Sunday May 31st 2020. We bring to a conclusion our sermon series “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”. Preaching from Chris Hughes.
Waiting patiently for something that you know is “in the post” is never easy, but this is exactly what the disciples were told to do when it came to receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1 v 4.) Then on the Day of Pentecost their patience was rewarded, and the Spirit was delivered, a story that we shall consider using three headings: –
1 – Experience (v 1 – 4.)
All present in the upper room were – “filled with the Holy Spirit” (v 4) an experience that was accompanied by three supernatural signs: –
A – Sound that resulted in Power (v 2.)
What sounded like a heavenly hurricane swept through the room (Acts 1 v 8) empowering the cowardly disciples and propelling them onto the streets of Jerusalem to bear testimony to the risen Christ.
B – Sight that resulted in Purity (v 3.)
What looked like tongues of fire (Luke 3 v 16) settled upon each of them, symbolic of God’s purifying presence (See Moses – Exodus chapter 3 & the prophet Isaiah chapter 6.)
C – Speech that resulted in Praise (v 4.)
In languages known and heard by the crowd the disciples began multilingually – “declaring the praises of God” (v 11) in tongues that they had never learnt.
Take home truth – The need to be filled, and go on being filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5 v 18), that filling being then validated by POWER (2 Timothy 1 v 7); PURITY (2 Corinthians 3 v 18); and PRAISE (Hebrews 13 v 15.)
2 – Explanation (v 14 – 36.)
On hearing the noisy babble emanating from the upper room a curious crowd gathered and asked the question – “What does this mean?” (v 12.) Simon Peter explained and gave context to what had happened by referencing the prophet Joel (v 17 – 21) who had predicted an outpouring of God’s Spirit; and Jesus (v 22 – 36) whose death, resurrection and ascension had made such a gift a reality.
Take home truth – The importance of presenting a Christ centred Gospel with clarity to those who are asking questions (Colossians 4 v 3 – 4.)
3 – Exhortation (v 37 – 41.)
Upon understanding the message, the people were convicted and – “cut to the heart” (v 37), and wanted to know how to respond. So, Simon Peter exhorted them to repent and be baptised, in order that their sin would be forgiven and that they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Hammering the nail home, he exhorted some more, and three thousand came to faith, were baptised and joined the church, increasing its size exponentially!
Take home truth – Rather than a “take it or leave it” approach, sharing the Gospel involves passionately persuading people to believe, to be baptised and to belong to the fellowship of the Church.
1 – How do you personally measure up when it comes to the three tests for spiritual fullness – Power, Purity and Praise?
2 – Using your own words, how would you clearly explain the Gospel message to someone who was genuinely interested and wanted to know?
3 – Avoiding a “hard sell” approach, how can you improve your powers of persuasion when it comes to faith sharing?
- Holy Spirit we welcome you
- Spirit of the living God
- There must be more than this
- Go forth and tell
- For I’m building a people of power
Theme: Good things come to those who wait
Reading: Acts 2 v 1 – 4 / v 14 / & v 37 – 41
Preacher: Chris Hughes