Summary: 1. The power of pentecost is the power to witness. 2. The power to witness does not come from us, but from God. 3. A lack of witness indicates a lack of power.
The Power Of Pentecost
May 19, 2002
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he charged 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 before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:1-8
Introduction: If only I had a million dollars
-we wish for the sake of power
-power to control and manipulate our present and future
In our churches we wish for power
-if only we had more...........
money................. we could.............
S. S. teachers......
A Movement of God
Imagine what the early church must have wished for........."If only......"
An unlikely group did an unlikely thing. How? What power were they able to grasp?
The Power of Pentecost
1. The Power Of Pentecost Is The Power To Witness.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?"...And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine." Acts 2:1-7,12-13 (RSV)
The disciples were expecting a power to "rule." But what they received was a power to "witness". "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you."
[In The Meantime. April 7,2002. http://www.preachersmagazine.org.]
And then Jesus gave the missionary mandate for what every disciple then and every disciple since is to be doing between his first coming and second coming: "When the Holy Spirit has come upon you will receive power and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem (with your family), in Judea (with your friends), in Samaria (out there with all the folks you don’t like and who don’t like you - with all the wrong-headed, hostile, most sinful people you can find).
[Ibid., In The Meantime.]
When the Holy Spirit fills a human heart with his power and presence, He generates the passion to carry out Christ’s command. And so for a person to claim to be filled with the Spirit and yet not be passionately concerned about witness is to deny their calling.
[Over The Edge. April 14,2002. http://www.preachersmagazine.org.]
Pentecost gives us a voice and then pushes us over the edge to speak. The Gospel, by its very nature, cannot be confined to a cuddly, safe, insulated environment where we just huddle up and wait for Jesus to come back. No! The Gospel insists on spilling out and running into the streets where the people are, where the hurting and dying are!
[Ibid., Over The Edge.]
2. The Power To Witness Does Not Come From Us, But From God.
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth beneath" Acts 2:14-19 (RSV)