Pentecost - Outcome

The end of the second chapter of Acts summarizes the results of the Spirit’s outpouring by describing the basic practices of the young and now Spirit-filled Assembly – Teaching, shared meals, fellowship, prayers, unity, and material support for individuals in need. The one unique feature is the holding of possessions “in common” under the administration of the Apostles.

Though not stated, implicit is the assumption that the organization of this first Assembly came under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Raging River - Photo by Jonatan Lewczuk on Unsplash
[Photo by Jonatan Lewczuk on Unsplash]

  • (Acts 2:42-47) – “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all that believed were together and had all things common; and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. And day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved.”

The Apostles were witnesses of the ministry and teachings of Jesus - “Beginning from the baptism of John until the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection.” Before his Ascension, Jesus opened their minds so they “might understand the Scriptures.”

In his first sermon given on the Day of Pentecost, Peter demonstrated this new insight. All this made the Apostles the medium and the guarantors of the content and veracity of the teachings of Jesus and his Gospel - (Acts 1:22).

  • These are my words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms concerning me. Then opened he their mind - that they might understand the scriptures.” - (Luke 24:44-45).

The breaking of bread” may refer to the celebration of the “Lord’s Supper.” However, based on Luke’s usage elsewhere, it more likely refers to the common meals kept by the saints, a necessary part of remaining in the Apostle’s “teaching and fellowship,” though it is a fair assumption that on some occasions they did keep the Lord’s Supper – (Acts 20:7-12, 27:35-36).

According to the passage, “many wonders and signs were done through the Apostles.” More than a historical footnote, the manifestation of “signs and wonders” confirmed what the prophet Joel had predicted – “I will show wonders in the heaven above, And signs on the earth beneath.”

Likewise, Peter described Jesus himself as a man “approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs” – (Acts 2:17-22).


And all those WHO BELIEVE.” The term “believers” is an early label for the new movement. It appears several times in Acts. The term “Christian” was not coined until some years later in the city of Antioch, and it is not common in the New Testament – (Acts 4:32, 5:14, 15:5; 11:26).

They had all things in common.” The story of Ananias and Sapphira and this passage are the only descriptions in the New Testament of the practice of possessing all things in common. There is no evidence that this became commonly practiced as the Church expanded – (Acts 5:1-11).

Most likely, this was an ad hoc response to the financial needs of the young congregation. Most of the Apostles were from Galilee and many of the converts added on the Day of Pentecost had traveled to Jerusalem from elsewhere. Almost certainly, many did not have jobs, businesses, or even homes in the city.

The incident does not represent an early form of “socialism,” or for that matter, any political or economic theory. For one thing, the donation of goods to the common fund was voluntary.

Moreover, “they were continuing steadfastly WITH ONE ACCORD in the temple.” Most of the recorded activities of this first congregation occurred in or near the Temple. The phrase, “steadfastly with one accord,” links the conclusion of the story with the previous gathering of the Apostles to elect a twelfth member to replace Judas - (“These all WITH ONE ACCORD continued steadfastly in prayer” - Acts 1:14).

This description is also a link to the final words of Luke’s gospel - “And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, blessing God.” – (Luke 24:521-53).

The Lord added to them day by day those that were being saved.” This last clause brings the story of the Day of Pentecost to a conclusion. “Those who were being saved” echoes the promise in Joel, as well as Peter’s summons to the crowd following his sermon: “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

This is why the addition of new converts is attributed to “the Lord” rather than the Spirit; namely, the allusion to Joel’s prophecy regarding the “Lord.”

Tiny Alpine Church - Photo by Ingmar Nolte on Unsplash
[Photo by Ingmar Nolte on Unsplash]

The members of the Assembly were “
in the temple.” This was the natural place for the new group to meet. At this point, the congregation was not a new religion but a new movement within Judaism, and the Temple remained the center of the Jewish faith and nation.

Later events would compel the fledgling movement to move beyond Jerusalem, the Temple, and the confines of their ancestral faith as the Spirit drove the church to take the Good News about the Kingdom of God to Judea, Samaria, and the “uttermost parts of the earth.”

  • When Pentecost Arrived - (On the day of Pentecost, the long-anticipated time of fulfillment arrived when Jesus bestowed the Spirit on his church)
  • First Sermon - (Peter explained what God accomplished in Jesus to a confused crowd on the Day of Pentecost, stressing fulfillment in Jesus – Acts 2:16-36)
  • As many as He Calls - (The Gift of the Spirit is for every man who repents, even to those afar off, and in fulfillment of the promise of the Father - Acts 2:37-41)

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