Wednesday of Whitsun Week
Scripture: Acts 2:37-47 (NKJV)
37 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?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “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. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Those of the house of Israel who heard Peter’s words and were struck to the heart asked of the apostles: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” The reply which they received was not only an answer for the house of Israel, but for everyone who would be saved: “Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.'” Sorrow over sin and faith in the Christ, and the gifts of Holy Baptism are not for one generation, or a particular nation, or only for those who have reached ‘the age of accountability’—baptism is for you, for your children, and for everyone whom the Lord our God shall call. Through baptism we are joined to the Church, the Body of Christ, and thus it was in the apostolic age, and even unto this day: “…the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
The fellowship into which the saints were added was then expressed in a unity of doctrine and practice: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” That which we believe, teach and confess is that which the Lord has made known through His holy Word through the prophets, apostles and evangelists.
O God, Who didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people by sending to them the light of Thy Holy Spirit, grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth with Thee, ever one God, world without end. Amen.