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The Beginning of the Church

On this very same day of Pentecost, when many peoples from all nations had gathered to celebrate the feast in Jerusalem, the Apostles began their divine commission, which was destined to change the world. The multitude of people, had heard the "sound" and "They were bewildered, because each one heard them (the Apostles) speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered saying, 'Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language'" (vs. 6-8). It is very clear that the people recognized to their bewilderment the various languages being spoken and understood. Each one realized that he understood what was being said "in his own native language" (v. 8). The Apostles received this Power when "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (v. 4). Regardless of how the words of the Apostles were transmitted to the people, the miracle lies in the power of the Holy Spirit transforming the Apostles themselves from fear and doubt to the courage to go out openly to preach faith in Christ.

Apostle Peter "lifted up his voice" and addressed the multitudes. He spoke about the prophecy of Prophet Joel concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:12-21), and reminded them of the miracles, wonders, and signs performed by Christ, being Crucified and resurrected according "to the plan and foreknowledge of God" (v. 23). The people, upon hearing this from Peter, asked him and the other Apostles: "'Brethren, what shall we do?' And Peter said to them, 'Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'" (vs. 37-38). The words of Peter so moved the people that "those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls" (v. 41). "And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved" (v. 47). The Apostles were also given the power to heal the afflicted. Apostles Peter and John, while on their way to the temple, came upon a lame beggar. Peter said to him: "'I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk'. And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking, and leaping and praising God" (Acts 3:6-8).

This movement of the Apostles established the Church of Christ on this day of Pentecost, which is regarded as the birthday of the Christian Church. The Apostles became missionaries in their own land and abroad. The power of preaching and sanctifying was shared by other preachers and deacons, especially by Apostle Paul. The grace of the Holy Spirit was very obvious in gaining new leaders and adherents to this new movement. This Grace was the only armor that the Apostles and their disciples had when they cane out of hiding to convert the multitudes to the Christian Faith. They were without weapons, fame, money or prestige, being persecuted by their own people as well as by peoples of other lands. The Holy Spirit continuously gave them energy and strength, His Grace, as divine instrument to gain victory in the name of God. This struggle during the first three centuries established the Church, whose solid foundation was laid in the blood of the Apostles, disciples and the people themselves. It was the Holy Spirit Whom the Father and the Son had sent to protect the Church and guide man's salvation.

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