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(Part 99)


April 23, 2019
Today’s reading: Acts 2:36-41

On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached a sermon and 3,000 people converted to faith in Jesus. His sermon is the example and model for the proclamation of the gospel. Since that time, the Church, which is missionary, continued to preach and millions more were converted. Today, as disciples of Jesus, it is our turn.

How do we preach the gospel? As we have seen, we witness by our individual and family lives. Then, as a community composed of families on mission, we have our programmatic way of proclaiming the gospel. This is through the Christian Life Seminar (CLS). This is patterned after the sermon of Peter on the day of Pentecost.

  • The first session is on “Jesus the Messiah.” This is about who Jesus is. “Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (v.36).
  • The second session is “Called to Witness.” This is about how we are to witness to Jesus, which is basically about living out the two greatest commandments, which sums up the whole prophets and the law, that is, our faith. “God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses.” (v.32).
  • The third session is “Repentance and Faith.” Upon hearing Peter, the people were cut to the heart and they asked what were they to do. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (v.38a).
  • The fourth session is “The Gift of the Holy Spirit.” Here we pray for the renewed infilling of the Holy Spirit upon people, so that they “will receive the gift of the holy Spirit.” (v.38b).
  • The fifth session is “Growing in the Spirit.” This is about the necessary tools to growing in the Christian life. “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.” (v.42). These tools are study (Bible and formation), fellowship (community), sacraments (particularly the Eucharist) and prayer. In addition, the Christian community served one another and others as well.
  • The sixth session is on “The Life and Mission of CFC-FFL.” The community is the continuing means for living out a renewed faith in Jesus. “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.” (v.41).

Now here are some important truths.

First, proclamation of the gospel is crucial because it is the first step in bringing people to Christ, as faith comes from hearing. While today the soil is hard, we must know that the gospel has power to convert. “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, ‘What are we to do, my brothers?’” (v.37). As an evangelistic and missionary community, we must continue to witness to people and invite them to our CLSs.

Second, the CLS hopefully becomes their path to conversion, as they meet Christ and start to live Christ. They will then be drawn out of a darkened world into the Kingdom of God. “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” (v.40b). This after all is the most important thing, the salvation of souls.

Third, this is how we ensure not only our own salvation, but that of our children and the generations to come. The Biblical blessing upon the family is for three generations­to you, your children, and your children’s children. And on it goes through the generations, until the Lord returns. “For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” (v.39). This is how we are to be families on mission.

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