Summary: Missions: My calling, sending and being sent as God's messenger, outreach here and away.
“Here Am I…..Send Me”
Acts 13:1-3 (p781) August 26, 2012
Remember the theme verse for Mission Possible? Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples immediately before His ascension back to Heaven…After He said this He was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid Him from their sight.” (Acts 1:9)
10 days later, while all the disciples were waiting and praying in an upper room the gift “The father promised was given…The disciples of Jesus were baptized with the Holy Spirit…”He came like the blowing of a violent wind from heaven…It filled the entire house where they were sitting…they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them…All of them were filled with the Holy spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them…
Its Pentecost…so there are God fearing Jews from every nation in Jerusalem…when they heard this sound they came to the place in amazement, because each hears the gospel in their native language.
It’s the fulfillment of prophecy…Joel, the prophet told his people…”I will pour out my spirit on all people your sons and daughters will prophecy...”
On this day this prophesy is fulfilled…Parathions, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphilia, Egypt, Libya, Rome, Cretans and Arabs….
“Every Nation under heaven…heard the wonders of God in their own tongue…
The apostle Peter takes the lead with the eleven disciples (now including Matthews, who took Judas’s place)
He shares a history lesson…He quotes from King David in the psalms...He is an eye witness of Jesus miracles, His ministry and His death, burial and resurrection…
He pleads with this audience to accept Christ Jesus as their Messiah; the Christ…the Lord…and God cuts their hearts to be open…
“Those who accepted his message were baptized and about 3,000 were added to their number that day” (V 41)
I THE CHURCH BEGAN WITH GOD BRINGING PEOPLE TO ONE PLACE
The one place….Jerusalem….
Remember the promise…”Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my father promise…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. “(Acts 1: 4-8)
Remember when I shared with you Pentecost is the opposite of the Tower of Babel in Gen. 11…There God confused their language and scattered them over all the earth….” (Pride, sin, independence…God rejects it)
Here in Jerusalem, at Pentecost…God brings together nations so they can hear His plan in their own language… (God’s plan of grace and redemption for the entire world) “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
The key word there is….”Everyone!”
Yes it will start with the Jews, from every nation at Pentecost…but even on this day we see a glimpse of God’s all inclusive plane…Sons & daughters, old and young, men and women…everyone.
The Messiah came through God’s covenant relationship with the Israelites…Matthew and Luke both records that lineage…
The disciples of Jesus are Jewish…Its their heritage…the Messiah was promised to Israel…Peter and the others begin….He has come…He was born, He lived, performed miracles…you saw them…you killed him, crucified him with the help of wicked men…He dies, He was buried, but He rose from the dead…We saw Him, we touched Him…He lives…Peter says
It’s what God planned for our salvation all along! Can you see it? Do you understand your need for a Savior? Do you want the promised Gift of God’s Spirit? 3,000 God fearing Jews from every nation under the sun joined the 120 believers that day in Jerusalem…by accepting this message and being baptized.
But the growth of the church required
II THESE INDIVIDUALS COMMITTING THEMSELVES TO GROWTH.
You cannot grow without roots…you cannot become a disciple-maker unless you are discipled…It’s a symptomatic relationship between God’s spirit, His word, and His people.
These individuals that God added to the family of believers on Pentecost committed themselves to growth…listen…
Acts 2: 42-47 (p772)
God’s word through the apostles taught them truth, they were encouraged by others who were learning and growing alongside them…relationships and fellowships spring up, they shared communion together but also meals with each other in their homes…and they prayed about everything they poured their hearts out to God.
This community caught a glimpse of the eternal because their priorities changed. Selfishness was replaced with humility and selflessness…they touched base in accountability daily with other Christians…and these entire attitude flowed out into their non-believing friends, family and neighbors…It was a blessing to all people, not just the church people…and because of that God added to their number daily those friends, family and neighbors that accepted the message they had accepted on Pentecost.