Sermons

Summary: The beginnings of the church

The day of Pentecost Acts 2:1-13

How many of you read the obituaries? I always do, first, I want to make sure my name isn’t there and then I want to see if there’s anyone there I know. I read an interesting one the other day and thought I’d share it with you.

It was the Obituary of the Pillsbury Doughboy

It said, “Please join me in remembering a great icon. Veteran Pillsbury spokesperson, The Pillsbury Doughboy, died yesterday of a severe yeast infection and complications from repeated pokes to the belly. He was 71. Doughboy was buried in a slightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out, including Mrs. Butterworth, the California Raisins, Hungry Jack, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, Captain Crunch and many others. The graveside was piled high with flours as long-time friend, Aunt Jemima, delivered the eulogy, describing Doughboy as a man who "never knew how much he was kneaded."

Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with many turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting most of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, even as a crusty old man, he was still considered a roll model for millions. Doughboy is survived by his second wife, Play Dough. They have two children and one in the oven. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.”

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, what meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, these men are full of new wine.

In chapter 1 the disciples were told to wait for the Holy Spirit and in chapter 2 we see the Holy Spirit’s arrival. In chapter 1 they were told to wait but in chapter 2 they were told to go. And in chapter 1 they were all gathered together in the upper room but in chapter two they go out into the streets and addressed the people who came because of the obvious loud and unusual sound.

So, there are changes taking place and that’s what the book of Acts is all about because the Jewish style of synagogue worship gives way to the Christian church and throughout the book of Acts we’ll see things develop as change takes place and we’ll see believers taking a stand for the things they know to be true, churches being born in difficult situations and people like Stephan giving their lives for the faith.

Acts is both historical in that it describes what happened but it’s also an accurate account of the church in transition as the church goes from a small group of Jews who were gathered in the upper room to several thousand in Jerusalem to millions throughout the world.

In this book we’ll also see several miracles taking place and some assume this to be the norm for the church but if it was normal then they wouldn’t be called miracles. Miracles are things that only God can do and these are things that go beyond the natural laws. Someone defined miracles as an unusual work of God where He arouses our sense of awe and wonder and bears witness to Himself. I’ve heard people say, “We need to see more miracles; but if we did they wouldn’t be called miracles; would they?

Someone might say, "I had a financial need and the mailman brought a check for exactly the same amount I needed and that was a miracle." Or, someone says, "I went to the mall and found a parking place right by the front door of the store I wanted to shop in” and they considered that to be a miracle too. Or, maybe you were thinking and praying for somebody and all of a sudden your phone rings and it was the very one you were thinking of and you say, "That was a miracle!"

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