In between preparations for today’s party (more later), I’ve been reading some of William Larkin’s comments on Acts 2.  Here are a couple of portions that I thought worth repeating here.

In reflecting on the reaction of some in the crowd to the apostle’s behavior on being filled with the Spirit, accusing them of drunkenness, Larkin asks:

“How should we respond to the work of the Spirit in our midst?  We must avoid the mockery of the scoffer who explains everything in empirical terms.  We must be open to a divinely given explanation.  The mixed reaction of the Pentecost crowd also teaches us that the ‘miraculous is not self-authenticating, nor does it inevitably and uniformly convince.  There must also be the preparation of the heart and the proclamation of the message if miracles are to accomplish their full purpose’ (Longenecker 1981:273)” (Larkin 1995:52).

Is my heart prepared to see God’s miracles?  Is my heart prepared to have God’s Spirit do his work in it?

When he gets to Acts 2:39, Larkin, a Presbyterian, surprised me with these comments:

“Now we have come full circle.  The salvation promised by Joel (and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved—Acts 2:21/Joel 2:32) is accomplished by Jesus (God has made this Jesus…Lord—Acts 2:36).  And it is humanly appropriated when one is baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (v. 38) with the assurance that the gift of salvation is for all whom the Lord our God will call (v. 39)” (Larkin 1995:59).

I’m not sure why I was surprised.  It’s what the text says.  It makes me optimistic that we who embrace our Restoration heritage can contribute to a broader Christian dialogue, whether on the subject of baptism or otherwise, from a standpoint of accepting and being accepted, not as those who are suspicious or under suspicion.

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