Summary: A Pentecost sermon about our need of the Spirit for: Witness, (removing) Walls and Worship.
We need the Spirit. WBC 30 May 2004 am Acts 2:1-21
Are you aware that John Wesley, himself, had a Pentecost experience?
Wed 24th May 1738. (3 days after Whitsun/Pentecost)
Well discipled in his upbringing. Thoroughly converted in his convictions, commitment, mind. Double professor of Greek & logic at Lincoln College, Oxford.
Had been an ordained Anglican clergyman for many years. Went as a missionary to America to work with the Indians¡Kbut stirred up all kinds of trouble, lawsuits and these and complete lack of fruitfulness made him so despondent. Forced to return to England he wrote, ¡§I went to America to convert the Indians; but, oh, who shall convert me?¡¨
One good thing was- he met Moravian Missionaries. People with a power in their lives
Not unlike the 120 who gathered, frightened, in an upper room to pray. Timid. Rejected. Despondent. Believed in Jesus but ¡¥where was His power?¡¦.
- John¡¦s gospel tells us that prior to this Peter & others had even gone back to fishing
Belief and commitment¡K. But no power
But Wesley¡¦s story continues (round about Pentecost)
¡§In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luthor¡¦s preface to the epistle of the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith- I felt my heart strangely warmed. I FELT I DID trust Christ, Christ alone, for my salvation- and an assurance was given me that He HAD taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.¡¨
Overnight his preaching and effectiveness changed
- April 17th 1739 ¡§ we called on God to confirm His word¡¨- and people sank to their knees as they found Christ!
- Travelled 250,000 miles. 40,000 sermons. Hundreds of thousands saved
Notably- he felt very little that first Pentecost experience. Note that!
- simply ¡¥strangely warmed¡¦ and ¡¥assured¡¦
- later there were subsequent experiences
George Whitfield¡¦s diary,: ’Mon 1st Jan 1739. Had a love-feast with our brethren and spent the whole night in close prayer, psalms and thanksgiving. God supported me without sleep.’ About 3 in the morning it seemed like the day of Pentecost had come again. Wesley recoded in his journal ’ the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many fell to the ground. As soon as we were recovered a little from awe and amazement at the presence of His majesty, we broke out with one voice "we praise thee, O God, we acknowledge thee to be the Lord"’
But with Wesley what stood out was not the experience, but the FRUIT
- same with others:
- DL Moody¡¦s testimony. From "The Life of DL Moody"
- 1871. Had largest congregation in Chicago
- - people kept telling him he needed the power of the HS
- His encounter was with a sense of God¡¦s LOVE, and after it he records: ¡§The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you would give me all the world- it would be as the small dust of the balance¡¨
With these people, and everyone else, what happened was evidenced by RESULTS (not always by what they felt)
- it was a change of gear
we need the Spirit!
And I want to talk about our need of Him in the three areas He touched at Pentecost: Witness, Walls and Worship
Look at the results in this passage!
- timid 120. Distressed
- > they changed the world! 3000 in one day
- Changed into dynamic evangelists.
- AC 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus
- and I¡¦d add- it¡¦s because they had been filled with the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7)
- Because the HS came at Pentecost to continue Jesus¡¦ work and fruitfulness through God¡¦s people
Prior to that:, like Leslie Puckett of Kentucky who after struggling to start his car, lifted the hood and discovered that someone had stolen the motor
No motor. No power. Little fruit.
We need the Spirit!
To be effective witnesses. Spirit of witness- come!
I could illustrate it with so many examples: touch from God > greater fruitfulness. (Even seen it in my life, Bushey¡K now??)
- but history records every man and woman dramatically used by God as being touched by the Spirit first
Now- how do WE get this?
a) Gotta believe God wants to give His HS! ¡§stop doubting and believe¡¨
- our culture is even worse that here. We make fun of everything genuine or try and find a rational explanation for anything vaguely supernatural