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27th May: Pentecost: Acts Chapter 2

These are the rough notes from which I preached on Pentecost Sunday.  The sermon was in two parts; a summary of the work of the Spirit in the scriptures as a whole, and then a focus upon Acts 2 and the day of Pentecost.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the Old Testament, the Spirit (Ruach: Breath, Spirit, Wind) is…

a)     The presence of God (Ps 139.7, Is 59.21, 63.11, Haggai 2.5)

b)    God at work.  (Is 34.16, Ezek 1.12, 20, 3.12,14, 24, 8.3, Zec 4.6) (God with His sleeves rolled up…)

c)     God creating (Gen 1.1-2, Ps 104.30) and gifting for creation Ex. 31.1-6)

d)    A Spirit of Life: (Gen 2.7, Job 27.3, 32.8,18, 33.4,14, Is 32.15, 42.5, 44.3, Ezek 37, esp vs. 14)  No life without God.

e)     A Spirit of servant leadership Is 42.1, 61.1, Nu. 11 – accompanied by a one-off prophetic episode! Nu 27.18, Jdg 3.10, 6.34, 11.29, 13.24, 1 Sam 10.6, 16.13-14)

f)      A Spirit of power (Jdg 14 & 15, 1 Sam 11.6) enabling leaders to perform extraordinary tasks

g)     A Spirit of Prophecy (Nu 24. esp. vs. 2, 2 Sam 23.2, 2 Chron 20.14, 24.20, Neh 9.20, 30, Ezek 11.5, Joel 2.28 – 29, Mic 3.8)

h)    A Spirit of Wisdom and instruction (Deut 34.9, Neh 9.20, 30, Job 32.8, 143.10, Is 11.2, 40.13, Dan 5.11 – 14) again, usually for specific leaders

i)       A Spirit of Holiness (Ps 51.10, 11, Is 63.10 – 11)

j)       Rest / Renewal (Is.63.14, Ezek 11.19, Ezek 18.31, 36.26, 27, and ch. 37) The Spirit will bring renewal to God’s People, bringing New Life…

In the New Testament, the Spirit (Pneuma: Breath, Spirit, Wind)

1.     Conceives Jesus in Mary’s womb (Matt 1.18,20, Lk 1.35)

2.     Anoints Jesus at His Baptism (Matt 3.16, Mk 1.10, Lk 3.22, Jn 1.32)

3.     Fills Jesus to bring deliverance, (Matt 12.28, Lk 4.1,14,18, Acts 10.38)

4.     Drives Jesus into the wilderness to be tested (Mat 4.1, Mk 1.12, Lk 4.1)

5.     Raises Jesus from the dead (Rom 1.4, 8.11)

6.     The Gift of the Father (Lk 11.13, Jn 14.26, 15.26, Acts 2.38, 5.32, 10.45, 11.17, Gal 3.2-5, 1 Thes 4.8, Titus 3.6, 1 Jn 3.24, 4.13)

7.     What Jesus baptizes with/sends  (Matt 3.11, 28.19, Mk 1.8, Lk 3.16, Jn 3.5,34, 7.39, Jn 15.26, 16.7, 20.22, Acts 1.5, 8.15-17, 9.17, 19.2-6, 1 Cor 12.13, Titus 3.5)

8.     Identifies God’s children (Acts 10.44 – 11.16, 15.8, Rom 8.9, 14-16, 2 Cor 1.22, Eph 1.13, Phil 3.3, Heb 6.4, 1 Jn 3.24, 4.13)

9.     Gives God’s Love (Rom 5.5)

10.            Gives new birth (Jn 3.5-8)

11.            Gives Life (Jn 6.63, Rom 7.6, 8.2,11, 2 Cor 3.6)

12.            Testifies to Jesus (Jn 15.26, 16.14-15, Acts 5.32, 1 Cor 12.3, 1 Jn 4.2, 5.6)

13.            Empowers believers to testify – especially when tried (Matt 10.20, Mk 13.11, Lk 12.12, Acts 1.8, 2.14-36, Acts 4.8,31, 6.10, 7.55-6, Rom 15.19, 1 Cor 2.4, 2 Cor 3.8, Phil 1.19, 1 Thes 1.5-6, Heb 2.4)

14.            Empowers servant leadership (Acts 6.3-5, 20.28)

15.            Empowers holiness / sanctifies (Rom 8.4-13, 15.16, 1 Cor 6.11, Gal 5.16-8, Eph 5.18, 2 Thes 2.13, 1 Pet 1.2)

