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Friday, December 30 2011

Introduction:

The study of the next twelve verses will not make much meaning without a brief reference to the preceding verses. Verse 15 says: "Now on one of those days Peter arose among the brethren, the whole number of whom gathered together was about a hundred and twenty." AMP

 

What days is this verse referring to?

You see the days referred to in Acts 1:12-14

What were they doing?

Verse 14 says: "They all joined together constantly in prayer"

         The first and very important observation was "Unity"; the Bible says they all joined together. Gen. 11: 1-6 teaches the power of unity

         The second was that they were obedient; they were obeying the divine com­mand, instructions given by Jesus Christ (Acts1:4).

         The third was they prepared their hearts for ten days "They all joined together constantly in prayer" (1:4). (Luke 11:13), (John 14:26), (John 16:7).

Now with all these in place, Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about 120 people) and spoke.

What can we learn?

Peter drew strength from the unity of the believers - There's strength in unity Eccl. 4:12

Remember the disciples at the crucifixion? They were scared and ran, Peter denied Christ three times. After the crucifixion, "the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews" (John 20:19).

But they were in obedience, in unity and in prayer in the upper room. It was in this process Peter drew strength to address 120 people

Secondly, Peter called the disciples to do what they needed to do. Stop licking your wounds, pointing accusing fingers or playing the blame game. It was time to put their house in order for what they were expecting. Everything had to be done right.

Remember Elijah on Mount Carmel in 1Kings 18: 30

"Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come here to me." They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which had been torn down."

Verses 16 - 20: Peter called for the fulfilment of scripture - Judas had to be replaced according to the scriptures, Psalm 69:25,109:8

This would serve to clear the air of any possible misgivings, tussle for power or position. He created a criterion (21-22). They were to:

Choose one of the men who have been with them the whole time the Lord Jesus lived among them, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up

So, they nominated two people (Barsabbas & Matthias), they prayed, they cast lots & Matthias won.

Following from last week's teaching, one of the lessons was that we should learn "what not to do from the apostles" - paraphrased

As an aside, is the issue of casting lots: Casting lots is quite Biblical. The word "lots" appears a number of times in both the Old and New Testaments. A few are: Lev 16:8, Num 26:55, 1 Chronicles 24:5, Jonah 1:7, and Acts 1:26. However, take notice that none of the Biblical illustrations of casting lots had to do with games of chance. Every time it was used, the Israelites depended on the Lord 100% to reveal to them His will. It was an impartial way to find God's will when choices had to occur. Proverbs 16:33 "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD."

Also notice that despite the fact that lots were cast in the New Testament, it was before the advent of the Holy Spirit. Compare the selection of Matthias (Acts 1:23-26) and the election of Deacons (Acts 6:1-6). The difference was the presence of the Holy Spirit in the latter scenario.

 

Conclusion

We can experience Pentecost and the workings of the Holy Spirit as it was in the days of the early church. But we have to be prepared for it; not just in words of mouth but in the things we do. We have to put our house in order - let's do what is right whatever it takes! Psalm 15, 1 Sam 4:9, 1Cor 16:13

We have to, work in unity (agreeing to the fundamentals) Amos 3:3, live in obedience (absolute obedience to the word of God; not tradition and religion), pray in righteousness (effectual and fervent).

 

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 10:49 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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