Summary: A call to evangelism focusing on Peter's first message after the church received the gift and power of the Holy Spirit.
We are continuing our study in the book of Acts this weekend. We are going to look at Chapter 2 of Acts, verses 14-41. Up to this point we see Christ ascending into Heaven, leaving his disciples with simply instructions. Spread the Gospel the ends of the earth, but to wait for the Holy Spirit to come to give them the power to accomplish their mission.
Last week we saw the Spirit finally arrive. Their obedience paid off! They waited and prayed and finally the Church was born and each of them was baptized in the Holy Spirit. They received power and began speaking in foreign languages they had never learned and the Gospel message began to go out to all people groups.
Today we are going to look at Peter’s first message preached with this new power, the Power of the Holy Spirit. What I hope that we will see is that we too have the same command as the Disciples. To spread the Gospel to the ends of the Earth, beginning with our community. And the first thing I want us to notice, is that we cannot possible accomplish this mission without the power of the Holy Spirit. Michael Green says,
“How much we need the Holy Spirit in our church life! Had it struck you that if the New Testament is right in the marrying up of the Holy Spirit with witness bearing, this might shed a flood light on the poverty of spiritual experience in many a church and many a Christian? Could it be that we know so little of the Spirit in any powerful way because we care so little for evangelism? Equally, that we know so little of the Spirit? These two God has joined together, and we cannot put them asunder. No evangelism, no Holy Spirit; no Holy Spirit, no evangelism. There is a vital link between them, and that explains a good deal of the powerlessness in the modern church. The early Christians were well aware that the Holy Spirit and evangelism went together and affected each other intimately.”
This chapter is the power chapter! If we want power in our church and power in our individual lives, we need to tap into the Power of the Holy Spirit. The best way to do that is to Evangelize. In Order to experience the Power of the Holy Spirit we must Evangelize.
Starting next Sunday morning at 10AM during Sunday School we are going to begin a class on Evangelism. This class is the Finally class in our Series of Classes. Class 101 will be taught this weekend. Class 101 is about Church Membership. Class 201 is about Spiritual Growth. Class 301 is about Discovering your Ministry. And Class 401 is about Personal Evangelism.
You want Power? You want the Holy Spirit reveal that Power in your life in an explosive way? Evangelize. Lets look at what happens in Acts 2.
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 “ ‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’a
22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,b put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him:
“ ‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;