Pastor Dan – AUDIO (36 minutes; starts at [00:09])
“Well last week here Kirkmont we began a new preaching series… we began preaching through the book of Acts.
Acts is the fifth book that appears in the New Testament right after the four books that record the life of Jesus.
We have Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John… and then we come to the Book of Acts.
Last week we discussed that Acts is actually written by one of those who wrote about the life of Jesus and that is Luke, who wrote the gospel of Luke, and also is the person who wrote the book of Acts.
Both letters were addressed to a man named Theophilus. And Acts, in a nutshell, is really answering the question, “What happens once Jesus ascends into heaven and he leaves?” …
- What happens to those people who have begun to follow him?
- What happens to the early church?
- How does the early church get formed? And
- How do they grow, and
- How do they act, and
- How do they treat each other…
I mean Acts is really the history, and the recording of all those things.
And last week specifically, in Acts chapter one, we looked at some of Jesus’s last words that he said to his disciples before he ascended into heaven. And the Scripture told us that he spoke to them about the Kingdom of God.
And then he told them to go to Jerusalem, to wait in Jerusalem… whereby they will be filled with the Spirit of God.
And so last week our main point was this, that…
“You and I are called to be the people who live with the Spirit of God, and for the Kingdom of God.”
…that you and I are called to be a people who live with the Spirit of God, and for the Kingdom of God.
And we turn over and we get to Acts chapter two. I want to invite you, as we challenged people last week, since we are not going to be in a topical study, we’re not going to be bouncing all over the place through different Scriptures, this is a great time for you to take a Bible, open it up and follow along with us as we preach right through the book of Acts.
We’ve got Bibles there in your pews; we’d love to have you bring one from your home if you have one; we also want to remind you that we have free Bibles that we give out on an ongoing basis here at Kirkmont. They are in the back of our sanctuary, on a regular basis, on two different tables — they are wonderful Bibles.
Is there anyone here who… I’ve got one because with me because I’m hoping to give it away right now. Is there anyone who would like to raise their hand and say, “You know what, I could use a free Bible”… anyone at all?
(He’s in the middle of the congregation, no one’s raised their hand, he says), “You make me walk back with this one in my hand….OK, all right… now we’ve got a couple here, a couple hands are good (as he hands one to a young boy).
Now if I told people the second service last time, that if we see this on for sale on eBay you’re in trouble now. OK… All right.
And let me grab another one… Kirk would you be willing to grab another one and bring it on up here… Connie had raised their hand. Thank you for sparing me that the shame of having to walk back with that in my hand and not being able to to place in someone’s hand.
So… Acts chapter two, as your turning there, let me tell you a little story about my youth ministry days.
My youth ministry days.
I’ve shared with some of you that when I was in high school I was involved in a ministry called “Young Life“. In my senior year of high school I was sort of in transition. Technically I was a recipient of the ministry, but my young life leaders were also giving me opportunities for leadership–to lead others in ministries as well.
And so as a result, I would get together with my young life leader, we would pray for some of the teenagers who were in the ministry, and I remember one particular time we were talking about this kid named, Matthias.
By the way–sidebar. One of the sections of Scripture that we left out last week in Acts Chapter one, is when they decide that in the early church, after Jesus ascended, the twelve disciples has been reduced down to eleven because Judas is no longer with them …and it makes it clear he’s still no longer with them to this day… you know what I mean…
And so Judas is no longer with them and they decide to elect a new disciple, a new apostle and they choose a man named Matthias. So Matthias has now replaced Judas in Acts chapter one, he’s the twelfth.
Anyways back to my youth ministry days… one day we talk about this teenager named Matthias. and Matthias was such an interesting teenager in our ministry, because on one hand he really loves God; and he was always out all of our events and all of our gatherings and you could tell he was just this young teenage boy who just really loved God and yet…
We knew he was doing things with his friends that he should be doing. We knew that he was getting together with some of his friends and they were drinking as teenagers and they were doing some drugs together as teenagers.
