Summary: Today we are living in a church society, that has redefined what the church is all about.
THE EMPOWERED CHURCH
Today we are living in a church society, that has redefined what the church is all about. Grant it so that the church, particularly the Black Church had its part in our history. It was the Black Church that helped in the freeing of the Slaves and it was the Black Church that had a part in the Civil Rights Movement, but as for now the Black Church somewhat like the church of Ephesus in Revelation has left its first love and is missing a major point of spiritual engagement. Yes, Jesus Himself had something to say about the social ills of His day, but He had more to say about the moral ills of mankind. So we find ourselves hearing new buzz words like economic empowerment, and social empowerment, but while we are talking about those things we are not seeking the power that the church had from the very beginning, and that is the Holy Ghost power. We have moved from singing “there is power, power wonder working power in the blood of the Lamb” to singing song that implies His powerful name, and have started putting emphasis on financial freedoms and business ownerships. Now don’t get me wrong, we should be financially free, and I encourage private owned businesses, and if we think about it the church with its wealth is financially strong and enduring, but it was not finances that got the church where it is today, because while the New Testament Church was held in homes and in places of isolation, even down by the sea shores, but it was in that church where people were healed and delivered from physical, spiritual and social ills. And the reason is because of the Holy Ghost.
Charles Stanley in his book The Wonderful Spirit-Filled The Life says and I quote “Nothing is more frustrating than watching people listen week after week, oftentimes writing it all down, and then do nothing with what they have heard. He said that evangelical America is note rich and application poor. As a result, there is little difference between many of us and our lost neighbors.” I ask, what has happened to the church that was birthed on the day of Pentecost? What happened to the people that exhibited that power? And what happened to that New Testament Church that had thirst to hear from the Lord? I tell you that Church was relevant? I am reminded of a young priest named Thomas Arqanus who was once taken into a room that was tucked away in a church in Rome, and shown all the riches that the church had. And it was said to him “Thomas no longer does the church have to say that silver and gold have we none.” Then young Thomas thought about what was said “Yes, that is true, and no longer can the church say, but such as I have I give unto thee, In the name of Jesus pick up thy bed and walk.” What Thomas Arqanus was saying is that the church is no longer using the power it once had, it is not to say that the power is not there, but the reason is because it has been empowering itself with silver and gold, and the Holy Ghost power has become a secondary thought.
So, come with me today as I share with you what made the early church so powerful and I hope that from this day we can recapture what the church once was known for.
First of all verse 1 lets us know that...
1. THEY HAD TO COME TOGETHER AS ONE IN ORDER TO BE EMPOWERED (V.1)
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
If you would note in the text it said “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come,” We often hear about the day of Pentecost but we really don’t know what it signifies. So, we associate Pentecost with a denomination but we still don’t know what it is all about. Pentecost is the ushering in of the New Church age or the Sixth Dispensation which is called Grace. Five dispensations have come and gone throughout the bible. The dispensation of Innocence, Conscience, Human Government, Promise, Law, and now we are living in the dispensation of Grace. The point of this dispensation is that we are no longer under the Mosaic law, but we are under the conditions of grace through salvation that comes with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
I know that you hear that a lot around here but it has pressed upon me by the Holy Spirit to tell you these things.
On the day that Pentecost had arrived, the only way that God was to send His Spirit was depending upon if they were ready for Him or not. You see God does not send His Spirit to those who are not ready and do not want Him, but to those who seek the Holy Spirit through consecration and reading His Word with a sincere heart. So what they had to do was to be all in one mind, in one place. Now in the Bible when God wanted to speak, He spoke to the multitude when they were on one accord. They all came because they had one thing in common and that was to be in Jesus’ presence. If they needed healing they sort Jesus, If they needed someone delivered, they sort Jesus, what ever they needed they knew Jesus had it. And even after His death He was still providing for them, because He sent us His promised Comforter called the Holy Spirit.