The Book of Acts Chapter 2 Part 1
Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that Christians should be witnesses wherever they go. Today, we hope to discuss the birthday of the church, including the power of Pentecost.
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Read Acts 2:1-13
B. Pentecost: Birthday of the Church.
1. The Power of Pentecost. In this section of the book of Acts we see that on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enables a group of believers to speak in other tongues/languages. Fire and wind are noted.
The very diverse crowd of people who gathered were amazed to hear about the wonders of God, in their own language. But some mocked the believers and suggested that they had drunk too much wine.
- Unity. Notice in vs. 1 of this section of the book of Acts the mention of unity. So much can be accomplished when the people of God are united. However, so little will be accomplished, while we are divided.
A great approach to unity is for believers to commit to learning and obeying God’s will. The Bible is the best thing that we have to learn God’s will. Knowledge without commitment to obey will not help us with unity.
Let’s work on unity in the church and the rest of the areas in our lives, by committing to studying and obeying God’s will.
- The Spirit and Pentecost. Notice in vss. 1-3 of this section of the book of Acts the mention of Pentecost. Pentecost was a noted Jewish holiday. The Jews gathered to celebrate the wheat harvest.
It was at this occasion that the Holy Spirit was poured out into the lives of believers. Wind and fire are thought to be associated with the Spirit.
This day has been noted by some as the birth of the New Testament Church. As we will discover, the greatest thing that happened on the day of Pentecost, as it relates to the church, is that the Holy Spirit was poured out.
The greatest evidence of being indwelt with Him is not tongue speaking, as we will discover, but loving one another (see Jn. 13:34-35). Let’s live like we appreciate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Such living should be noted for obedience.
- Filled with the Spirit. Notice in vs. 4 the mention of being filled with the Spirit. Based on Ephesians 5:18, to be filled with the Spirit is to be controlled by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is working in us to get us to obey God’s word.
He is working within us to be wise stewards of our health, wealth, and political might. He is working to get us to live in relationship with others according to biblical principles. Let’s let the Spirit control us. This often calls for denial of self.
- Speaking in tongues. Notice in vss. 4-11 of the book of Acts the mention of speaking in tongues. What this text means is that people were speaking in different languages. Language is synonymous with tongues.
We should not ignore the early stage of the church, where signs were yet needed to validate the moving of God. Nor should we over look that the tongue speakers were speaking about God, in a language that they understood.
On one hand, we should learn how to speak the language of those we are talking to about the Lord. But on the other hand, we should not simply utter some jibberish that is fueled by inexpressible emotions and claim that such is connected to this text.
Let’s work on communicating with people as God moves us. When people don’t understand what we are saying that is normally a sign that we are not in God’s will.
- Mocking God’s work. Notice in vs. 13 of this section of the book of Acts that some mocked the work of God. There are those who mock what they don’t understand.
Some mock “hooping,” because they don’t understand. Some mock liturgical dancing, because they don’t understand. Let’s be careful about mocking anything that may have something to do with God.
God is such a big God that He is very likely to do something that we have never seen before. For example, it would not fit into our rather conservative context, but there are those who have coffee and doughnuts inside their auditoriums during the worship experience.
However, as we look at how dress codes, songs, screens in the sanctuary, DVDs, CDs, and now iPads have changed and are in so many of our churches, we would do well to learn from Gamaliel in Acts 5:38-39.
Sometimes we need to wait and see. If it is not of God, it will fall. If it is of God, we may find ourselves fighting against God.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord wherever we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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