Bible Reading: Acts 2:42-47
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and wonders and signs were being done through the apostles” (Acts 2:42-43)
After Peter preached to the people for the first time after Pentecost, the Spirit came and worked salvation and life into the very first believers. Around three thousand souls were added to the community of believers that day, and this group of people became the beginning of the church. They were the first to be spiritually revived and awakened. They were the first to be radically changed by the message of the gospel. What can we learn from them as we hope and pray for the same awakening and spiritual revival amongst our own community?
First, notice the origin and leading cause of spiritual revival. It is the Holy Spirit coupled with the Word of God. How did three thousand souls repent and come to Christ? It was only because Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, proclaimed the Word of God boldly.
Observe what Peter preached. He did not preach about morals or ethics. Nor did he speak of pathways to success or pathways for comfort and joy. Even though those things are important, Peter proclaimed Christ crucified. And through this, the Holy Spirit worked, just like how Jesus said He would in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
When the Holy Spirit works and brings revival in His people, see what happens. Acts 2:42 notes how the new believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, which involved breaking bread and the prayers. What was the newfound hunger and thirst of these regenerate believers?
First, they longed to commune in God’s Word. They were hungry to learn God’s truth and hungry to know Christ through the apostles’ first-hand recounts. Second, they desired to have fellowship in prayer and breaking of bread. Most likely, the breaking of bread meant the Lord’s Supper as well as a larger shared meal. These regenerate believers longed to deepen relations with God and also with each other.
v. 44 - 46 shows the kind of community the Spirit brings together in the church of the regenerate. There was unity amongst the people. They cared not about themselves, but they opened up their personal and private lives to be shared with the body of believers. There were love and care fostered, and relationships grew. Though yes, quarrels and conflicts would still happen, overall, they all had “favour with all the people”.
Above all, note what v. 43 says, “And awe came upon every soul”. Though they fellowshipped in community, each and every soul was in awe of God and His works. Every soul leapt with passion and zeal to know God. Every soul was satisfied and overjoyed in the love and glorious grace of God. Every soul personally and experientially knew the Jesus of the Gospel they believed in. In a loved-filled community, each and every soul grew in love with God. As the body communed in prayer and breaking of bread, they received it with gladness, and they praised God (v. 46-47).
Only the Lord worked to add to the numbers those who were being saved (v.47). And so, it is only the Lord who can send such spiritual revival. Have we asked and prayed for it within our church today? Do we seek a genuine spiritual revival?
Lord, as You work in Your early church, send a revival amongst our church today. Give us humble and repentant hearts, and may Your Spirit work through the preached Word to revive each and every one of us. Revive our souls to see Your glory. Revive in our community hunger and thirst for You and a genuine love for each other. We ask and plead in Jesus’ name, amen.