On Pentecost morning, in the year 30 AD, a sermon was preached that changed the world. Wow, I would be happy if any of my sermons slightly changed one of your opinions. But, Peter’s sermon, in Jerusalem, that Sunday morning, changed everything. This morning, I want to re-preach that sermon. “Wow! That sounds like a great idea.” When I say that it changed everything... I mean, that it changed four things... four changes that changed everything!
Let’s setup what was happening in Acts 2. Then, we will discover the four things Peter says changed everything.
--Jesus was crucified during the Passover feast of 30 AD.
--Jesus was resurrected on Sunday morning after three days and three nights in the tomb.
--Jesus spend 40 days with his disciples between the Resurrection and the Ascension.
-- Then, ten days after the Ascension, on Sunday morning, the day of Pentecost, AD 30... The Holy Spirit arrived!
Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 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 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.
Bam, it began with the sound of a violent wind and flaming tongues appeared on each of them... The Holy Spirit... arrived.
Acts 2:5-13 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? 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine."
The miracle of the wind and the variety languages being spoken caused quite the stir... A crowd formed.
Acts 2:14-15 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning.”
Now, we are ready for the sermon... Are you ready? Four changes that changed everything.
Let’s crank it up...
Acts 2:16-21 “No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 'In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'”
Change #1 The Spirit is poured out on all flesh!
Throughout history, up until the Pentecost of 30 AD, the Spirit came upon different individuals in order to accomplish great deeds.
--Think of Samson... the Spirit of the LORD rushed on him and he killed a thousand men.
--Think of David and Saul... the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward... the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul,
--Think of Ezekiel... Then the spirit of the LORD fell upon me... Ezekiel prophesied.
That had been the way of the Spirit... coming upon certain people, at certain times, in certain ways, do accomplish the LORD’s will.
But that changed. From Pentecost, forward, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall have the Spirit poured upon them! No longer, only the heroes of faith... now,
--Both male and female.... shall prophesy!
--Both youth and old... have visions and dreams!
--Both rich and poor... get poured on!
All flesh shall have the Spirit!
This is an amazing change between the old covenant and the new covenant. When Jesus’s blood created a new covenant, all those in the new covenant receive the Holy Spirit!
--We all are priests... offering prayers on behalf of each other!
--We all are prophets... speaking words from God to each other!
--We all are servants... with the power to defeat Satan!
--We all are agents of the King with keys! The Holy Spirit is the key to the gates of hell!
Change #1 (which changed everything) – The Spirit is poured out on all flesh!
Let’s keep going. A pretty good sermon, so far. We have 3 more changes that changed everything.
Acts 2:22-24 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know- this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.”
Change #2 Jesus is Alive!
The resurrection of Jesus changed everything.
The resurrection is the starting point of faith. It is the starting point of all Christianity. It is the starting point of my faith. If you ask me why I am a Christian... It is the resurrection of Jesus. There is no other feasible explanation of what started Christianity other than the Jesus was resurrected.
At this point in Peter’s sermon, if the Romans or the Pharisees or the Sadducees or anyone knew where the dead body of Jesus was... it would have been all over... You killed him... You all know you did... He was dead. But now he’s not! The resurrection is the starting point for faith!
But, it is also the starting point of Hope! Jesus is the first of many who will be resurrected. My hope of life, after this life, is based in Jesus defeating death with death. Jesus came to restore all of creation. One day, I will have a body like his to live on the new earth! The Resurrection is the hope of my resurrection!
Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Fundamental change #2 Jesus is Alive! It is my faith. It is my hope!
The Spirit poured on all flesh changed everything.
The Resurrection changed everything.
Change #3...which changed everything.
Acts 2:32-36 “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord... Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.' Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
Change #3 Jesus is at the Right hand of God as LORD
We don’t talk much about the Ascension of Jesus. We talk about his birth at Christmas; his death each week at the Lord’s Supper; his resurrection has its own holiday... Easter. But his Ascension changed everything as well!
Jesus did not just come back to life again, like Lazarus, to later die. Jesus came back to life to rule the world. The revolution he began during his ministry to re-create the earth, is being managed from his throne in heaven. Jesus is actively ruling his agents with keys from heaven through the Holy Spirit. Jesus is Lord and Christ and Messiah and King. Jesus will rule through us, until all the enemies are defeated!
The Spirit you received as a Christian is not just for show. The Spirit works within you to move you and guide you and poke you and stir you and instruct you and motivate you... to be agents... to use your keys.
--That person who pops in your head out of the blue...
--That good deed you think of doing...
--That voice you hear clearly in your head...
--Those good ideas you have...
--That sudden insight...
--That discovery you make...
--That amazing talent you have...
All that, and much more, is King Jesus ruling his agents through the Spirit to advance the kingdom of Heaven on earth!
Wow, amazing change in thinking... the King, the Messiah the Lord is ruling from heaven!
One more change...
Acts 2:37-41 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" And 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. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself." And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
Change #4 Baptism
God has always called people to repentance. All the prophets of old have called for a heart towards YHWH... A heart that moves away from the idols; away from selfishness; away from all the distractions of the kingdom of darkness; away from sin; away from addictions; away from the fear of death; away from evil. God has always called for repentance. Repent, is important. It moves us toward God.
Baptism was something new, well, mostly new. I say mostly because...
--John the baptizer baptized for forgiveness of sins to pave the way for the Messiah.
--Baptism or washing were part of the Temple observances for purity. There were baptistries in the Temple area.
--Many of the religions around Judaism baptized. It was a religious thing in the world.
--So, when Peter said repent and be baptized... the 3,000, who were baptized, understood what it meant.
But Christian baptism is new. It is not only associated with forgiveness of sins and purity and commitment... here is the cool part of the sermon.
Baptism connects with the other three changes that has changed everything...
Baptism is connected to the Holy Spirit...
Acts 2:38 And 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.”
1 Corinthians 12:11-13 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free- and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
Baptism connects to the pouring/drinking of the Spirit into all flesh!
Baptism is connected to the faith and hope of the Resurrection.
Romans 6:3-5 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
Baptism connects us into the faith and hope of the new life!
Baptism connects with the Ascension of Jesus to the Throne!
Matthew 28:16-20 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Baptism connects to the authority of the Ascended Lord to guide us in teaching! In baptism we acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus to be with us... to guide us... to use us as his agents with keys! Baptism enlists us as agents of the King on the Throne!
Baptism connects to changing everything! What an amazing thing!
(Sidebar) I have promised my Sunday morning adult class that when we finish the Story we will spend some time exploring baptism in detail.
On Pentecost morning, in the year 30 AD, a sermon was preached that changed the world. For the last 1,988 years the kingdom of heaven has been advancing across the earth.
--The Holy Spirit continues to be poured out on all flesh! We have been turned into prophets and priests!
--The resurrection continues to be the faith and the hope of Christians!
--Jesus still rules from his throne until all his enemies are put under his feet!
--Baptism enlists us as agents of the kingdom!
August 5, 2018
Los Alamos Church of Christ