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Christians - Saved People - Scott Richardson


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May 2, 2010

Christians — Saved People

On the day of Pentecost in the city of Jerusalem Peter reached the climax of his sermon by saying, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). When the people heard this statement, and realized its truthfulness, they were pricked in their hearts, and cried, “Brethren, what shall we do?” In answer to this question Peter said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Three thousand gladly received his word and were baptized that day. (Acts 2:37-41). According to the promise made by Peter, and the conditions met by the people in repenting and being baptized, these three thousand were saved from their sins that day. Further in the book of Acts we find that there continued to be saved people, disciples, who now were known as Christians (Acts 11:26 ).

We have seen a lot of disasters lately — mine collapses, oil rig explosions, tornadoes. It means something to be saved from a mine disaster, or from an airplane crash, or from any tragedy or catastrophe; but it means even more to be saved from sin. If people are not saved from sin, they must spend eternity banished from the presence of God and from the joys of heaven (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

What are some characteristics of those who have been saved from the disaster of sin? 

Convicted People

When Peter preached that day, there were in Jerusalem devout men from every nation under heaven. (Acts 2:5). These men were very religious, and some had come from great distances to worship God. Though they were guilty of sin, even of the sin of crucifying Christ, they seemed not to be aware of their guilt until the preaching of Peter pricked their hearts. When they realized that what he said was true, they were convicted of the enormity of their sin. (Acts 2:37 ). Saved people, then, are people who in the light of God’s word have looked into their own hearts and have seen their shortcoming and have been convinced and convicted of their sin.

Converted People

Belief in Christ and conviction of their sins did not make them a fully converted, or a changed, people. When they were convicted of their sins, Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized … for the remission of sin.” (Acts 2:38 ). A little later Peter said the same thing when he was preaching on Solomon’s porch of the temple: “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away …” (Acts 3:19 ). The American Standard Version says, “Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out.” It is evident then that when Peter commanded the people to be converted, to turn again, he was commanding them to be baptized for the remission of their sins. Until they were baptized they were not a changed or converted people.

Consistent (steadfast) People

“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42 ). Their service and obedience were a daily affair. “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart” (Acts 2:46 ).

Concerted People

These people that were saved continued daily “of one mind” in the temple. (Acts 2:46 ). Later we read of them that they “were of one heart and of one soul.” (Acts 4:32 ). Christ intended for his disciples to be perfectly united, for he prayed that the unity which characterized his relationship with the Father might also characterize the relationship of his disciples— “that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21). When people are baptized into Christ, and are saved people, they become one in Christ. “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:27,28).

Committed People

“Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe …” (Acts 2:43 ). They had respect for God and showed it in their steadfastness and devotion. Without reverence worship would be in vain. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24 ). “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28 ).

Cheerful People

“Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart” (Acts 2:46 ). We have already noticed this statement in regard to unity,but there is something else that is equally important to see — gladness. Some may have the idea that religion is a matter of gloom and fear. The happiest and most joyful life one can live is a life engaged in the service of Christ. Even when Christ was in the shadow of the cross he could say to his disciples, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11 ). Saved people will be happy in the service they render to Christ and to fellowman, and in the hope that they have of life eternal.

Conspicuous People

These people saved on the day of Pentecost had “favor with all the people.” (Acts 2:47 ). Their upright lives were a power for good and were looked upon by the people generally with favor and admiration. Jesus had said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 ).

To obey the gospel and be saved from sin means much both in this life and in the life to come.

— S. Scott Richardson (thanks to Billy Norris)


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