The Empowered Church
The Empowered Church
Set the Scene: What would have it been like to be a part of the Day of Pentecost in the 1st Century?
Pentecost – 50 days after Passover
120 prayer warriors gathered in the upper room.
Sound like a mighty rushing wind – not just a little breeze – it was the Spirit of God coming on them in power.
Divided tongues as of fire – fire in OT often indicates the presence of God – i.e. Burning Bush, Pillar of Fire, etc.
Filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues – in this context it is speaking in different languages the pilgrims in Jerusalem would understand.
I. The Empowered Church is Unified – Vs. 1
“When the Day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.”
Unity in the Church begins with obedience to the commands of Jesus.
Acts 1:4 “And while staying with them He (Jesus) ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father.”
Unity in the Church is bound up in prayer.
Acts 1:12-14 “Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.”
Unity in the Church is to be Preserved by the Members
Ephesians 4:1-6 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
II. The Empowered Church is Led by the Holy Spirit – Vs. 2-4
“And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The Holy Spirit Anoints the Church
1 John 2:20 – “But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.”
1 Corinthians 1:21-22 “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
The Church is made of members who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Transformed. Set apart and gifted by God for His purposes.
The Holy Spirit Moves the Church to Action
When the Day of Pentecost began, there were 120 believers gathered and by the end of the day 3000 came to know Christ.
Their action as well as ours begins with prayer – –
Their prayer moved beyond the asking and seeking to the doing. Jesus us gave 5 different commissions to go and talk about Him:
Matthew 28:18-20 – The Great Commission
Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
Luke 24:45-49 “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
John 20:21 “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
All of these require action – require dialogue – require the Church going.
The Holy Spirit Gives the Church Authority
When the people mocked Peter, and questioned the anointing power of the Holy Spirit, he appealed to the authority of the Word of God when he quoted from the Prophet Joel.
Joel 2:28-32 - “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.”
Peter wasn’t boastful and relying on his own authority or position, but rather relied on the authority of God and His Word.
So too, should we never rely on ourselves and our own understanding but rather as tells us:
We are never to set our own thinking and often-mistaken understanding against God’s.
III. The Empowered Church Proclaims the Mighty Works of God – Vs. 5-12
“Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
On the Day of Pentecost, the hearts of the lost were stirred. They asked in verse 12 “What does this mean?”
The Church must tell God’s story of His mighty works.
They were searching. Their hearts we longing to find out more about Jesus and the mighty works of God – not the apostles works – but God’s.
As they heard the gospel being preached by Peter their stirring became conviction – vs. 37 “they were cut to the heart” and they asked “what shall we do?”
This prompted Peter to challenge them to place their faith in Jesus – vs.38 “Peter said to them, ‘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.”
We must remember that God saves not us.
Peter’s obedience to God and to the realization that salvation is ultimately God’s work, effectively called 3000 into a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
FBC Roy is an Empowered Church when we:
Led by the Holy Spirit
Proclaim the Mighty Works of God