Good morning everyone, and welcome home. You know, many have said that the church was closed, but I would just say this, welcome home. I say this because, it is so important that we always remember that God, in His infinite wisdom, insured that the church/temple (the dwelling place of God) would never be destroyed. God accomplished this by supernaturally implanting his Holy Spirit into the Heart of all that would call on Jesus.
Friends we are the church. It is the people of God that make up the church. It was never the building and the church has never been closed. Today on Pentecost Sunday I say welcome Home!
Pentecost in also known as the feast of weeks. It is one of the original Hebrew feast set forth by God to commemorate two things the wheat harvest and the revelation of the Torah. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, numbers, Deuteronomy. As the name Pentecost might imply it is 50 days or 7 weeks from Passover.
Found in Exodus 34.
For Christians, Pentecost carries extra significance in that it is the feast in which we associate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
In Acts chapter 2.
My prayer for you today is that by hearing this message that we may take our individual place in the feast of Pentecost. That God will supernaturally, ignite our faith and we, you and me, would be empowered in his will.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.Acts 2:1-4
I chose to highlight 3 ideas or key points regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit as I share them with you today. Let’s look at my first point.
The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit Is A Supernatural Empowerment Of Faith.
Before we get too far in, I wanted to take a moment to clarify a few things regarding this Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Now somewhere between the resurrection of Christ and His ascension to heaven; Jesus visits the disciples as they had locked themselves into the room for fear they would be discovered by the Jewish leaders. Jesus reveals himself and says this…
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.John 20:21-22
I believe this is the first group of born-again believers in history. They believed in the risen Christ and they received the Holy spirit. Now, Luke records that just before Jesus ascends He gives this command…
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”Acts 1:4-5
Now I mention this here because there is usually much confusion regarding the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and I wanted to make a clear delineation between these two separate happenings.
To solidify this concept we see the fulfillment of Jesus’ command in Acts 2 (our main text). The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit Is A Supernatural Empowerment Of Faith.
Next I’ll add that this additional endowment of the Holy Spirit is initiated by the Spirit and for his purpose of bringing glory to God. This gift does not make us super Christians, nor does the lack of it make one less of a Christian. It is simply what the Holy Spirit chooses to do, “As the Spirit enabled them.” It is not something to fear, but something that every Christian should seek. Our passage says that they began to speak in other tongues and so we see that this phenomenon is the initial physical evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s take a look at Peter…Peter is a funny guy; He seems to be the one who says the wrong things or sometimes does the wrong thing. Yet, Jesus tells him that he will launch the His church on Peter and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. This is just like God to use the simplest of things or people to do great miracles. Under a supernatural anointing God would transform Peter in a matter of moments and in an instant the church of Jesus Christ is born. In one moment, Peter is terrified of a little girl and denies Jesus three times. He’s devastated by his own unfaithfulness. Peter and the disciples have placed themselves behind locked doors in fear of being caught by the Jewish leaders. In a single supernatural moment, his faith was empowered. Peter was equipped and invigorated to step forward and deliver possibly the greatest message of his life. No prep time, no notes and about 3000 came to Jesus that day. It’s a supernatural empowerment of faith!
There are things about the baptism of the Holy Spirit that are a mystery and I don’t have all of the answers, but the Living God has called us to be empowered by his spirit and we should not shy away from this because it is somewhat mysterious. The important thing here is not to focus on what we don’t understand but to focus on what God has made clear in His word.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.2 Timothy 3:1-5
This passage today reads like an indictment of the western church. I’m not trying to come down harshly on anyone. I would just like to call awareness to the work of the Holy Spirit around us.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:8
God has not called us to be bold and courageous without equipping us. Church this is the equivalent of going into battle with out a weapon or without armor.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Ephesians 6:10-12
He is saying clothe yourself in the Holy Spirit. Lay down the old garments and arm yourselves in these attributes of the Holy Spirit/ the spirit of the living God!
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.Ephesians 6:18
Will you seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit and be empowered.
The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit Is A Supernatural Collaboration With God.
They were told to stay in Jerusalem until they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. How many know that waiting on God is not doing nothing. They were together in one place fellowshipping and praying. And the Holy Spirit Fell like a mighty wind.
