Summary: The type of Church the Spirit forms. A Church that harvests the nations.
A young boy is at church with his mother.
He is a good little boy, quiet & well behaved.
He doesn’t cause any problems.
But sometimes he stands up in the pew, turns around, and looks at the people behind him.
He smiles a great big smile at them.
His smile is infectious.
Soon everybody behind him is starting to smile back.
It is all going fine until mother realizes what he’s up to.
She grabs him by his ear, tells him to sit down and remember that he is in church.
He sits down and starts crying.
And his mother turns to him and says, “That’s better.”
Apparently it’s more appropriate in that church to cry than to smile.
Then there is the story of the 3 gold prospectors in California.
They are prospecting down a mine.
They come across a huge vein of gold in the rock.
They make a vow with each other not to tell anyone else about what they’ve found.
They run back to town to register their claim.
But as they return to the gold mine a great big crowd follow them.
None of them have said a word to anyone else about the gold they’ve discovered.
But the expression on their faces has given them away.
Their faces are glowing just thinking about what they’ve found.
People who see them just know that they must have found something very special.
So a crowd follows them out of town and all the way to the mine.
Which of those stories reminds you of us?!
If you’ve a Bible, please turn with me to Acts 2:1-13
The gold mine story reminds of what we see in Acts 2.
A crowd gathers around the glowing disciples on the day of Pentecost.
We need to know 2 things about what’s happening here:
(I) God is Forming the Church
The first thing we need to know is that God is forming the church.
Some people acts as though Peter called the disciples together and said:
“Right, we need to committee meeting.
Someone has proposed that we get together and form a church.
We need to discuss the pros and cons of this and take a vote on it.”
That is not, however, how the church started!
A bunch of religious people didn’t plan it.
It wasn’t started by a committee!
God started it!
The church started when BANG, v2, suddenly something like a violent wind came from heaven and shook a house where 120 people had met to pray.
People saw flames come down and rest on those praying.
One minute there was NO church.
The next minute there WAS one.
That’s how the church got started.
We always need to remember that God himself forms the church.
Not the disciples.
Not Emperor Constantine.
Not Bishops nor Popes, Pastor or Deacons, but God.
Acts chapter two is all about the day God’ Spirit came...
Consider these 10 signs of the Spirit’s presence...
1. The Spirit causes tongues to overflow with praise, v11 – that’s what tongues is. They could hear the disciples declaring the wonders of God.
2. The Spirit causes a communication revolution, v5 – he helps God’s people talk to others in a language they understand.
3. The Spirit helps nervous people to witness, v14 – Like Peter, as they stand up for Jesus, the Spirit gives them strength.
4. The Spirit gives Spiritual gifts, v17 – your sons and daughters will prophesy.
5. The Spirit helps people understand their sin and need of Christ, v37 – the people who listened to Peter were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers what shall we do?’”
6. The Spirit brings people to turn from their sins and turn to God, v38 & 41 – Three thousand believed in Jesus that day. After that, v47 there was a daily harvest of new converts.
7. The Spirit gives people a sense of awe; an awareness of the closeness of God, v43.
8. The Spirit sometimes makes himself known through the supernatural:
In verses 2-4 there was the wind and the fire.
In verse 43 there were miracles.
Later, in Acts 4 the building shakes.
In chapter 6 Stephen’s face shines like an angel.
In chapter 16 there is an earthquake.
9. In v42, the Spirit transforms baby believers into devoted ones.
10. Finally, v45, the Spirit creates a generous community. Those who pay more attention to helping with the needs of others than they do to fussing about other people’s mistakes.
Some people say God doesn’t work in all those ways any more.
It’s true that he works differently in different places.
But let’s be careful about telling God what he can and cannot do amongst us.
Point number 1. God is forming the Church.