Summary: Sermon Series from the Book of Acts
LIVING THE MISSION OF GOD - PART 2
Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. 3 And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.
Intro: Last week we began a new sermon series called "SENT: Living Out The Mission of God." This first message established a foundation for the messages that will follow throughout this series. If you were not with us last week, or have not yet had an opportunity to watch last week's broadcast, I encourage you to go back and watch message #1. You can find the broadcast on our website, metrograce.church, on our YouTube channel, or on our Facebook page.
In message #1 we examined the Mission of God for His church and His people. We saw that Jesus taught very plain that the primary mission for the church and individual believers was to be a witness for Him.
We also looked last week how we can accomplish the mission, and found that God promised He would give us the Holy Spirit and power to get the job done. We understand that we cannot accomplish the task God has assigned us in our own strength - we must have His power!
Lastly, we looked at how we can prepare ourselves to receive the power we need to accomplish the mission. We saw that the early church dedicated themselves to unity and prayer prior to receiving the promise. We looked at the principles of unity and prayer, and learned how powerful these two principles are when they're in operation together in a church body! I want to remind you today that a church who is dedicated to true Christian unity and dedicated to earnest, focused prayer, is a church that can accomplish great and mighty things for the Lord! Nothing will be impossible for that church!
In our text we read this morning, we see the radical transformation of the church and of the individual believers that occurred on the Day of Pentecost. In just a few moments of time, in a dramatic occurrence, the Promise of God that they had been seeking and waiting for had arrived, and their lives would never be the same!
I know that most of you have seen ads featuring before and after photos that tout the miracle working power of any number of products or services, or that warn us against the devastation of substance abuse:
(before and after weight loss)
(before and after make-up)
(before and after meth addiction)
(before and after heavy deadlifts - funny with baby)
We are all familiar with many types of before and after transformations. But, the greatest before and after transformation in history occurred on the Day of Pentecost, as the Promise of God was fulfilled, and the church was transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit from a small ineffective body believers into a powerful church which exploded with growth, performed miracles, transformed lives and entire cities, and spread the gospel throughout the known world!
This radical transformation is what I want us to look at this morning. I want us to examine the early church before and after Pentecost, and in doing so, I want us to learn a little bit about ourselves and our church.
I. BEFORE PENTECOST
A. When we examine the Biblical records, we see that after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the early church went through 3 stages:
1. The "Fearful" Stage -
John 20:19 In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!”
After the death of Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that the Disciples were hiding out of fear for their own lives. The crowds that had followed Jesus had disappeared when He was arrested and crucified. The only ones left were 11 of the original disciples and a handful of women. Fear had rendered them completely ineffective as a church, until Jesus showed up and encouraged them.
2. The "Comfortable" Stage -
Acts 1:3 After He had suffered, He also presented Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
During the time between His resurrection and ascension back into Heaven, Jesus spent time personally teaching and ministering to the believers. The church enjoyed a time of worship, fellowship, along with Bible study with the greatest teacher of all, Jesus Himself.