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.Joel 2:28
This is the same prophesy that Peter references in his sermon. This is a great example of being where you are supposed to be and working in concert or collaboration with the Holy Spirit. This group of Believers (about 120) waited on God faithful to obedience and exercising their faith to meet God in His plan and not trying to get God to sign off on their program. God proclaimed this message Through the prophet Joel some nine centuries beforehand to offer hope to an evil world. He depicted the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. God set this prophecy into motion and through this manifestation these disciples in that upper room were given access into the plan of God and were used mightily by Him.
Church I plead with you let’s not be bound by social proprieties but instead, Let’s become entangled in the work of God through His Holy Spirit
I think that here in our modern culture we are sometimes discouraged when it comes to the things of God. We want to remain dignified in the eyes of our peers. So, we refrain from references to things like, the Holy Ghost, and the blood of Jesus. I know that when I start talking about the Holy ghost somebody is getting nervous and someone else is getting saved. We perceive these things to be unpopular in society. But we have lost all our power because we have downplayed its importance or rejected it altogether. Friends I want nothing less than everything God has for me. When I was younger and in business, we learned a technique of negotiating where we could assess what someone might be willing to pay for a service. And when the deal didn’t seem equitable, they would say you were leaving too much on the table. Friends when it comes to the power of the Holy Spirit in your life you are leaving too much on the table. There is always more…Collaborate in his supernatural power and will.
The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit Fosters A Supernatural Expectation Of The Miraculous.
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.Acts 2:2-4
Can you imagine what it might have been like to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in this way? Watching the tongues of fire manifest over each of them. And each began to speak in other languages. Miracle on top of miracle. I believe these disciples were poised perfectly for a move of God like this. Because they believed that the Spirit was coming and that something awesome was going to happen. This is a point where their faith and obedience and expectation collide with the will of the Father and explodes in Holy Spirit fire. I don’t know about you, but I want some Holy Spirit fire! He is fostering an expectation of the miraculous here among us today.
This is the difference of hoping that something good might happen and the knowing that God has called it out into existence.
Over and over again, God has called on me to remember His word, To remember His promises, Over and again God has called on me to remember what he has already done. And by His spirit I have come to expect the miraculous-ness of God in His Holy Spirit.
Church on this day of Pentecost, I’m going to ask you if you will reach out to God,
spirit to spirit. In Acts chapter 8 We Peter and John heard that Samaria had accepted Jesus, they went there to pray for them. They laid hands on them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Today, I want to offer you an opportunity that you may receive the Holy Spirit. Would you step out in faith and accept nothing less than what God has for you? Today I want to expect something miraculous today.
Will you open your hearts today and receive what God has for you?
Will you call on him today? Will you ask Him to Help your unbelief today? Many of you need a fresh touch from God today. Is there some form of hindrance or bondage in your life or your relationships today? God wants to redeem and restore those areas of your life? He wants to restore Joy and hope for you today. You’re hearing this now and the Holy Spirit has brought someone or something to mind. He wants to speak life into this today. He wants to bring healing in this area today. There are areas of deep regret when it comes to your relationship with God and you have rejected Christ as your savior …It’s not too late. It’s not too late to humble yourself before him today, hold out your arms and open your hands to receive from him today. Will you say yes to Jesus, today? Will you bow your heads with me? Some of you already know the Lord, but maybe he’s put something on your heart that you need to deal with, you need to ask his forgiveness today. If that’s you will you just acknowledge that to him today. This is just you and God here. Now someone here may not have that relationship with Jesus and today you’ve felt him tugging at your heart, you’ve been hurt, and you’re guarded, I know. Jesus is here and wants set things right in your life. If you’ll say Pastor, I want Jesus to be my Lord and savior. Remember, it’s just you and God here. Will you pray with me today, We’ll pray here as a family.
Jesus, I know that I’m a sinner. I ask you today for your forgiveness. I believe that you died for my sins and on that 3rd day, you rose from the dead. I ask you to come into my heart today. I trust and follow you as my Lord and savior. Guide me and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name Amen.
“‘“The Lord bless youNumbers 6:24-26
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’