Summary: Peter’s Pentecost sermon shows us that we need to be under the influence of the HS in order to boldly speak the truth.
Under the Influence:
Sipping Saints or Holy Boldness?
Intro: The believers who were gathered on the Day of Pentecost had all just been filled with the HS and had spoken in other tongues. People from various language groups understood what they were saying. Part of the reason these believers were accused of being drunk could be that the liturgy for the Day of Pentecost was expected to be done by a trained priest in the Hebrew language (which the Jews called the Holy Tongue). This might be compared to how Roman Catholics have used Latin at Mass and in their liturgy. Many people do not understand it, but it has been viewed as a sacred tongue. Using the proper language was deemed more important than having people understand what was being said. Anyway, for people to stand up in the temple on the Day of Pentecost during the 9AM prayer time and start praying and declaring God’s praise in Aramaic, Greek, or any of the other languages represented there would seem a bit out of place. In fact, it would have been profane to some of the Jews to use any other language than Hebrew for worship in the temple. So, when these devout Jews from several other nations saw these Galileans stand up and start speaking (and they actually understood what was being said), it amazed and perplexed them. Some of them thought it was pretty cool, but others thought it reflected poor judgment- the kind of poor judgment a drunk person might display- someone who does not know enough to sit down and be quiet and proper and stop interrupting the priest. “These guys must be drunk! These are ordinary men from Galilee. Here they are trying to act like priests, but they aren’t even speaking in Hebrew. They are speaking in Aramaic, Greek, and other foreign profane languages.” When we add the joy of the HS and the emotional release these Spirit-filled believers must have felt, we can see why they might have been accused of being drunk.
-Well, Peter was still under the influence of the HS when he stood up to correct the allegation of drunkenness, and he preached the gospel to well over 3000 people at once. I’d like to look at Peter’s Pentecost sermon and let it speak to us again today.
Prop: We need to be under the influence of the HS in order to boldly speak the truth.
Interrogative: Well, you might ask, “Does the HS still work that way today, and if so, how can we get in on it?
TS: Let’s look at three main elements from Peter’s sermon to find these answers.
I. God Is Pouring Out His Spirit on all Who Will Receive (2:17-18)
A. The Holy Spirit Must Be Received (Welcomed/Accepted)
-Beginning on the Day of Pentecost in the year Christ died and rose again (possibly around 30 AD) until now, God has been pouring out His HS on all who will receive. The key for believers today is to prepare themselves to receive the HS. God already has and still is pouring His HS out, but it is up to us to receive what God is doing. In Luke 24:49 Jesus told His disciples to wait in the city of Jerusalem until they received the HS, which the Father had promised to send.
-This brings up a question for us today: How can we increase our receptivity of the HS? How can we foster a greater openness to all that God wants to pour into our lives? Well, one thing we can do that these early believers did is to pray. Acts 1:14 tells us 14”They all joined together constantly in prayer.” We talked about this a few weeks ago, but it tells us at least 2 things they did that helped prepare them to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit: 1) They joined together, and 2) They prayed. I wonder what would happen in Elgin if believers started joining together and praying on a regular basis? I’m not talking about a casual get-together Good Samaritan club. I’m talking about people coming together for the sole purpose of seeking the presence and power of God. What might happen?
-Well, one thing that must happen to increase our openness to the HS is that we must come to a place where we trust God. If we don’t trust that God wants to give us what is best for us, then we won’t be very open to receive the infilling of the HS. Every good and perfect gift comes from our heavenly Father. He doesn’t give bad gifts. He wants us to have the very best. That is why He sent Jesus. That is why He sends the Holy Spirit. So let’s trust Him completely and eagerly embrace the gift of the Holy Spirit.