We did it! We made it through Genesis 1-11! There were some very challenging passages along the way—and we certainly did not answer every question about them—but we made it through. Right at the end of that journey, I preached on the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. There, God’s people attempted to settle in Shinar (which is Babylon) and tried to build a tower up to the heavens. In doing so, they sought to disobey God’s command to move out over all the earth and fill it in (Genesis 1.28), and they were trying to be independent, once again—to think they knew a better way than what God had planned.
The type of tower they were building likely had a temple at the top “where heaven and earth meet”, a sort of a new kind of Eden (which was located on a mountain, a high place where heaven and earth meet as well; see Ezekiel 28.12-19).
The icing on the top of their disobedience was the fact that the people also wanted to “make a name for [themselves]”. That is, we might say, they wanted to become their own gods, to be like God—just as Adam and Eve did when they were tempted by the serpent in Genesis 3.
In Genesis 11, God “came down” and “confused” their language so that the people were once again scattered across the whole land.
Finally, we looked at Acts 2, where, after the coming of the Holy Spirit, all the people gathered for the festival heard the first followers of Jesus proclaiming the glories of God in different tongues, or languages. Everyone in the city—no matter what nation or language they represented—was able to hear and understand what the disciples were proclaiming in their own tongue! God was reversing what he had done in Genesis 11.
After this, we read that Peter, freshly anointed with the Holy Spirit, preached a sermon declaring what God had accomplished in Jesus, and 3000 people came to faith! Then, right at the end of Acts 2, we get this beautiful summary of how the church responded to the coming of the Spirit and the good news of Jesus.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2.42-47, NIV)
In the coming three weeks, we will spend time in this passage and a few more, looking at the conditions necessary to bring about this incredible transformation of those early believers. In a matter of minutes, they went from merely curious about what was going on to having their feet firmly planted on the path that leads to Christoformity—having Christ formed in them (Galatians 4.19). All the elements of their transformation are present in that brief summary statement in Acts 2: intentionality, connection, and community—the very characteristics that are at the heart of LifeGroups at ECC.
Join us in the coming weeks as we walk through this passage and others, as we consider our own transformation and our own journey toward becoming a people who display the wonder and awe of God’s presence in our midst to our neighbors. Pray with us that God will continue to move us forward in launching LifeGroups in the coming weeks, and, if you haven’t already done so, please take some time now to go to our LifeGroups Page and let us know of your current participation in a group and/or your desire to take part in a LifeGroup this fall. You can do so by clicking the button below.