Summary: The Holy Spirit came in power that day...the church needs a return to that kind of power. What must we be to be ready?
Bible Teaching Ministry of
CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH
a fellowship of faith, family & friendships
July 25, 2004
The late Dr. A. W. Tozer, author and pastor, said, "If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference." 
Pentecost was the event that followed 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus; it was only 10 days after the ascension of Jesus to the Father in Heaven. The disciples did what they were instructed, waited in an upper room for power from on high. That power came in a person – the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.
Once the power came, that small band of people who formed the first church turned the world on its’ ear. Christ is the most controversial figure in history. We keep calendars based upon before and after His time on earth. Wars have been fought in and against His name. Lawsuits, Supreme Courts and politicians try to keep him in, out or off of public property.
Even the first sermon preached was to people who thought the followers of Jesus were drunk. They were drunk, but it was a different kind of Spirit that intoxicated that group.
And so, today we take a look at the church at Pentecost; we note the conditions which characterized their lives, and glean a sense of what we should be about in our lives that the Holy Spirit might be powerful in our midst as well. What was it about that early church that invited God’s Holy Spirit to come in their midst and change the world?
THEY HAD A CONCRETE CONVICTION OF LORDSHIP
1The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2Until the day in which he was taken up,
after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
Acts 1:3 (KJV)
One certain conviction shared by those first disciples was that Jesus Christ was the Lord! Now, in our culture we have trouble bowing the knee to anyone, no matter how important or powerful. The disciples had seen enough of the power of God to know better. They were committed.
There is a classic phrase which comes out of American history. During the Civil war it was said that "General Longstreet’s forces are not yet committed to battle," One reason that many churches are impotent in the war for souls is that we have not yet committed to following as the upper room group. We need a concrete conviction of Jesus’ lordship over our lives, families, personal space and wallets before the Holy Spirit will darken the doorstep!
THEY HAD A LASTING LOYALTY TO LEADERSHIP
In these first two chapters of Acts Peter quickly becomes the leader that Jesus said he would be. There are two recorded messages…one to the disciples, and then his sermon to the lost:
15And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Acts 1:15 (KJV)
14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea,
and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: Acts 2:14 (KJV)
Emboldened by the Holy Spirit of God, Peter became a man of God who used the Word of God to do the work of God. Folks, there is always a lot of good-natured kidding that preachers take about sermons – especially the length of the sermon. One publication had the congregation’s remarks to the preacher at the front door:
Oh, Pastor, you always manage to find something to say that fills up all that time.
You know, preacher, if I’d a-known you were goin’ t’ be good this morning I would’a invited my neighbor.
…and my favorite…
Preacher, I don’t care what they say…I like your sermons.
Most of us preachers deserve at least some of those remarks, but we must be careful to understand that our very lifeblood as a church depends upon the reception of, and repetition of that Word of God.
Loyalty to leadership means that they understood Peter was the first to step-out in faith to win souls to the Lord. Their loyalty was expressed in stepping-out right behind him to win souls.