Summary: To restore the power of Pentecost, people must start telling the Christ story again. Only in preaching Christ will the world come to a saving relationship with the Lord.
RELIVING PENTECOST: THE CHRIST STORY
THEME: TO RESTORE THE POWER OF PENTECOST THE CHRIST STORY MUST BE TOLD AGAIN.
TEXT: ACTS 2:22-36
Recently I had Bible study with a nice younger family in their home. The family stated that they needed to know the Bible better. The family had no church experience or religious background. The husband and wife had difficulty even finding some of the books of the New Testament. But this couple was hungry for the truth of God’s word. It was a Monday evening around 7:00pm. I showed up at the house with my bible and some source material. It was a perfect evening to study as the couple had two small children but the wife’s mother agreed to keep the children so we could study the Bible together. The husband and wife were not strong readers, but seemed to understand most of the verses we looked at. The couple expressed the desire to keep the study simple as they did not know much about God and the Bible. I did this to the best of my ability. The first verse we looked at was Romans 5:12 about Adam making all men sinners. I explained to them that the tern sinned is not an Aorist tense in the Greek language. In fact I showed them in my Greek New Testament. They seemed to agree with me, as I explained to them that the term sin is ’Harmation’ in the original language of the Bible and it is a omni-present tense in the Greek understanding of the action of the word. Then I asked them if they were sinners, which they admitted that they were. In fact the husband said he was a huge sinner. The wife did not go that far, but did admit she did a lot of things wrong in life. Since they seemed to have good hearts, I went to Acts 2:38 to prove that they needed to be baptized. I wanted them to understand first that the Methodists were wrong, even though they were not Methodist by proving that baptism was immersion. I showed them my Greek New Testament again to prove my point. They agreed it was a burial from reading Romans 6 too. Then I wanted to prove the Baptists wrong by defending the argument that the wording in the Greek language in Acts 2:38 is the same person. As the Baptist say that repentance is in the second person plural and baptism is in the third person plural which means to the Baptist that repentance and Baptist are not connected. I gave them a lesson in the endings for masculine, feminine, and neuter in the Greek language. That you could interpret these phrases as plural neuter or see them as different in a different person in the Greek. This seemed to agree. But after this the people seem to tune me out. They stopped listening to my words and they said they were tired and needed to end the study. I was disappointed that the people did not accept the simple Gospel.
Hopefully by this point, you noticed or hoped to believe that this is a fictional story. This study never took place. I never walked into a home to confuse people to way. But I wanted to illustration a power point about Pentecost. Pentecost is power because of the message that was preached. The message was simple and straightforward. It was "Jesus is the Son of God. He is the son of God. On the day of Pentecost, Peter does not preach theory, speculation, or philosophy, but he preaches Christ and Him crucified. Peter records the Jesus story for the people. The power of Pentecost is found by the preaching of Christ.
Acts 2:22-36 recounts the first Christian sermon ever. This sermon can tell us a lot about restoring the passion and power of the early church. To restore the power of Pentecost in the 21st century, we need to follow the example of Pentecost. Luke gives the sermon by Peter. "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know-- this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. For David says of Him, ’I WAS ALWAYS BEHOLDING THE LORD IN MY PRESENCE; FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, THAT I MAY NOT BE SHAKEN. ’THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL ABIDE IN HOPE; BECAUSE THOU WILT NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES, NOR ALLOW THY HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY. ’THOU HAST MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE; THOU WILT MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH THY PRESENCE.’ "Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. "And so, because he was a prophet, and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS UPON HIS THRONE, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY. "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ’THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE THINE ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR THY FEET."’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-- this Jesus whom you crucified."