16.            Unifies us, (Acts 10.44 – 11.16, 1 Cor 12, Eph 2.18, 4.3-6, Phil 2.1, conversely, Jude 19)

17.            A Spirit of Prophecy (Matt 22.43, Mk 12.36, Lk 1.15,17,41,67, 2.25-7, Jn 16.13, Acts 1.16, 2.17-18, 4.25, 7.51-52, 11.28, 19.6, 20.23, 21.4,11, 28.25, Eph 3.5, 1 Tim 4.1, Heb 3.7, 1 Pet 1.11-12, 2 Pet 1.21, Rev 1.10, 2.7,11,17,29, 3.6,13,22, 4.2, 17.3, 21.10)

18.            Teaches, instructs, guides (Jn 14.26, 16.13, Acts 1.2, Rom 4-6, 1 Cor 2.10-14, 7.40, 2 Cor 3.3, Gal 5.22-5, Eph 1.17, 6.17, Heb 9.8)

19.            Is the Spirit of Truth (Jn 14.17, 16.13, Rom 9.1, 1 Jn 5.6)

20.            Convicts of sin, righteousness and judgement (Jn 16.8-11, 13.9-12)

21.            Gives comfort, strength, joy, (Jn 14.16, 15.26, 16.7, Acts 9.31, 13.51, Rom 14.17, 15.13, Eph 3.16, 1 Thes 1.6, 1 Pet 4.14)

22.            Reminds us of the end to come / hope (Jn 16.13, Rom 5.5, 8.23-4, 15.13, 2 Cor 1.22, 5.5, Gal 4.6, 5.5, 6.8, Eph 1.14, Titus 3.6, Rev 14.13, 22.17)

23.            Helps us pray (Rom 8.26-7, 15.30, 1 Cor 14.2, Gal 4.6, Eph 6.18, Phil 3.3, Jude 20)

24.            Guides in mission (Acts 8.29 & 39, 10.19, 13.2,4, 15.28, 16.6,7, 19.21, 20.22)

25.            Calls forth praise (Acts 2.4-11, 10.46)

26.            Dwells in us (Rom 8.9, 1 Cor 3.16, 6.19, 2 Tim 1.14)

27.            One of the Trinity (Matt 28.19, Rom 15.30, 1 Cor 6.11, 2 Cor 3.17-8, 13.13, Gal 4.6, Eph 1.17, Heb 9.14, 1 Pet 1.2)

28.            Must not be blasphemed, lied to, opposed, grieved, quenched, or outraged (Matt  12.31-2, Mk 3.29 , Lk 12.10, Acts 5.3, 7.51, Eph 4.30, 1 Thes 5.19, Heb 10.29)


What does the Holy Spirit do in Acts chapter 2?

1. They were all together.  They gathered .  In one place.  Time and place are important to God – they’re his inventions after all, and it is important to God that we gather in a single place.  We have a physical unity.  Even if we missed the point of the Creation, then the incarnation and the resurrection should teach us that our bodily being has significance.  Internet church just doesn’t cut the mustard.  It doesn’t even slice the salami.  Physically being together matters.

2. Then  there is a mighty noise from Heaven, like the sound of rushing winds. It filled the house. 

The word for Spirit is the same as the word for wind, and breath.  This sound of a mighty wind signals the coming of the Holy Spirit. 

3. Then tongues of fire appeared.

“Divided’ tongues, implying that they were originally unified – a single flame, but now divided among the gathered believers.  Every believer received this sign of the Spirit, not just a few. 

4. They were ‘filled’.  The Holy Spirit encounter is often an overwhelming ‘filling’ experience, and they began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit empowered them. 

After the phenomena are seen and heard (and felt perhaps), it is called ‘Holy Spirit’. 

5. – 12. This glossolalia differs from ordinary glossolalia because it has a missionary impact, speaking to all the nations, and it glorifies God. 

13. Some sneered.  Nothing much changes. 

14 – 36. Prodigal Peter is empowered to preach: prophetically.  To interpret scripture anew (John 16.13).  To see the end (John 16.13), To convict of sin (John 16.8-9) and to witness to Jesus (John 16.14). 

 37 -47. The Spirit builds a new community; through repentance, the forgiveness of sins and baptism, the Holy Spirit comes to people.  They are empowered to live lives of learning, fellowship, worship, freedom from material possessions and the associated generosity, and to perform signs and wonders, leading to awe among the people and salvation for many.  Day by day! 

Conclusion

God makes the church

fills it with His own creative Power

for the sake of his own mission;

to bring and to be good news to the world.