Sermons

Summary: Membership is the church of Christ is saturated with gladness.

I AM GLAD TO BE A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST

Acts 2:40-47

By Cleavon Matthews

March 9, 2008

INTRODUCTION

It was the Day of Pentecost. It had been seven weeks since Passover. It marked the conclusion of barley harvest and the inception of wheat harvest. It was flawless timing. Pentecost was one of three pilgrimage festivals when the people of God came to Jerusalem in order to appear before the Lord with gifts and offerings.

On this historic day heaven erupted in great noise. It was reminiscent of a ‘rushing mighty wind.’ The Holy Spirit fell on the twelve apostles and they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance. The Parthians, Medes, Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretan and Arabs heard them speaking the wonderful works of God in their own languages.

This occasion marked the birthday and inception of the Church. Peter would assume his role as chief spokesman and began to preach. Luke says he preached to the men! In most of today’s churches the women greatly outnumber the men. But the church started with preaching to men! Peter preached to the men of Judea (2:14), the men of Israel (2:22), and the men and brethren (2:29).

His message was loaded with prophetic fulfillment (2:16; 2:25; 2:34). His message was centered in Jesus of Nazareth. Notice in the text Peter says, “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know- Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it!”

The apostles were witnesses of the Resurrection (1:22; 2:32). They were eyewitnesses that God raised Him up! God loosed the pains of death! His soul was not left in Hades. The Patriarch David prophesied of His victory (Psalm 16). The Holy One did not see corruption. This is the ultimate message of hope. Man’s greatest enemy that is the fear of death has been conquered in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Psalmist said, “I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad!”

He was not shaken

His heart rejoiced

His tongue was glad

Because the Lord was His permanent comfort!

Life has a way of shaking us up.

Economic instability can frighten us.

Sickness can stun us.

Suffering can surprise us.

Trials can traumatize us.

Politics can polarize us.

Discouragement can daze us.

Blizzards can bemoan us.

Storms can slow us.

Ugliness can upset us.

But through it all we must not be shaken. In fact our hearts ought to rejoice and our tongues ought to be glad because of His permanent presence!

Because He lives I can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear in gone. Because He lives you don’t have to worry about the future. Because He lives you don’t have to stay up all night fretting. Because He lives you don’t have to give up and you don’t have to give in. Because He lives you can make it!

The coming of the Spirit was ushered in because of the Resurrection. The third member of the Godhead arrived on Pentecost. Jesus kept His promise. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:16). The Father poured out His Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. “Not by might nor by power, but by My spirit, says the Lord of hosts…for who has despised the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:6,10).

I.GLADNESS IN THE WORD

Acts 2:40-41 “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, be saved from this perverse generation. Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

I am glad to be a member of the Church of Christ. This is not to be understood as a self-righteous declaration. This statement has nothing to do with those of differing religious persuasions. My Christological beliefs gave birth to my soteriological affirmations which have directed my ecclesiastical identification. I believe Jesus is Lord and Savior. As Lord and Savior He solved my sin problem and He rules my life. I owe everything to Him!

Without Him…

I am a stranger and foreigner to the covenant of promise

I am dead in trespasses and sin

I have no hope

I am without God in the world

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