And just about the time that we were just getting really frustrated with Matthias, he showed up to one of our ministry events with four or five of his drinking buddies, who clearly had been doing drugs together, and they all came.
And were like now wait a second… that’s, that’s kind of cool, I mean it’s kind of good that these kids are here, but Matthias is just a confusing character.
And I remember my young life leader saying, “Matthias reminds me so much of Peter”.
And being new to my faith, I said, “Well, why does he remind you of Peter? And he said, “Well because you know Peter in the Bible is someone who really loved God, but he was a little rough around the edges… with his lifestyle if you will.”
And I couldn’t help but think of that story when I was reading our passage in Acts chapter two today. Because in Acts chapter two in the passage of Scripture we’re going to read, Peter and some of his friends are accused of being drunk.
Now Peter is the leader of the early church at this point. Now how would you expect a church leader to respond to the accusation of being drunk? You would expect, I mean if you accuse me of that I say something like, “No no no I’m I’m a pastor. I don’t do that you know. I don’t drink, or… I barely ever drink, I’m certainly not drunk; I wouldn’t do that.”
We would expect Peter to maybe response somehow like that… but instead the Scripture tells us that Peter responds by saying,
“Look we’re not drunk. It’s only nine in the morning.”
And I’ve always thought to myself what would Peter have said if it was nine o’clock at night on a on a Friday night.
“We’re not drunk it’s only nine in the morning,” he says that’s his defense of the accusation that he is drunk.
Now what would cause someone to accuse Peter and his best friends that they’re drunk? Let’s read about it and find out.
When the day of Pentecost came,
If you’re here and you don’t know what the word Pentecost means we’re going to talk about that in just a minute. But for now let’s move on…
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.
“They” might seem to be referring to the twelve disciples or the twelve apostles at this point, but in Acts chapter one we learned that the early church–the total number of people involved in the early church was around one hundred twenty.
That’s it. One hundred twenty… think about that.
That’s that’s about half the number of people who will attend church here at Kirkmont this morning alone.
It kind of makes you think… this church, the early church was just one fight from falling apart, over…
- “whether they should sing traditional music or contemporary music”, or
- “whether they should have church at nine or whether they should have church at ten”, or
- “what color they should paint the bathrooms.”
I mean they were just one good congregational fight from the whole thing falling apart.
There were only one hundred twenty of them.
But… Luke says “they were all in one place.” And the next verse is going to use the word Oikos (oy’-kos), or house [ οἶκος ]
And so it was a large home; it was probably a wealthier person in the early church’s house that they were all gathered together in the city of Jerusalem.
Now they’re there … and suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind; not a violent wind, but a sound that is like the blowing of a violent wind, comes… and it comes from where? … it comes from heaven.
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind…
Not a violent wind, but a sound that is like the blowing of a violent wind, comes.. and it comes from where? It comes
from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire
I thought for a long time how could I explain tongues of fire… then I finally realized, I can’t… I’m incapable of trying to explain what “tongues of fire” are, and apparently the people who Luke did an investigation through–same problem… “It seemed like tongues of fire”.
I mean the event was so Sci- Fi, scary Sci-Fi, if you will… I mean they were unable to completely describe it… but it seemed like tongues of fire, that as they’re coming down now,
they separate and came to rest on each of them.
Now remember, that each of them is not just the twelve disciples… just the original twelve apostles… this tongues of fire comes down and rests on the entire New Testament Church, consisting of around one hundred twenty people at this time.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.
So up to this point, we didn’t know what was the sound about? … What was this tongues of fire about? But now we know what it was… it was the third person of the Trinity… coming down.
Many of us who are gathered here this morning believe that God exists as one God, but in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And this is the third person of the Trinity, coming down and filling the Early Church.
This is a wonderful miraculous event.
