#1) They Believed.
Acts 2:41 says, “Then they that gladly received his word.” The people believed that the Word of God was preached. They believed what the preacher said. The Apostle Peter spoke of Christ, the promised Messiah that came from heaven, died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead and that He is the only way to heaven.
Again the Bible says that they gladly received his word, they believed, they repented and were convicted of their sin and received Christ as their personal Savior.
Remember in Acts chapter sixteen, Paul was in jail for preaching the gospel. Around midnight, Paul and Silas were singing and praising God and the Lord shook the jail that they were in. The jailer knew that if these prisoners escaped, that he would have to pay with his own life. He came trembling in and fell down before Paul and asked the question on Acts 16:30, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Paul’s response was given in Acts 16:31-34, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.”
If anyone is to become a member of a local church, they must first come to the place in their lives where they simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9-11says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
The question for us today is, have you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation? It bothers me greatly, and it should bother you as well, that so many people who are identified with some church but have never come to know the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior!!!!
We said number one, they believed,
#2) They Belonged.
Again Acts 2:41 says, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized.” They identified with the Lord Jesus Christ by their Baptism. They joined with a local assembly, with a particular group of believers by their baptism. Has anyone here who has been born again, but never been baptized?
There are three things that make a Baptism biblically correct.
-First, we must have the right candidate. That is a person who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
-Second, we must have the right mode or method of Baptism. Baptism by immersion where you go down into the water and come up out of the water.
-Third, we must have the proper authority. The right authority is the local church, because Baptism is one of the two ordinances of the church.
The word of God says that they continued in the apostle’s doctrine. This was the same body of truth that the Lord Jesus gave to His apostles. By their Baptism, it identified them with the same body of doctrine adhered to by that local church!
This local church in Jerusalem was made up of people who had been born again. They gladly received God’s Word and were baptized. This means that they had publicly identified with the Lord Jesus Christ and with His body of believers!! The Bible says that “There were added unto them.” There existed a group to which these new converts were added. The Bible goes on to say that they continued steadfastly in the following,
-The apostle’s doctrine (God’s Word)
-In fellowship (The common bond that they had in Christ)
-In breaking of bread (Observing the Lord’s Supper)
After Paul’s conversion and baptism, he came to the assembly in Jerusalem. In Acts 9:26 & 27 we read, “And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. “
Definitely there existed a group of baptized believers. They held to a certain body of doctrine. They were a “called out” assembly. This is what the word “church” literally means. They were known for their faith in Christ, and they identified with Him by baptism.
In the assembly Paul came to “join” them. The Bible says, “He assayed (attempted or endeavored) to join himself to the disciples.” Listen folks, we are not only to believe, we are to belong to a body of believers who identify ourselves with the Lord and with the local assembly.
Baptism is a beautiful picture. It is a picture of how our Lord died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead. It is a picture of the fact that we died with Him, were buried with Him, and are risen with Him.
We said number one, they believed, number two they belonged,
And #3) They behaved!!!
These new believers in this church behaved in a certain way, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
Most people live as if this world was all there is. If we believe that there is a real heaven and a real hell, it will change the way we live. Our behavior is affected by our belief. One person may call his belief Christianity but if that belief does not change behavior, it is not biblical Christianity. The Christian life is the life of the Eternal One in us. John 17:3 says, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
As we allow the Lord Jesus to have His way in our lives, He crowds out the lesser things. The true Christian is to be a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know Him by faith, and we love him because He first loved us. We are encouraged by others in the local assembly who know Him and love Him.
Because of our mutual affection for the Savior, we love and pray for one another as we work together as a body of believers to bring other to Christ. We must come to a point in our lives where we trust Christ as our personal savior. We baptize those who have believed into a local assembly, and we carry out the great commission, to see others coming who also have a desire to follow the Lord.