THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH Acts 2:1-13
Sunday week 6th March I have been asked to preach from Acts 2:1-13 and have been greatly blessed as I have been preparing this sermon, here are some thoughts for you to consider
Jesus had commanded them to remain in Jerusalem until they were “clothed” with power from on high. (Acts 24:49) Then just before His ascension in Acts 2:4-5 Jesus says that they must wait for the promise of the Father, “For John truly baptizes with water but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit (and fire Matt.3:11)not many days from now.
Jesus mentions the reason for the need for the power in Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The disciples had already had a Holy Spirit experience we read in John 20:22 Jesus breathed on them, and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”. They were “born again” but Jesus said there was MORE……..
They did not realise what it would mean to them personally when they received the power of the Holy Spirit and went out everywhere witnessing about Jesus. History tells us they sure went to the ends of the known world at that time.
Peter was crucified (upside down) in Rome in 54-56 AD
Andrew was severely scourged and tied with ropes on an X shaped cross where he hung for 2 days before dying In Edessa Greece.
James was beheaded with a sword in Jerusalem in AD 44
Philip was crucified in Hieropolis Syria
Bartholomew was beaten, flayed and crucified head down in India or Armenia
Thomas was lanced by idolatrous priests and burned up in an oven in Edessa Greece
Matthew was axed to death with a halberd (combined spear & axe) in Nadabah Ethiopia in around 60AD
James was thrown down from the Temple Tower in Jerusalem and not dead so was clubbed to death with a fullers club at age 94 in AD66
John was thrown into boiling oil but unharmed, dies of natural causes in Ephesus in 98AD
The Greek word for witness is martus which is also translated martyr!!!!!
So, in obedience to Jesus they remained in Jerusalem waiting on the Lord in prayer. This produced a UNITY (one accord Acts 2:1) Not only were they in unity with each other, but I believe in UNITY with the Lord. Psalm 133 tells us the God commands blessing when the brethren dwell together in unity.
I BELIEVE CONTINUAL SURRENDER TO THE WILL OF GOD IS THERKEY TO THE SPIRIT FILLED LIFE.
In Romans 12:1 Paul tell us we must CONTINUALLY PRESENT our bodies in surrender to the Lord. Remember the Holy Spirit was already in the Disciples’ lives, but the Holy Spirit wanted to FILL their lives, they did not receive more of the Spirit, but the Holy Spirit sure got more of them.The holy Spirit wants to fill and keep on filling our house (our body).
At the birth of the Church 2 things happened that have not been repeated but what they signified MUST happen if we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Firstly the Holy Spirit came like a rushing mighty wind.
The Greek word for Spirit is PNEUMA which can be translated WIND BREATH OR AIR, and like winnowing the chaff is blown away, but the wheat is kept. God wants to blow the chaff out of our lives.
Then the Holy Spirit came as a flame of fire and sat on each of them. The writer to Hebrews describes God as a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29) In Malachi God is described as a Refiner’s fire. Do you know how precious metals are refined ?
The Goldsmith applies heat to the molten metal, and “muck” rubbish comes to the surface, he then takes a “muckrake” and scooped the muck off. More heat is applied, more muck comes to the surface and is removed. The Goldsmith knows when the gold is pure when he can see his face reflected in the precious metal.
As the disciples responded to the wind and the fire, Acts 2:4 tells us they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they went out of the upper room speaking of the wonderful works of God. There are 16 nationalities mention in these verses, as these Jews like at the Passover had come to Jerusalem at God’s command to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost (a harvest feast) and the first Christian harvest took place and under Peter’s preaching that day 3000 were saved and baptized in water.THE CHURCH WAS BORN.
If we want to be filled with the Spirit and learn to live the Spirit filled life, we must CONTINUALLY let the wind of the Spirit blow the chaff out of our lives, and let the fire of the Holy Spirit to purge the impurities out of our lives. In Eph. 5:18 Paul uses the same Greek tense to remind us to be CONTINUALLY FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT, WE MUST LEARN TO BE CONTINUALLY SURRENDERED TO THE LORD 24/7
As a young man I used to sing a hymn, that I probably have not sung for over 50 years, I could only remember the first line so I googled that line, and the Singapore Baptist church has listed the words on the internet and I share them with you, as it expresses so well what I have sought to teach in this blog. I trust this blog has been a blessing to you, would you let me know please ? click on the URL to get the words of the hymn.