You know we just celebrated at Christmas time, the whole concept of Emmanuel–the whole idea of God Among Us. Because the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son came down and it became among us.
This is almost like Emanuel 2.0, or Emanuel the Second, or however you want to phrase it. Because this is now the third person of the Trinity, coming and living among us. Just as the Second Person of the Trinity did at Christmas.
Now the third person of the Trinity comes… not that he did not exist before this, but he did not inhabit and indwell people like he did before this event.
Now he comes and they are filled with the Holy Spirit.
This tells us something about our God. This tells us that as much as we might want to think of God as being a distant, religious-based sort of God who seems to be content to have us go through religious motions and practices, we discover that that is not who God really is.
That the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the One who knit us together in our mother’s womb, is a very personal and relational God who desires to have the “Third Person” fill your life, and mark you as His, sealed for the day of redemption adopted into his family…
…that’s who God is.
And God is not content to be distant from his people, but he comes and he fills the early church with His Spirit.
Now… one of the things that happens as a result of these people being filled with the Spirit, not all the time, but one of the miracles that happened as a result of these people being filled with the spirit as the Scripture tells us, is what…?
That “they began to speak in other tongues”.
And your Bible will tell you with a little footnote “or languages”. So they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.
So what this is… this is not a gibberish language, this is literally the idea of speaking in someone else’s language. The miracle was this, that I would begin to speak, but instead of speaking in English as I’m trained… well I’m not really trained to speak in English as some of you have highlighted to me before, but, that’s the language I know… and instead of English coming out, Spanish comes out… or something.
The miracle is not, as some have thought, in the listener. It’s not that the disciples were speaking, and people were hearing it in their own language. The miracle is done through the early church.
They are speaking in other languages.
This is a miracle that I could really appreciate… you know when I was in high school, it took four years for me to pass Spanish One.
- I failed Spanish One my freshman year.
- I dropped out of Spanish One my sophomore year.
- I got kicked out of the class my third year.
- And finally before my senior year my guidance counselor came to me and said, “Hey Dan, you do know that you need one Foreign language credit to graduate high school.”
And I thought… OK, and I finally hunkered down and I got a “D” for “Dynamite, Dan“.. you know, and I passed Spanish One. (Laughter)
So I can really appreciate the miracle that just through the power of the Holy Spirit, without any other training, these people would be able to speak in other languages.
Now we don’t know why God is doing that yet.
Why would he bother having them speak another languages... they all speak the same language. This miracles not needed. Why is God doing this at this point?
Well, the Scripture moves on to tell us in verse five,
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
That’s a little bit of a hyperbole, but you get the idea.
There are God fearing Jews from every nation under heaven, meaning… people who speak different languages.
And now it’s starting to click. But we don’t know… why are they there? They’re there because of the first verse that we read.
It was the day of Pentecost.
We think of Pentecost as a reference to this event that we just read about… but the Scripture tells us it was already the day of Pentecost before this day happened.
Pentecost has a history far deeper than the filling of the Holy Spirit upon the early church. Pentecost was one of three Jewish Feasts that caused Jews from all over the land to come to Jerusalem, to travel together, and to celebrate this feast.
And to give us a little bit of the details it was the fiftieth day after the Sabbath of Passover Week.
Now, to give you an idea of the time frame in relationship to this event to Jesus’s life, some of you may recall that the first supper or the Last Supper that Jesus dined with his disciples the night that he was betrayed, He was having the Passover meal with his disciples. And that was on a Thursday night and on Saturday it was the Sabbath. So fifty days after that would have been Pentecost.
So we’re talking about a a period of time within two months of the time in which Jesus was betrayed and crucified; dead, buried and resurrected.
And so this is when this is happening. But the key is that God is working this out so that he chooses to wait until Jewish people from all over the land who speak multiple languages would come to Jerusalem. Then he miraculously empowers the early church with the ability to speak to them.
