Waynedale United Methodist Church
Wednesday, April 01, 2020
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!

June 11, 2017 Sermon

“The Beginning of the Church!”
Acts 2:1 – 21

Ted Jansen  June 11, 2017  Waynedale UMC


1.)        “All of them were filled with Holy Spirit…”  (Acts 2:4)  Those opening words are recorded in the book of Acts about the day of Pentecost, the birth of the church. 

            The word, “filled,” in the Greek language has the sense of being fulfilled, satisfied, and completely full.  The meaning was not of a “little” measure, or a “small” amount, or a “tiny” bit.  It is of being complete, filled to the brim, full, almost overflowing, almost at flood stage.              So, an initial understanding is that the Holy Spirit saturated the lives of the disciples.  

            As we understand the word, “filled,” let us discover three reasons that that Holy Spirit was not given for and the three reasons, three W’s, the Holy Spirit’s was poured out.        


2.)        The Holy Spirit was not given for “publicity.”  There were different languages, or tongues, being spoken to the people.  There was the fire that appeared over the heads of the disciples and the sound of a mighty wind.  This could have been a great publicity stunt that would draw a lot of people for sure.  But was the Holy Spirit wanting publicity?  

            Think about the birth and life of Jesus.  Was there publicity around the birth?  Was there publicity around His life?  There were times Jesus told people not to tell others what had happened to them as a result of a healing.  (Matthew 8:1 – 4)  Jesus did not need the Spirit for publicity.  The Holy Spirit was not given for publicity.     


3.)        The purpose of the filling of the Holy Spirit was for witness.  Acts 2:11 says, “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”  The disciples were filled by the Holy Spirit to communicate clearly to those who were present the wonders of God.  The message was about the God who loved them so much that He sent Jesus Christ for them.  It was a message of Grace, Love, Hope, Salvation, Peace, Joy, Life all focused in the life of Jesus Christ.   The Spirit was given so that a witness was shared in a way they would understand.  The people were amazed. 


4.)        Today the Holy Spirit directs us to “hear” God’s voice and “see” God’s presence in our life in a way that we understand.  When you hear and see and you know this is from God some might call this a “God moment,” or a “God Wink.”  You might have an “answer to prayer,” or something that you “cannot understand apart from God.”  The Spirit is witnessing the wonders of God. 

            Have you had a moment like that in your life this week, this month, this year?   I pray that the Lord would allow you to “hear” and “see” Him today.     


5.)        The Holy Spirit was not given so that Peter could do a “press release.”  Some people thought the disciples were drunk and Peter clarified things.  The Holy Spirit wasn’t concerned about “damage control” for the disciple’s reputation, their drinking habits, or lifestyle. 

            Jesus did not have a “press release agent.”  He was often misunderstood by the Romans, the Jews, the Religious leaders and at times His own disciples.  Jesus did not have a person to make sure the “right message and image” was getting out to the public.  The Holy Spirit was not given so people could do press releases.  


6.)        The purpose of the filling of the Holy Spirit was for the word to be revealed.  We read in Acts 2:16 Peter saying these words.  “No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel…”   Peter then quotes Joel 2:28 – 32 when he spoke to the crowd. 

            It was vital for people to hear scripture, the Old Testament, about what happened on this day, the day of Pentecost.  God is grounded in history as we read and understand scripture.  History is really, “His story!”  We learn about God’s promises and covenants and how God is seeking us.    

God desires to be in relationship with us.  The birth of the church, with the filling of the Holy Spirit, was a fulfillment of a promise from the past.      


7.)        When Paul wrote to Timothy he shared what role the Holy Spirit has in God’s word.  Listen to 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.  All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 

            The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God, scripture, to train and guide us.  When we come to God in prayer we can find answers in scripture.  God will reveal to us in scripture what we need to know and do.  If there is something going on in your life that you want some clarification on write that issue, concern, or need down and then begin to read and study the scriptures with an open mind.  The Spirit of God will guide you and lead you. 


8.)        The Holy Spirit was not given so that “people” would be in control of the church.  The church is filled with people and their ideas.  This event, the birth of the church, this unusual happening, was not something that people had planned.  The Holy Spirit came and this was beyond the control or imagination of the people.      


9.)        The purpose of the filling of the Holy Spirit was for wholeness to be experienced.  God as doing something that people could not.  Listen to Acts 2:21.  “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  This is radical and revolutionary truth that is being revealed and communicated.  God will make you whole.  You cannot do this for yourself.  All people will be able to call on the name of the Lord and be saved.  

            The word “saved,” in the Greek language is sozo.  It has the sense of being made whole, of being healed, of being complete.  The Lord will do something in us that we cannot do for ourselves.  God will respond to each of us with love, forgiveness and grace.    


10.)      When the Holy Spirit communicated the witness of God through the Word of God and people could know wholeness wonderful things happened.  We read in Acts 2:41, 47.  “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day… And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” 

            The Lord, not the people, added to the church, those who were being saved, being made whole and healed.  The church was not in control but the Lord was.     


11.)      I love the Pentecost story and the reminder of how the church was born.  I am someone, like you that loves the Lord and loves the church, Christ’s body. 

Each of us are tempted as we think of the church.  Our temptation is to think that all that happens in the life of the church is up to us. 

When I make a positive contribution to helping the church I begin to believe that it is about me and what we do.  It is not about me. 

At other times I look at the needs of the church and how it needs to love people and care for people and reach our community and take care of our building and I get overwhelmed.  If I truly believe it is all up to me how in the world do I respond? 

Do you ever have the same feeling?     


12.)      I want you to imagine that your life is like this cup.  Pentecost was about ordinary men who had struggles and challenges who were willing to allow the Spirit to fill them.  The Apostles were unique in history but no different than you or I.   The church continues to be filled with the Holy Spirit in each day. 

Waynedale United Methodist Church is about people with empty cups, empty lives, as far as our belief that it is all about us.  

            We come with an empty cup, and emptied life, and ask the Holy Spirit to fill us.  We want God’s word to be a joy to our heart, we want to witness to others about Christ, we want a hope and wholeness about our lives that we do not have right now. 


13.)      As I was thinking about the beginning of the church and this image of our lives as a cup I thought about a song called, “Fill my Cup, Lord.”  It describes a seeking, a thirsting and craving, a hungering for more.  The words describe an honest prayer that we can offer.  The chorus is #641.    

            Like the woman at the well I was seeking for things that could not satisfy; and then I heard my Savior speaking: "Draw from my well that never shall run dry".

Chorus:  Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!  Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;   Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole! 

There are millions in this world who are craving the pleasures earthly things afford; but none can match the wondrous treasure that I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.


            So, my neighbor, if the things this world gave you leave hungers that won't pass away, my blessed Lord will come and save you, if you kneel to Him and humbly pray:


14.)      Prayer:   Lord, may your Spirit give us clarity as to our witness to our friends, neighbors and those how don’t know you.

            Lord, may your Spirit give us a desire to read, study and understand your Word so that we might do your will in our lives. 

            Lord, may your Spirit bring new life to our lives, and salvation to those who are seeking you.  

            We are a people that are imperfect and need your Holy Spirit to be the church here in Waynedale for your purpose.  

            There are people all around us that have not understood your message of love and grace.  Give us a passion and clarity to speak your name.  

            We are a people that see your needs and seek to love and care but we cannot care for all the people.   Let us love one another today and then let us love those who are different than us and then let us love those who can hurt us. 

            We are nothing without the Holy Spirit.  Come and fill us.   Amen.