Summary: The New Testament church operated in power not weakness. So many congregations are failing, weak, troubled, and dying because they’re operating out of human power and not the power of the Holy Spirit.
SERIES: “LESSONS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH”
TEXT: ACTS 2:1-13
TITLE: “RESTORING THE POWER OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH”
INTRODUCTION: A. A mechanic in Mangum, Oklahoma, answered the distress call of a woman
motorist, whose car had stalled. He examined the car and informed her that it was out
She asked the mechanic, "Will it hurt if I drive it home with the gas tank empty?"
1. That woman didn’t understand the automobiles operate
2. She was confused as to what powers the vehicle.
B. Many Christians are confused about the Holy Spirit
1. There are those who over-emphasize the Holy Spirit
2. There are those who under-emphasize the Holy Spirit
3. There are those who ignore the Holy Spirit altogether.
C. Who is the Holy Spirit?
--The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit in many different ways
1. The Spirit of God – Gen. 41:36
2. The Spirit of judgment and fire – Is. 4:4
3. The Spirit of wisdom and understanding – Is. 11:2
4. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord – Is. 61:1
5. The Spirit of truth
6. The Spirit of Christ
7. The Spirit of Grace
9. Power of the Most High
D. Holy Spirit has been active throughout history
1. In creation
--Gen. 1:1-2 – “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the
surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
2. Throughout the Old Testament
a. Judges 6:34 – “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a
trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him.”
b. 1 Sam. 16:13 – “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence
of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David
3. Throughout life and ministry of Jesus
a. Lk. 4:1 – “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by
the Spirit into the desert…”
b. Lk. 4:14 – “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about
him spread through the whole countryside.”
E. In our text tonight, we see a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit that had been
prophesied and promised both in the Old Testament and by Jesus.
1. Occurred on a day we call Pentecost.
a. Jews called Pentecost the Feat of Weeks
--it was one of the high holy days for the Jewish people
b. Began fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits
2. As you study the calendar of Jewish feasts in Lev. 23, you’ll see that it is an
outline of the work of Jesus Christ.
a. Passover pictures His death as the Lamb of God
b. The Feast of Firstfruits pictures His resurrection from the dead.
(1). Firstfruits took place on the day after the Sabbath following Passover.
(2). Firstfruits always took place on the first day of the week
--The Sabbath is on the seventh day
(3). Jesus rose from the grave on the first day of the week and as 1 Cor. 15:20
tells us – He “became the firstfruits of them that slept.”
3. If Pentecost was 50 days following Firstfruits, then it, too would have been on the
first day of the week.
a. It celebrated giving of the Law (the Old Covenant)
b. What better day to start the New Covenant than on this day
4. The events described in Acts 2 are the beginning of the church
--The promised time when Jesus would lead His people not by His physical
presence but instead by His Holy Spirit.
F. Vance Havner: “We are not going to move this world by criticism of it nor conformity
to it, but by the combustion within it of lives by the Spirit of God.”
1. Important that we understand this power that is given to us
--Without the work of the Spirit in our lives and in our church we become like the
people Paul describes in 2 Tim. 3:5a – “having a form of godliness but denying
2. 1 Cor. 2:4-5 – “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive
words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not
rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”
2. Without the Power of the Holy Spirit the message of the Gospel rest in man’s
I. THE EXPRESSION – HOW DID THE HOLY SPIRIT COME?
A. Believers were together
1. “all together” – word literally means “unanimous”
--not just together as a group of people but together in purpose and perspective
2. “in one place” – “ to admit or delight in”
--That’s where the body of Christ needs to be: accepting one another in grace