Scripture says in verse six,
When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment,
The sound might refer to the rushing wind sound, or the various languages… whatever it might be. Anyways the crowd begins to build. They start to come together. And,
because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?
Now we don’t know why they know their Galileans; it could be that Jesus’ disciples were well known enough that they were known as being from Galilee. But that’s probably not it. It could be that the way they looked might have labeled them as Galileans.
But in all likelihood it’s really their accent. So what we really have is they’re speaking, but you can tell that it’s a foreign language to them… it’s a second language. They are speaking in a way that they can be understood, but the audience can hear and tell that they’re from Galilee, they’re not actually native to the language that they’re speaking in.
And so they’re saying look these are all Galilean people, how is it that they are able to speak in all of our languages? And,
8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
Here’s a list of how many different people groups are there:
9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them…
…now listen to this; why has God done this miracle? Why has He empowered the Early Church to speak to all these people?
— we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Now we begin to see the heart of God here. We see that God has orchestrated this whole thing so that Jewish people from all over would come… and he would empower his people to share the message to them.
They already know about God, they have that in common, but now they’re going to hear about Jesus Christ.
And we begin to discover the heart of God, about how much God desires to have a relationship–not just with you and I–but with those around us as well.
We begin to discover just how relational God is and how far reaching He wants those who have a relationship with him to come from, and where they ought to come from, and who they ought to be.
And we must embrace the challenge that if we are going to be a people who claim to know Jesus, then we must desire for others to know Jesus like Jesus desires to know them.
We have to embrace the challenge, that if we are going to be a people who claim to know Jesus, then we must desire for others to know Jesus like Jesus desires to know them.
And we don’t see that anywhere else in Scripture perhaps more profoundly than right here.
God equipping the church with the ability to tell the world about His Son through this Miracle.
And so we see the heart of God starting to come out. God had called them in the last chapter to be his witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria… even to the ends of the earth.
Could you imagine how overwhelming it must have been for them to hear that? Asking…
“But Jesus… how are we going to be your witnesses even to the ends of the earth?”
And they could’ve packed their bags and went home… “Let’s forget this whole Jerusalem plan… God has called us to do something bigger than us. No thanks.”
But here we see that when God calls his people to do something… He equips them to do it as well.
God does not call the equipped… He equips those who are called.
And let me just remind all of us who are gathered here this morning that, when we seek our purpose in life, and we try to find how is it that God will have us serve his kingdom… remember last week we said, “We are called to be a people who live with the Spirit of God and for the Kingdom of God”… but how are we, how am I supposed to live for the Kingdom of God?
Let me just tell you that the answer to that question for your life, probably does not lie within the boundary of your capabilities.
That if you are only seeking God’s plan for your life within the boundary of your capabilities you are probably not going to discover his plan for your life.
It is not until we are willing to open up and look beyond that, and say, “OK I’m going to look beyond my own abilities, beyond my capabilities, beyond my comfort zone,…“ and there I think we will discover how God wants to use us for His kingdom; because he wants to take us and stretch us beyond our ability so that the things we accomplish for the Kingdom of God are only accomplished by the power of the Spirit of God.
And that’s where we begin to discover God’s plan for our lives. And the disciples… they learned that lesson today…
“Go… be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria… even to the ends of the earth” Acts 1:8
How could that possibly be us?
Here… let’s let God work.
You know some of you a sensed that there’s this thing about me that I like the concept of change. What I’ve just discussed is one of the reasons why I’m not really excited about church as usual.
Because one of the things I’ve found is that churches fall into patterns and routines that make them comfortable. They know that what they’ve done the last ten years will work… and it will be successful, and it won’t cause any of us to have to get on our knees in plead to God that this thing goes well.
It functions within our comfort zone.
But what I’m concerned is that there are many churches across the country that have have fallen to ministry patterns that keep them within their limits, that keep them within their abilities.
