Summary: The third sermon in a short series we've done on the Church
On This Rock (Part 3)
Text: Acts 2:14, 42 – 47
Ok… so we’ve been looking at the Church… and if I can I’m going to try to wrap this little series up next Sunday (hopefully)… And we’ll get back to our study in Romans, and maybe… Lord willing; we’ll finish it up at the end of September. That’s the plan anyway. We’ll see how it works out.
So we’ve been looking at the Church, and so far here’s what we’ve seen.
2,000 years ago, there was this guy. 30 years old. His mom was a teenager when He was born. His dad was probably quite a bit older than her, based on what we know of the customs and the culture of the time. And His dad worked as a carpenter. They lived in a small town, probably didn’t have a whole lot of money. And most likely this guy grew up working with His dad. But then at the age of 30, he started preaching and teaching, and He started out small… with a group of 12 followers. That’s it. And He’s gathered these guys around Himself and then one day He looks at His disciples and He tells them, “I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
Of course we know that’s Jesus. And He’s made this statement… and it’s a powerful statement. And I want to remind you of this… Jesus didn’t tell Peter and the others that “THEY” would build the Church. No, Jesus said, “I WILL” build My Church. So it’s Jesus’ Church, and He’s going to build it.
So that’s what we saw first, and then last week, we saw that the disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem. They had been given the Great Commission by Jesus… they had been told to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, and make disciples… but before they were turned loose and allowed to do that, Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit… and He told them that they needed the Holy Spirit because He would give them the power to be His witnesses. So they needed this power… they needed the Holy Spirit to empower them, and indwell them, and equip them so that they could be His witnesses. And if they needed that, so do we. In-fact; if we try to do what Jesus has called us to do in our own strength, we’ll fail. We can’t do it in our own strength. We need the Holy Spirit leading us, guiding us, transforming us, changing us, and empowering us so that we can be witnesses for Jesus! And that’s what the Holy Spirit does… He doesn’t glorify us. He doesn’t glorify our ministry… or even Himself. It’s all about Jesus!
And that brings us to our texts today.
So if you have your Bibles, open them up to Acts chapter 2:14 and we’ll start here (READ).
So; it’s the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has come, and just like Jesus has promised, the disciples have received power… and instead of getting together and forming a committee and deciding how they can best market their new ministry, and how they’re going to accommodate this particular group and that particular group… instead they go out and do exactly what they’ve been empowered to do… they witness for Jesus.
And I love this… Peter gets up, in verse 14 and he preaches a sermon. The Church starts with a sermon. Now why does it start with a sermon? Well Paul tells us why in Romans 1:16. He says, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Jesus said it this way in John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” And again in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” And again; Paul in Romans says this… “How shall they believe unless they…” What? Unless they see us gather on Sunday? No… Unless they see us clean up our lives? No… What’s he say? “How shall they believe unless they HEAR.” God in His infinite wisdom has ordained that faith comes by hearing. And not just by hearing anything… but hearing the Word of God.
So Peter… the guy who was so afraid he denied Jesus three times… now stands up, in the middle of Jerusalem, with boldness and conviction, and he preaches a sermon about Jesus. So Jesus has said that He’s going to build His Church… and it only makes sense that He does it through the preaching of the Word. Because after all… He is the Word made flesh.