Day by day. The lives of ordinary men and women were being powerfully transformed. Day by day. Transformation began with conviction.
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37)
And conviction through “the word of the cross” (1 Cor 1:18) produced devotion to “the way of the cross” (Luke 9:23-27).
“They devoted themselves…” (Acts 2:42)
To devote oneself means to concentrate on and commit to a particular pursuit, purpose, or cause. The real meaning becomes clear when we see how the original word is used throughout the New Testament:
- “He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd” (Mark 3:9).
- “And day by day, attending the temple together…” (Acts 2:46).
- “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).
- “Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip” (Acts 8:13).
- “…a devout soldier from among those who attended him” (Acts 10:7).
- “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Rom 12:12).
- “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Col 4:2).
If I am devoted, it’s because I devoted myself; no one can do it for me or on my behalf.
How did these Spirit-guided apostles help ordinary men and women understand and engage themselves in “the way of the cross”? According to Acts 2:42 they devoted themselves to…
- The apostles’ teaching (Rom 6:15-18; 16:17-20; 2 John 9)
- The fellowship (1 John 1:3-7)
- The breaking of bread (1 Cor 10:16; 11:26)
- The prayers (Rom 12:12; Col 4:2)
Even today, conviction through “the word of the cross” produces devotion to “the way of the cross,” and it is the way of the cross that leads home.
This sermon was delivered on January 17, 2016.