And I get excited when a church says,
“You know what let’s reevaluate this ministry; lets really ask, ‘is it being used for the Kingdom of God’, and let’s find out how God wants to work in us beyond our limits, beyond our capabilities, beyond our comfort zone.“
“Let’s do V.B.S. in such a way that our leaders are on their knees pleading to God because it won’t be successful without him showing up.”
“Let’s do the Easter egg hunt in such a way that our leaders are on their knees pleading to God because it won’t be successful without God’s help.”
“Let’s not always do things the way that we’ve done them because we know it will be successful, and will be comfortable, and it won’t have to push any of us beyond our limits.”
That’s the reason why I’m always sort of challenging and reevaluating and asking ourselves… “Does God want to push us further? Does he want to take us deeper into the waters of faith?
Now this passage goes on…
Peter addresses the crowd… they’ve been accused of being drunk; someone needs to stand up and speak to this group of people. Peter, the early church leader gets up… we won’t have time to look at all that details, but here’s what he says.
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews…
Now this is literally translated “men of Judea” OK, this is key because he says
“Men of Judea and all of you who live in Jerusalem,
Now this is a key component, because I’ll be honest with you, when I first started preparing for this passage this week, the question came to my mind, maybe you’re thinking it yourself, is… “Now wait a second…. ‘How is Peter addressing the crowds’. How is Peter addressing a crowd of people who speak all these different languages?
If we said earlier that the miracle wasn’t that the people can hear in their own language, the miracle was that the people were literally speaking in a different language.
Peter, even if he’s being miraculously gifted, he can only speak in one other language at a time.
So how is it that he’s addressing the crowd of people who represent a various group of languages?
I think what the Scripture is showing us here is that Peter gets up and he says,
“Men of Judea… and those who live in Jerusalem”.
So he’s taking this large crowd of people, and he is honing in now, he’s narrowing in on those who do speak a common language with him, who probably have heard about what Jesus has done and what happened in his life… and even were a part of what happened to Jesus.
He begins to focus on those people and he says,
“Let me explain this to you.”
I have always thought that Peter and Paul couldn’t keep a job at today’s churches more than like a week or two… because they’re just so bold and direct… and rude if you will.
listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
So he says, ‘What’s happening today is a fulfillment of a prophecy.’ Here’s Joel’s prophecy:
17 “‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
Friends you need to hear this morning, that Pentecost, what Pentecost means for you and I is that we do not have to be elite in the eyes of the church to receive the Spirit of God. We do not have to be some of the elite Christians of our society… we do not have to have special socioeconomic status to receive the Spirit of God.
The prophecy of Joel is that the Spirit of God will be for all who believe.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
I love how he ends with this prophecy… “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”… but we don’t know the name of the Lord yet do we.
And then he continues…
22 “Fellow Israelites (men of Israel), listen to this: (Jesus) Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men (I think he’s calling out part of Rome here too), put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him (Going back again to an Old Testament character), David said about him:
“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest in hope,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
you will not let your holy one see decay.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
Peter goes on…
“Fellow Israelites (brothers), I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”’
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah (Christ).”
You know… pausing there, one of the hot issues of today is.
“Do we believe in the same God as other religions?
In particular you’ve been seeing probably posts and news stories and articles about,
“Do we believe in the same God as Muslims believe in”... for example.
I would suggest that if you were to argue that we believe in the same god is as any other religion we would possibly have to suggest that we believe in the same God as Jewish people… because here they are, sharing the same thirty nine books of the Old Testament… leading all the way up to this Christ figure.
But… regardless of what other faith we’re interacting with, I think this Scripture is clear to you and I, and it says this… that this ought to be the litmus test for answering that question,
God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah (Christ).” v36
So if you want to ask me, “Do I believe in the same God that you believe in?” … I simply ask you,
“Do you believe that God has appointed Jesus to be Lord and Christ.”
