Summary: The early church receives the Holy Spirit and is empowered to preach the Gospel to everyone, everywhere.
SERIES: Adventures in Acts 002
TITLE: The Power and Purpose of the Church
TEXT: Acts 2:1-8
INTRO: In the Bible, we find God working with men in various ways at different times:
1. In the OT we see the Father working with men.
2. In the Gospels we see Jesus working among men.
3. In Acts we see the Holy Spirit working within men.
Fifty days after the Feast of the Passover, came a feast we know as Pentecost (Greek for fiftieth day). It was the feast of the first fruits of the harvest and on this day something occurred that brought forth the first fruit harvest of the gospel.
I. WAITING FOR THE PROMISE
A. Waiting in Jerusalem
1. The Apostles were waiting according to Jesus'
(Act 1:4-5 ESV) And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
2. They were all together in one accord
(Act 1:14 ESV) All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
# (Vance Havner) “Snowflakes are fragile things, but when they stick together they can stop traffic!”
3. They believed in the power of prayer
# A businessman in a small town that had been "dry" revealed his plans to open a tavern. Christians from a local church planned an all-night prayer meeting to ask God to intervene. Shortly thereafter lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground. The owner brought a law suit against the church, claiming that the prayers of the congregation were responsible. The church hired an attorney to argue in court that they were not responsible for the man’s property being destroyed. The presiding judge after his review of the case stated, "No matter how this case comes out, one thing is clear. The tavern owner believes in prayer and the Christians do not."
B. Waiting on God
1. Waiting can be difficult & most of us don't like to wait
2. Before we begin to do anything, we need to wait for
(Psa 40:1 ESV) I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
II. RECEIVING THE POWER
A. Like a Mighty Rushing Wind the Holy Spirit Fell Upon Everyone
1. In the OT, the Holy Spirit was given temporarily to
certain individuals for special service
2. In the NT, He is with believers and indwells them
(Joh 14:16-17 ESV) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
B. They Were All Filled With the Holy Spirit
1. The Holy Spirit was "with" them and "in" them
2. He Baptizes believers into the body of Christ
3. He teaches us and leads us
(Joh 14:26 ESV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
4. Comforts us when we are bereaved or discouraged
C. The Miracle of Tongues
1. Jews had come to Jerusalem from other countries for
the feast & they spoke different languages
2. But they all understood what was said (vs.5-6)
D. Peter Preached a Great Sermon
1. He said that this was a fulfillment of prophecy [v.17-21]
2. He told them that Jesus is risen and exalted as Lord
and Christ (22-26)
3. He called upon the people to repent (37-40)
4. Three Thousand Responded to the Gospel [v.41]
III. FULFILLING THE PURPOSE
A. Waiting Church Was Transformed into a Working Church
1. They were excited about the Savior
2. They began to move out of their group into the world
3. They were obedient to Christ's Great Commission:
(Mat 28:19 ESV) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
B. They Were Committed in the Face of Persecution
1. Stephen was stoned to death for his faith
2. John & Peter were arrested and beaten for preaching
3. The whole church faced the threat of persecution, jail,
C. The Church Was Powerful
1. People were being saved on a daily basis (v.47)
2. They witnessed miraculous conversions:
first 3,000 & then 5,000 were saved
3. They saw God deal with hypocrisy in their midst by