2.17.19 - Pentecost and the "New Temple" of a Covenant Family (Kenny Camacho)
SCRIPTURE: Acts 2:1-41
At Pentecost, Jesus’s disciple Peter delivers what becomes the first sermon in the history of the church. In his message, Peter tries to connect what is currently happening among those who are repenting of sin and being baptized in the name of Jesus with the longstanding plan of God for the Jewish people. Specifically, Peter says that the body of believers now being established is, in effect, a “New Temple,” intended to finally fulfill the initial promises God made to his people. This means that the church’s first identity is actually an old identity: followers of Jesus aren’t a splinter or sect, but people who are finally under the living and active Lordship of Jesus himself. This week, we want to consider what it means for us to exist as a church still in the shadow of that sermon: what do repentance and baptism mean, really? And how can we live, as individuals and as a community, under Jesus’s Lordship?
According to the passage Peter quotes from the prophet, Joel, what changes about the ways that God inspires or anoints people in “the last days”? How does that change connect to either Jesus’s ministry, or Peter’s point in his sermon at Pentecost?
What might have been frightening to the Jewish community in the early 1st century about Joel’s prophecy that, in the last days, “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved”? Are you ever uncomfortable with that Christian teaching (i.e. - that salvation is available to all, no matter what they have done or when in life they accept it)?
What do you think Paul means by the word “repentance”? Why do you think repentance is such a key part of the Christian view of salvation? How do you feel about repentance personally?
What do you think “baptism” is for? What do you think it accomplishes? Why do you think baptism is such a key part of the Christian view of salvation?
Do you feel like the requirements Peter lays out for salvation are either too easy or too demanding? Why?
Do you believe you have been “saved” in the way Peter describes? Why or why not? What questions do you have about salvation, and what can you do to seek out answers?