Summary: This sermon speaks of how the Holy Spirit can change the lives of those who seeks him.
THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
My brothers and sister as we further investigate this book called Acts, we should not have a problem in understanding the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. We read the promise in the 1st chapter verse 8 that we shall receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon us. We saw that promise come to life on the day of Pentecost in the 2nd chapter, when suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a mighty rushing wind, that filled the house and appeared unto them like cloven tongues as of fire, and it was then that the 3rd verse of chapter 2 said “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” I tell you there is transforming power in the Holy Spirit that allowed them to be filled and to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost.
I read a humorous story on the internet about a family in a big city. In fact it was entitled “Transformed by an elevator.” It said;
A family from a remote area was making their first visit to a big city.
They checked into a grand hotel and stood in amazement at the impressive sight.
Upon leaving the reception desk they came to the elevator entrance.
There they saw something that they had never seen before. It was an elevator, and they just stared at it unable to figure out what it was for.
Suddenly an elderly lady hobbled towards the elevator, the door opened and she went inside.
The door closed, and soon, the door reopened and out came a good-looking young woman. The father just couldn’t stop staring. First at the woman than at the elevator.
Then without turning his head he nudged his son’s arm and said, "Go get your mother, son."
We might find humor in this man thinking that an elevator can transform an elderly lady into a gorgeous woman. But if we think about it, on a given Sunday, we can see what appears to be worthless sinners going into a building called the church to hear and receive the Word of God, and we can see him leaving out brand new.
The last time we visited this chapter we saw how Peter’s connecting message connected a disconnected people. It raised three points for us to consider. The first being in verse 34 that God is not a respecter of persons, and He receives anyone that receives Him. Secondly in verse 35, we saw that Jesus Christ is our great equalizer. That is that He and only He is the Lord of all. And finally, verse 38 let us see that Jesus is our only hope for our troubled past. That He went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. We concluded that we need to get connected and stay connected.
In this lesson we’ll see the results of Peter’s message that transformed a people that needed a transformation. And these people were Cornelius and his household who were Gentiles. The text tells us that those that heard the word received the Holy Spirit, they spoke with tongues and magnified the Lord, as did the Jewish Believers. Now verse 45 shows us that those that believed who came to Caesarea with Peter, was astonished because the Gentiles also received the gift of the Holy Spirit as they did. That is when Peter asked those who were with him in verse 47 according to the NLT, “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?”
So let us take a look at how the Holy Spirit transformed the Gentile believers.
First of all verse 44 let’s us see that...
1. THEY EMBRACED THE WORD THEY HEARD (v.44)
“While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them who heard the word.”
The first thing we should note is how they embraced the words they heard. They did not take the word they heard lightly. This was evident by what those Jewish believers that came with Peter saw and heard, because verse 45 said that they were astonished. Now although Cornelius and his household accepted what was taught by their Jewish associates, their was still a void in their lives until Peter came to town. And it was this Peter that introduced them to the Lord Jesus Christ and while they attached themselves to the Savior, it was the Holy Spirit that attached himself to them, and this my brothers and sisters astonished the Jewish believers. This is what happens to a person who truly associate themselves with The Church and the Savior, instead of a church and a pastor. The more word we hear the word, the more we embraced the Church and our Savior. The more we embraced the Savior the more the Holy Spirit is evident in our lives, that is why we should not forget to assemble ourselves together in study, praise and worship. The saints of old used to sing a song called “Nothing between.”