Foundations of the Faith – Part Two

For the Church to regain its life-giving qualities it must correct the foundational truths that it once believed and preached and go back to correct biblical teaching thus laying the proper foundation. This is happening in major ways around the world today as Jesus corrects the foundational teachings of His Church and bring it back into line with biblical truth. One key to a proper foundation is “repentance.”

The apostle Peter first announced the foundation’s blueprint on the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. The Feast of Pentecost was also called the Feast of Weeks or the Feast of Harvest in the Old Testament (Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:15-22; Numbers 28:26; Deuteronomy 16:10,16). It was one of three major religious events in Israel’s sacred calendar. And, the fact that this particular feast was focused on the harvest is important to note as the Church was born on this special feast day to “go into al the world and make disciples” bringing in a continual harvest of souls for Jesus. 

The feast celebrated the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai and the birth of natural Israel as a covenant nation. Now, on natural Israel’s anniversary, spiritual Israel, the Church, was born as the New Covenant nation. 

1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

The feast drew large crowds. Devout Jews from all over the world as well as proselytes* to Judaism attended it. Acts lists people from fifteen nations and regions. At 9:00 in the morning thousands of them heard strange sounds coming from a house. Amazed and perplexed, they stopped to inquire. While some mocked, Peter stood up — perhaps on an upper balcony — and preached his first sermon under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Peter pointed to Christ’s supernatural life and ministry, which had been seen by people who lived in Jerusalem and the surrounding districts. He used Psalm 16:8-11 to support his claim that Jesus is the Messiah — Lard and Saviour. And that Jesus rose from the dead. Then he declared:

Acts 2:32-33 “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.”

The resurrected, exalted Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, was now pouring out the Holy Spirit on all flesh as the Father had promised through the prophet Joel.

Joel 2:28-32 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams,

and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants

in those days I will pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.”

The New Covenant age, the age of the Holy Spirit (also known as the Church age), had dawned upon the world. The Holy Spirit moved upon the hearts of the people listening to Peter and convicted them of their sins. The Bible tells us that they were cut to the heart because of what they had done. Prophecy had been fulfilled in Jesus, the Messiah, whom they had rejected and crucified, and now they were convicted (see John 16:8-10 for the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation).

Acts 2:37 “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

A new day had come and a New Covenant offered salvation,. Peter gave everyone hearing the news about the earth-shaking offer a chance to respond to it. He called everyone within the sound of his voice to lay the New Covenant foundation in their lives. He called them to repent, get baptized in water by immersion, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

* proselytes … a person who has changed from one opinion, religious belief, sect, or the like, to another; a convert.