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Light a Fire

(7)

Sermon shared by Richard White

April 2008
Summary: On the Day of Pentecost God sent Fire to start the Church. Does God need to send that fire again?
Audience: General adults
Light a Fire
Acts 2:1-38

Pentecost: Literally means Fiftieth. It was to be celebrated on the "day after the seventh Sabbath" and hence on the fiftieth day after Passover. It was originally the festival of the first fruits of the grain harvest. It is a commemorative of the day of the giving of the Law. It would be similar to our “Thanksgiving Day” and the “Fourth of July” combined. It was one of several “feast days” that required all able-bodied Jews to come to Jerusalem to celebrate. Now no one who had been a companion of the apostle Paul could have failed to be impressed by the fact that it was on the Jewish festival of Pentecost that the Spirit came so dramatically upon the early believers in Jerusalem. It is this significance that Luke emphasizes as he begins his Pentecost narrative; viz., that whereas Pentecost was for Judaism the day of the giving of the law, for Christians it is the day of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Isn’t it just like God to use a day where everyone should be gathered to start His next phase?

Who are the “they?”
1. Some say all 120 disciples previously mentioned with the appointment of Mathias (Acts 1:15)
2. The Promise was to the Apostles (Acts 1:8)
3. Conclusion is that the 120 may have been in the room, but the Spirit came upon only the 12.

The beginning of the FIRE
1. There are three elements necessary for a fire
a. Heat
b. Combustible material
c. Air
2. In the Bible these represent
a. The Spirit
b. The Christian
c. Their life/willingness

Does God need to light the FIRE again?

The circumstances

1. A Violent wind
a. Suddenly= they were praying, what they were praying for we do not know. The storm is the answer.
b. Much like a thunderstorm or windstorm, its origin is from heaven.
i. Did they see the light coming from heaven?
ii. How did they know the origin of the storm was from heaven?
iii. Could it be that they were praying for the Promise and that is how they made that connection?
2. There are three signs of the Spirit’s coming are reported to have appeared, each of them--wind, fire, inspired speech--being considered in Jewish tradition as a sign of God’s presence. That is how they made the connection.
3. Wind
a. A sign of the Holy Spirit in the OT
i. Ezekiel 37:9-14
ii. Filled the whole room as appreciation of God’s presence.
4. Fire
a. A sign of God’s presence
i. The Burning Bush
ii. John the Baptist statement
iii. Tongues are visible representations of Light
Under the Old covenant, the Spirit rested on all of Israel corporately. Now with the separation of the Fire, the Spirit will rest in each of us individually, for now salvation is an individual response and responsibility. We must now come to God of our own volition, it is an individual response.

5. Language
a. Each heard/understood them in their own dialect.
b. Was the miracle in the speaking, the hearing or both?
c. Both
i. They heard in their own language because the HS had interpreted to them, much like the UN.
ii. They, possibly only Peter, spoke as the Spirit enabled him.
6. The fulfillment of the Prophecy of Joel
a. Some will wonder at the miracle
b. Some will call us drunk, cripple, ignorant
c. Yet God will give the increase.

Does God need to light a fire under us this morning? Be careful as to where he might light the fire to get us moving.
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