Pentecost 2 - The Result
Key Text Acts 2:37-40
What I love about the celebration of Pentecost is that it allows the church wherever she is and whatever state she finds herself in to dream again.
To recapture the potential that is bottled up in the idea of what happens when people surrender to the power of the Spirit.
I love the idea that out of a rag tag group of disciples power was poured out and something amazing happened - God worked and there was a wonderful and incredible result. we will read about this in Acts 2:37-40
Last week we looked at what it means to be filled with the Spirit of God - we saw that if you are Christian then because you are a Christian you have the Spirit.
And we saw that we are called to be filled with the Spirit which is essentially be lead along by, permeated and dominated by the Holy Spirit in your life. Tonight I want us to look at the potential that is here if we would like the early church be kept being filled with the Spirit.
As I said our text for tonight is Acts 2:37-40 which is right after the Spirit is poured out on the Disciples they have just spoken in multiple languages and the people have heard in their own language Jesus is Lord.
This is the result.
37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
I love this; I don’t know if you can see the power in this the excitement in this. The hope in this. People pleading to know more, those filled compelled to share the truth and thousands being added to the church.
Let me ask you tonight why can't we experience the same power and result today in the world we live in.
Surely we have the same Spirit that they had; so surely we have the same power?
I believe that we do have the same Spirit and that we have the same power. I believe that God can do through us what He did then and even more.
So tonight I want to address what the impact of the Spirit was on Jerusalem, and also can be on us and our community.
Firstly the impact was
It states that "when the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?'"
When the church surrenders to the Spirit's leading there is a deep impact that is created within the heart of that community and in fact that deep impacts starts to overflow into the people that are surrounding the church community.
Church if we would surrender to Spirit and be kept being filled with the Spirit as Ephesians calls us to do we would find within ourselves and by product our community a deep awe as we engage them with the power that is within us.
I love the way acts states it "they were cut to the heart..." When we are surrendered to the Spirit of God we are cut to the heart.
I remember when God's Spirit lead me to knowing Christ as saviour I remember for the first time in my life I was broken about the life I was living; how I was walking against Him, I was cut to the heart at the state of my life and my rebellion.
For years before that this was never an issue; before the Spirit of God lead me to it I was never overwhelmed and cut the heart and the actions I was doing, but when the Spirit came I was cut to the heart.
And I want to say even now when I go my own way and do not live in surrender to the Spirit of God and the leading of God I am less and less cut to the heart over my lack of surrender and the state of my life. Yet, when I come again in surrender to Him and surrender again; I am cut to the heart at the state of my disobedience; and I cry our what must I do!
Church if we would follow the command to be kept being filled there would be an ever growing sense of awe over us and by implication this awe would through the power of the Spirit.
so the result of the Spirit being poured out was a sense of deep awe
Demanded a Response
The people cried out what should we do! The result of people being surrendered was that there was a response demanded.
I believe that the Spirit leads people to repentance, he leads us to respond to grace.
I need to make something plain to you tonight; it is the Spirit that enables people to respond to God's grace. It is as His Spirit is poured out that His grace is realised in peoples lives, and so for the Church to be success in the world we need to being going in the power of the Spirit and being lead along by Him permeated by His power and dominated by His will.
The worst thing we can be doing is in human effort trying to extend the kingdom of God; what we need to be doing in in surrender to God going in the power of God to establish the Kingdom of God.
The Disciples were filled with the Spirit and declared because of that Spirit and by the power of that Spirit that Jesus is Lord and and the same power that filled them awoke men and woman to respond to the call of that Spirit.
Each as their hearts were moved cried out what should we do!
3000 asked this question.
Church you have been filled with the same Spirit you are empowered by Holy Spirit so let us speak by the power of the Spirit into the lives of people around us! Because when we speak empowered by the Spirit of God a response is demanded.
2 Corinthians Paul speaks about this when he says that
15For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.
There is a response when we are filled with the Spirit and live by the Spirit and share our faith empowered by the Spirit. People either are changed or reject us. There is a response.
Church I truly believe that if we live surrendered to the leading of the Spirit permeated by Him in all aspects of our lives and dominated by Him in will we would find that in our own lives there would be a response; we would experience the fruit of the Spirit more in our lives and in our community as we as impacted people engage others.
We would see that when we live by the Spirit there is a response demanded
Also the result of the Spirit being poured out was that the impact was.
Acts says "and 3000 were added to their numbers that day."
Imagine going from a church of 70 to 3000 in one day!
That's is like our group next week being 3000 people!
Now we get stuck on the numbers because numbers impress us. what I am impressed by is what God did with those numbers.
Now I believe if we as the church live lives surrendered to the Spirit that we would experience growth; because God's desire is that all people might be saved.
But what was more impressive than that incredible growth was what happened in those people. They lived together; they supported each other; they devoted themselves to studying God's Word, they became a unity.
And Acts says they grew in favour of all people every and God added daily to their numbers those who were bring saved.
Why are we doing this? Why are we gathering Sunday after Sunday? We are doing this because we believe that God has encountered us and saved us and because of that he has a plan for us in this world.
That plan is that we would be a part of a new community that He has called together that demonstrates to the world what God can do with people who live surrendered to His Spirit.
Not following His laws (although they will because the Spirit enables them to do so)
But living out His desires because they want to because His Spirit is alive in them!
I believe, Wilro, that we have tasted, in part, this goodness; this dynamism. But I also believe that God desires for us to do so much more.
I believe that the Spirit wants to do in us more than what has been achieved so far.
God want to use this church as He did the early church to dynamically change people, and the communities that those people find themselves in.
And Church He is doing that. God is at work in this world pouring out His Spirit bringing about dynamic changes in the lives of peoples and communities!
I believe He wants to do that He; because that is who God is and that is what happens when people live in surrender to the Spirit!
The question we have to ask tonight is then; are we in?
And if we are; are we willing to really go and do whatever He asks of us?
Are we living fully surrendered? Has the continuation of Pentecost (the fact that God has poured out His spirit on all people) had impact on you and through you.
And if it has not let me ask you; are you living a life lead, permeated, and dominated by the Spirit of God or are you half in half committed and half obedient?
I believe you desire to be all in; and so I want to pray for you tonight; pray for forgiveness and pray for greater surrender and then let us trust God for what He wants to do next!