There is a need for clarity from the church to the world. There was in the book of Acts and there still is for the church in the year 2021.
In the post ascension, post Pentecost, heads on fire, world of the early church, they immediately encountered a problem of perception.
What’s the perception the world had of who the church is? A bunch of drunks stuttering off some odd languages. See for yourself in Acts 2:13 as the crowd accuses the disciples (Spirit filled disciples that is) of being filled with too much wine, too early in the morning.
We should pause here for a minute and chew on something that we, as the church, should expect on this side of glory – that is, we will be misunderstood by the world. It’s at this point we have an incredibly important decision to make. Will we scoff and declare, “good riddance to the world, taunt us all you want, we know where y’all are going!”
This certainly doesn’t seem like the heart of God. The heart that sent His one and only Son to the world because He loves the world.
Perhaps another option is the one of the very first post Pentecost sermon by the church, which was given by none other than that rascal Peter. Notice too in Acts 2:14-15, this sermon was given to give clarity to the world, from the church. Again, the sermon is to give clarity as to why the disciples are acting and talking in a certain way. The sermon was for the world, in the power of the Spirit, from the church.
How does Peter give clarity in his preaching? He tells the story of Jesus. Our first post Pentecost sermon was telling the story of Jesus! Folks, we are still in a Post-Pentecost reality! This is still our reality of offering clarity to the world, we tell the story of Jesus.
As the sermon wraps up Peter gives an invitation, not merely of how to get into heaven, but how to be saved from sins and a crooked generation. In other words, Peter calls the folks to turn away from the ways of the world and become a new creation in Christ by being baptized.
The result is 3000 people entering salvation (Acts 2:41). 3000 people.
Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t mean we watch a certain news network, vote a certain way or only buy from certain retailers. Being a follower of Jesus means we’ve heard the story, we’ve believed the story, and are continually living into clarity of who Jesus is. Our delight now is to do for others what was done for us.
Think about it, at one point you did not have clarity of who Jesus was, but someone told you and that has made all the difference. Now, as the church, the Spirit filled saints in the world, we continue that legacy of giving clarity of who we are, and we do this by telling the story of who Jesus is.