Summary: Although this chapter tells us about one of the greatest sermon’s ever preached... it has 4 principles we can use to be effective in our everyday witnessing.
OPEN: Several years back, when having a computers was a fairly new experience for most people… a lot of folks got flustered over little things:
For example: one customer called in to customer service department to complain that he kept getting an "Access Denied" message every time he tried to get into a certain area of his computer. It turned out he was typing his password in all capital letters.
So, the Technical Support man said: "OK, let’s try once more, but use lower case letters."
After a pause, the customer replied: "But, I only have capital letters on my keyboard."
Another time, a technician with Compaq computers received a call from a man complaining that his computer wouldn’t read the files from his old diskettes(show picture of diskette). After trouble-shooting for things like exposure to magnets and heat failure to diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer labeled the diskettes then rolled them into a typewriter to type information on the labels. Diskettes don’t like to be rolled into anything.
Then there was the customer who called Dell Computers to say he couldn’t get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen (show picture of monitor) and hitting the "send" key.
APPLY: Now, I realize that some of you may still not understand what was funny about all that.
But the fact is… whenever we’re exposed to something new in our lives – like computers - we often find ourselves being overwhelmed and intimidated. We may think that - whatever it is – it’s just too complicated for us to do… so we just don’t do it.
There are people who look at the idea of sharing their faith, talking about Jesus, in much the same way.
It just seems too complicated for them… so they just don’t do it.
I. One of the most dynamic examples of witnessing (in the Bible) is recorded here in Acts 2
Now, granted, it’s a sermon. But still, all Peter was doing was sharing what he knew about Jesus. And ALL the elements of what makes for good witnessing are found right here in this chapter.
Now I’m not sure you’re going to personally baptize 3000 people like Peter did on Pentecost. But, even if you only change the life of ONE person (by following these concepts) you’ll be accomplishing more than many people do in their entire lifetimes.
Now is there somebody you like or care for that you’d like to make sure they went to heaven?
Would you like to be able to stand before God on judgment day and have Him proudly point out the person/ persons that you helped bring to Jesus?
THAT WOULD BE GREAT!
So… what is it that can we learn from Acts chapter 2 that would make us better at witnessing?
1st PRINCIPLE OF EFFECTIVE WITNESSING: Pray for the Holy Spirit to be involved
When many people think about the Holy Spirit and Pentecost they think of:
· …tongues of fire
· and they think of “speaking in tongues”
And they might think to themselves:
· If I could experience tongues of fire
· AND if I could speak in a language that I’d never learned
· If I could just have the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within me…
THEN I could really do something for Jesus!
Well… YOU DO HAVE the power of the Holy Spirit within you.
How many of you are saved? (…ask for a show of hands)
If you’re a Christian - you HAVE the Holy Spirit.
When you were saved, Ephesians 1:13 tells us that “…after you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit…”
And Romans 8:11 tells us: “…if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”
You have all the power dwelling w/in you that Apostles had w/in them on the day of Pentecost
You may not have all the bells and whistles: The tongues of fire & the ability to speak/ tongues… those were all window dressing anyway.
Nobody got saved that day because of the tongues of fire.
Nobody gave their life to Christ that day because the Apostles spoke in strange languages.
In fact, spectacular fireworks like these never helped save anybody in Scripture.
The purpose of the tongues of fire, and of the Apostles speaking in tongues was to get the audience’s attention. Once the audience started paying attention Peter just stood up and shared about Jesus.
He spoke just like any other man… EXCEPT he spoke guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit