being baptized in order to have their sins forgiven.
3. Were such because, upon their
obedience, Christ added them to His church.
were . . . And are . . . Our brethren .
. . And we are Theirs’!
B. Many reasons contribute to Making Acts 2 an
important chapter in the Bible.
1. The fact that it is the
Bible at all makes it important.
2. The fact that so many
thousands of years of preparation and prophecy are
fulfilled in that one
chapter makes it exceedingly great.
The fact that the great commission went into effect in Acts 2
makes the chapter one of the most important ever written.
The fact that the true benefits of the shed blood of Christ,
forgiveness . . . remission of sins, went into effect that day lends great
weight to Acts 2.
The fact that this chapter records the birthday of the church
provides people with the knowledge to differentiate between the Lord’s church
and those established by men (denominations).
Acts 2 is an important Bible chapter in that it not only tells us
how to be saved, it shows in the example of about 3,000 people.
This chapter tells us what the Lord does with the saved . . . He
adds them to His church.
B. Miss Acts 2 and you could miss Heaven.
C. What a real joy and honor it is to stand in
this century alongside these great Christians of the 1st century.
D. The people we have read about in Acts 2
responded out of a great need they had . . . The need to be forgiven for their
sins. They responded to what they heard
from God’s Word . . . And so can we. Is
that not our need today?
1. We have the same Need
– To be forgiven of our sins.
2. God offers the same Terms– “Repent, and let every one of you be
baptized in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”
We can receive the same Results – Forgiven by Christ and
added by Him to His church.
Plan for Man’s Salvation