Well then my answer to you is “no”… because the God of the Bible is the God who appointed Jesus as Lord and Christ. This is what unifies us. This is the heart and foundation of Christian teaching… that not just in God, in the generic, these people were all God fearing Jews, but they hadn’t heard about Jesus. They are unaware at this time that Jesus is the Lord and the Christ.
As I said many times before that if we try to do the God thing, and religion apart from Jesus Christ we are failing miserably.
It’s politically correct to do God and religion apart from Jesus. But we fail miserably when we do that… because the God of the Bible has made Jesus both Lord and Christ.
Now when the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” v37
This is every preacher’s dream…
To preach a whole sermon and have nobody asleep. And I have them, having listened so intently, that they’re cut to the heart and their response is,
What do you want us to do?
And listen to what Peter says,
Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
Repent and be baptized. Don’t… some foolish people… I should say that… could we edit that in the recording… No I’m kidding.
Baptised to be Saved?
Some people who are misled have concluded that because Peter says to repent and be baptized, and then they will be saved… that someone has to be baptized to be saved.
But there’s a difference between Peter telling them what they should do and telling them what they must do to be saved. OK?
Just because he tells them everything they should do, it doesn’t mean that he’s telling them everything they must do.
Should someone repent and be baptized… and the answer is absolutely yes.
Let’s start with repentance.
Here’s a Scripture telling us from the very beginning of the church… “Friends… the beginning process for you and I is to have a relationship with God is to repent… that some time and your life, to acknowledge the fact that you are sinner, that you’re moving away from God as a result of your life. And to repent, to turn back.
And that repentance implies both the need for forgiveness, and the reality that forgiveness is there in Jesus.
To repent… to come back to God–to acknowledge that is not your default setting, and that Jesus is the one who makes that possible.
That is the opportunity that the Bible gives every single one of us–to repent.
And maybe you’re here today, and you’ve done that, and you believe you have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
It also tells us that we should repent and be baptized.
And I just want to let you know that I don’t think baptism is necessary for salvation, but I do think it is one of the things we should do. I think is Biblical.
So I want to let you know, as you see in your Bulletin, that we are having a Discover Kirkmont class, and at the end of it, I think that will be the Sunday, on March sixth, we will have people who are joining the church. And some of them perhaps have never been baptized before.
Being baptized is a prerequisite to joining the church. Because we believe it’s part of the obedience of being a part of God’s Church.
But if you’re here this morning, and you believe you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, you’ve repented, but you’ve never been baptized either as an infant or as adult, you’ve never been baptized and the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit… I want to invite you to see me, to contact our office, to let us know. And maybe you could be a part of that March sixth service, and be baptized publicly before the congregation– to
“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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
All right maybe Peter would have kept his job.
Let’s pray together.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for this passage of Scripture and I thank you for the congregations patience as we walk through it… it’s a long text; but it’s a powerful and important one, and we reflect upon it together in the Spirit of prayer.
We invite you to speak to each of us in our own various ways… certainly bringing different circumstances and being at different places in our relationship with you… that You would highlight various parts of this text to different ones of us in different ways.
Some of us just need to realize that you desire to have a personal and close relationship with us… and to recognize, maybe for the first time, that that is found through repentance and the belief that Jesus has been made Lord and Christ.
And when we do that, we receive the power of the Holy Spirit each and every one of us. And some of us, we know that we have the Spirit living inside of us, but we feel so under-fueled, so under-powered, and we know it’s not the Spirits fault–it’s ours. We’ve yet to discover the real gift that you have given us through the power of the Spirit.
We thank you for this passage because it reminds us that indeed, those who have the Spirit living in them, have the ability to do incredible things for the Kingdom of God.
And for those who are still struggling and trying to find an identity, I pray that you’d give them the faith to look beyond their ability and discover where you’re calling them to.
We thank you for the visible reminder of baptism… that it reminds us that in the washing and forgiveness of our sins, that it’s complete.
And we ask these things now and Jesus’ name who makes it all possible.
Link to Kirkmont Presbyterian Church Website
Listen to recent sermons