Summary: Originally delivered on Pentecost Sunday, this message reviews the highlights of this historic event as recorded in Acts 2 namely: the bestowal of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church in Jerusalem.
Understanding Pentecost (Acts 2)
Do you know that today is Pentecost Sunday? In Italy it was customary to scatter rose petals from the ceiling of the churches to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues; hence in Sicily and elsewhere in Italy Whitsunday is called Pasqua rosatum. The Italian name Pasqua rossa comes from the red colors of the vestments used on Whitsunday.
In France it was customary to blow trumpets during Divine service, to recall the sound of the mighty wind which accompanied the descent of the Holy Spirit. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
But, what really is Pentecost? [Three thingsÉ]
I. Pentecost is an EVENT
A. Hebrew history - Pentecost is historically and symbolically related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus.
B. Church history - Among Christians, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus after His resurrection (coming back to life). For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described as the "Birthday of the Church". Also, the Pentecostal movement of Christianity derives its name from this biblical event. The feast is also called Whit Sunday, Whitsun, or Whit.
II. Pentecost is an EXPERIENCE
What an awesome day it must have been on that first Shavuot (Pentecost) after JesusÕ death, resurrection and ascension to glory! Just imagine the scene . . .
A. For the 120 believers - 2:1-4
1. It was the fulfillment of JesusÕ promise to them Ð Acts 1:5
2. It was supernaturally being filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit
B. For the unknown number of unbelievers - 2:5-13
1. Confusion Ð v.6
2. Amazement & being marveledÐ v.7
3. Perplexity Ð v. 12
4. Mockery Ð v.13
C. For the 3,000 converts - 2:14-41
1. Opportunity to listen to PeterÕs preaching Ð v.14~
2. Cut to the heart Ð v.37
3. Gladly received the word (repented & believed) Ð v.41
4. Baptized Ð v.41
5. New life
III. Pentecost is an EXAMPLE
When Jesus lived in Israel 2000 years ago, it is estimated that there were upwards of 100,000 Israeli Jews who believed in Him. However, today in the Holy Land there are only about 8,000 Israeli Jews who believe in Yeshua out of the 5.5 million Jewish people! (SOURCE: Messianic Bible online newsletter)
A. Christian community - vv.42, 46
B. Christian character - v.43
C. Christian conduct - vv.44~45
D. Christian communication - v.47
Pentecost is an event to be remembered. LetÕs not forget it, but remember it and be encouraged.
Pentecost is an experience (encounter) with God the Holy Spirit. Be filled by the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost is an example of life transformed by the Spirit of God lived out daily before God, in the world and among the community of the redeemed. Living out the Christian life is not through self-effort and discipline alone. We need the Holy Spirit to fill us, guide us and empower us.
ILLUSTRATION: Connecting to our Source of power.
Last FridayÕs TJIF @YWCA Ð installed the sound system and other cables; the keyboard wouldnÕt make a sound Ð IT WAS UNPLUGGED FROM THE POWER CORD!