Acts 2:42, 46-47, 1 John 3:14
Our reading today is taken from Acts Chapter 2, beginning with verse 42,
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, and to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42, 46-47)
Back in 1878, there was a huge stagecoach robbery in the Black Hills of South Dakota, a value of about $400,000 dollars in gold was stolen and apparently buried somewhere in the state of South Dakota. The criminals were caught and executed before they could reveal the location. So somewhere out in the middle of South Dakota is a huge treasure that’s waiting to be found.
But until somebody finds it, it is absolutely worthless. All of that money or gold that’s sitting there does no one any good. Think about what Christ has done for us as a great treasure. Think what Jesus did by paying for all of our sins, by his death on the cross, he’s declared that we have peace with God. We have the hope of going to heaven someday. We are clothed with his perfect righteousness. God looks at us now as if we’d never sinned, and we are worthy of coming to heaven. What a wonderful treasure that Christ has won for us. But all of that would be worthless if we didn’t know how to find it.
All of that would be worthless if it wasn’t revealed to us. And that’s why our Lord Jesus ascended to heaven to send his Holy Spirit into the world so that by the work of the Holy Spirit, God would now help us discover this wonderful treasure. He would reveal it to us through his word when he teaches us about our Savior.
The Holy Spirit came in the form of a dove at Jesus baptism, he could have come in the form of a vulture, but he chose the form of a dove because the work of the Holy Spirit is really the work of Peace. It brings us the peace between sinful people like us and a holy God. It gives us the peace of knowing that someday we’re going to rise out of our graves. And so he specifically chose to come in the form of a dove to give us a comforting symbol of him and of his work.
And when we look at the holy Christian church in this world, the people who gather around God’s word and sacraments, we can see that wonderful work of the Holy Spirit in people’s hearts. Even though it’s something that takes place invisibly down inside of us. Still, it produces some visible outward signs of faith as well. Membership in God’s church is something that he does. It’s not something we do maybe feels like we do it, but God claims full credit for that. Look at the verse I just read. “The Lord added daily those who are being saved.”
When God adds souls to the Holy Christian Church of Believers in Christ, he is the one that does that. It’s his work and not our own. We see that the Holy Spirit also draws believers in Christ together, even though they may have a lot of differences in the world. Think about in your congregation, all the different people of different stratosphere of society, different income levels, all the differences that we have, and yet when we come together around Christ, and his word, we are all one.
The Bible says
We know we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. (1 John 3:14)
What a blessing it is to have been called into this precious holy Christian church whereby faith in Christ we can look forward to a future home in glory, amen.