“ A baby is a small member of the home that makes love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, the bankroll smaller, the home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.”
But, couples are having fewer children.
Average woman – 3.65 children in 1969.
Average woman – 2.1 children in 2008.
The average number of babes in Christ is also declining.
In the 1960’s, the churches of Christ had an estimated membership of 2.5 million.
In 2009, the churches of Christ had 1,578,218 adherents.
That’s down roughly 100,000 since 2003!
What shall we do if this trend continues?
In this morning’s text, we find “ The Birth of 3000 Babies .”
If we are to see the church grow, we need to see the birth of new babies.
What kind of babies were born at Pentecost?
“ 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?’” (v 37, ESV).
These babies were broken-hearted.
They just learned that they were responsible for killing the Messiah.
The full realization of their sin comes crashing down on them.
Those who come to Christ must be broken.
Saul of Tarsus was so broken that he didn’t eat or drink for three days after his encounter with the Risen Christ (Acts 9:9).
“ The tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ ” (Lk 18:13, ESV).
“ My iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me” (Ps 38:4, ESV).
Conversion begins by being broken .
Is it the case this morning that you are broken?
“ Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’ ” (v 38, ESV).
The crowd was briefed – informed of what God required of them.
Once people are broken, they must be briefed on what to do.
God has called us to that very task.
Jesus told his disciples “that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations” (Lk 24:47, ESV).
“ We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20, ESV).
Shall we be a briefing people & tell others how to have salvation?
“ The promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (v 39, ESV).
These were bestowed babies – God had made a promise to them & to their children.
God has promised to forgive sins & bestow the Spirit on all the obedient.
The promises of God are very sure.
“ Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant” (1 Ki 8:56, ESV).
God has promised to forgive sins.
“ Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster” (Joel 2:12, ESV).
“ In [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph 1:7).
Because God’s promises are sure, we know he will forgive if we obey.
Have you obeyed God to receive his great forgiveness?
These babies had a burden for their own salvation.
“ With many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation’ ” (v 40, ESV).
Peter told the assembled crowd that they had a responsibility for their own salvation.
Some falsely say that God will save everyone.
Others say that our only responsibility is simply to believe on Jesus.
If that were the case, wouldn’t you expect Peter to tell this crowd simply to believe on the name of Jesus?
This was the first time forgiveness was proclaimed in Jesus’ name, the crowd asked what they needed to do, & Peter says nothing about faith!
Man has an important responsibility to obey the Lord.
“ Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams” (1 Sam 15:22, ESV).
Jesus “became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Heb 5:9, ESV).
“ This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 Jn 5:3, ESV).
Have you responded to God’s work for your salvation?
“ Those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (v 41, ESV).
There were about 3,000 “ Behaving Babies ” at Pentecost – babies who did what Peter told them.
What caused these babies to obey the Lord?
“ Those who received his word were baptized.”
If babies are to behave, they must be taught the Word of God.
The preaching of Peter deeply affected the crowd at Pentecost.
Peter’s preaching was the Word of God – it was Spirit-inspired preaching.
The Word of God has great power.
“ Thus says the LORD, the God of hosts: ‘Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them’ ” (Jer 5:14, ESV).
“ Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jer 23:29, ESV).
“ The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12, ESV).