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A Sign, a Sermon, and a Supernatural Community by Pastor Paul Becker


Acts 2 is a very dynamic chapter because it shows the ignition and spread of the Holy Spirit like a fire that burns hot and bright in a cold, dark, sin-dead world. The chapter describes events on what we call "Pentecost." Pentecost is the Greek name for a Jewish feast day called Shavuoth, a day to celebrate the first of two wheat harvests each year.


The Sign


On Pentecost, the disciples, the women who followed Jesus, and 120 other Jesus followers were in an upper room together. A violent wind filled the whole house, and what seemed to be tongues of fire separated and came to rest on each of them. All were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages.

  

Luke tells us that God-fearing Jews from every nation were staying in Jerusalem. Many were curious about the sounds coming from the house where Jesus' followers met. And so, these God-fearers went to the house. They could hear the followers of Jesus, who were Galileans, declaring the wonders of God in their languages! The wind and the ability of Galilean followers of Jesus to speak other languages were signs of the Holy Spirit at work.


The Sermon


Peter spoke to the crowd that gathered. He declared that what everyone experienced was foretold by the prophet Joel. (Joel 2:28-32) He preached to the gathered Jews about Jesus' miracles, wonders, and signs, how they crucified Jesus, and how God raised Jesus from the dead. Peter revealed David's prophecies about Jesus in Psalms. 


Those who listened intently were "cut to the heart" and asked the disciples, "Brothers, what shall we do?" Peter told them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. Peter gave other warnings, and 3,000 people were baptized on this day. Holy Spirit fire was spreading among the Jews.


The Supernatural Community


The chapter closes with a clear picture of what it means for individual believers to be united as a body of believers, with Christ as the head of that body. There is devotion to teaching, fellowship, breaking bread (Communion), and prayer. God declares in Isaiah 55:11 that his word does not return empty. What this means is that God's Word creates life! And on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit removed barriers of language and pride through the preaching of God's Word, and the Church was born! People were changed in a very powerful way, just like the power of the resurrection changed Jesus' dead body. It behooves you to see the Church as God sees the Church, a people whose encounter with grace transforms them into a supernatural community with Christ as its head.


The early Church was unlike all other groups in Jerusalem. They ate together, gave aid to those in need, praised God, gathered in the Temple courts daily, and were filled with awe at the many wonders and signs God did through the apostles.


In closing, here are three assertions for you to ponder:


  1. The ground of your salvation is the work of Christ (Acts 2:14-41)

  2. The evidence of your discipleship is your continuance in Christ (Acts 2:42-6)

  3. To continue in Christ is to understand AND live into your identity in the Body of Christ (Click here)



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