Twenty-Five To One

Twenty-Five To One

13 October 2011

Reading: Nehemiah 9-10; Acts 2


41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. 42 They joined with the other believers and devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. (Acts 2:41-42 NLT)

Acts 1 indicates that a group of about 120 Christ-followers were faithfully meeting and praying and waiting—waiting and praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which Jesus had promised would come very soon. Acts 2 tells the story of what began on the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus’ resurrection, seven days after they saw Jesus ascend to heaven from the Mount of Olives. It began at about 9:00 AM when their prayer gathering was invaded by the wind and fire of God’s Holy Spirit! The Spirit came into the room and filled them with God’s power and presence! The Spirit-filled believers spilled out into the street declaring the greatness of God in at least sixteen languages besides the Aramaic commonly spoken in the streets of Jerusalem!

Then, as a curious crowd of onlookers gathered, Peter preached a powerful sermon in response to the questions this raised. The impromptu meeting seems to have gone on most of the day, and by evening, 3000 new believers had been baptized and had joined with the other believers. The ratio of “new” believers at day’s end to “old” believers at 8:45 AM that day was 25 to 1.

The 120 believers from the prayer meeting and the 3000 new believers joined in the life-flow of faith which switched that day from praying and waiting to a fresh new life that consisted of:
1) The apostle’s teaching; 2) Fellowship; 3) Sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper); 4) Prayer.

It seems as if God’s way to incorporate large numbers of new believers into the family of faith is to keep it simple—Keep the message simple and clear, keep the practices simple and relational. What do you think? How are we doing on this?


Father, Help us to keep it simple. We need to understand how to be simple without becoming simplistic. I am reminded of a phrase that was popular in street culture a few years ago, “Keepin’ it real.” Help us keep it real. Real simple. Amen.

Back to Articles...