Waynedale United Methodist Church
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

June 12, 2016 Sermon

“The Holy Spirit and  3 W’s”
Acts 2:1 – 21
Ted Jansen  June 12, 2016  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.  
            I want to share three words that express the reasons for the Holy Spirit’s filling.  We see those words in our scripture:  Witness, Word and Wholeness.      
 
2.)        Witness.  The purpose of the filling of the Holy Spirit was not for “publicity,” thought it was a very public and unusual event.  There were 13 different languages, or tongues, being spoken to the people by the disciples.  There was fire that appeared over the heads of the disciples. There was the sound of a mighty wind that all could hear.  This could have been a great publicity stunt that would draw a lot of people for sure.  But was the Holy Spirit’s filling about publicity?  
            Think about the birth of Jesus.  Was there a lot of publicity around that event?  What about Jesus’ life?  Was there a lot of publicity around His life?   At times there was local interest but there were times Jesus told people not to tell anyone what had happened to them as a result of a healing.  (Matthew 8:1 – 4)  Jesus had no desire or need for the Spirit to be about publicity.  
              
3.)        The purpose of the filling 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 and love of God in Christ. 
The message that needed to be witnessed to was about the God who loved them so much that He sent Jesus Christ into the world for them.  This Jesus, who once was crucified, was alive and would be Lord of the Church, His Body. 
This message of Christ and His Grace, Love, Hope, Salvation, Peace, Joy, were vital for all to hear and understand.  The Spirit was given so that a witness could be shared with the people in a way they would understand.  The people could hear this message and were amazed. 
 
4.)        The Holy Spirit wants us to “hear” and “see” God in our midst in a way that we understand.  You might call it a “God moment,” or a “God Wink,” or it might be an “answer to prayer,” or something that you “cannot understand apart from God.”  In those moments the Spirit of God is giving a witness to the wonders of God. 
            Have you had a moment this week, this month, this year?   I pray that the Lord would allow you to “hear” and “see” Him in some special way today.  (Invite someone to share a moment.)   
 
5.)        Word.  The purpose of the filling of the Holy Spirit was not for Peter to do a “press release” on the confusion.  Some people thought that the disciples were drunk and it was Peter who wanted to clarify what was going on.  He first told them it was too early for them to be drunk, since it was only nine in the morning.  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 agent” when He was here on earth.  He was often misunderstood by the Romans, the Jews, the Religious leaders and His own disciples.  Jesus did not concern Himself with making sure the right message and image was getting out to the public.       
 
6.)        The purpose of the Holy Spirit’s filling 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 quotes from Joel 2:28 – 32 when he spoke to the crowd.  The Holy Spirit wants the people to understand that what is happening is rooted and grounded in the “Word.”     
            It was vital for people to hear scripture, the Old Testament prophet, about this day, the day of Pentecost, and how God’s plans are grounded in scripture.
It was important to accept that the birth of the church, this filling of the Holy Spirit, was not an event independent of the past working of God’s covenant and plans.  Scripture ties in each aspect of our life and faith and on the day of Pentecost we see the past linked to the future.    
 
7.)        The Holy Spirit inspired Paul when he wrote to Timothy years after the day of Pentecost these words.  “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.”  (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)
            The Holy Spirit will speak to us through the Word about our needs, our desire, our questions, our past, our future, our situation right now.    
            (Is there something going on in your life, or around you that you want the Holy Spirit to give you some understanding about?  Write in your bulletin and begin your search in scripture.)  
 
8.)        Wholeness.  The purpose of the filling of the Holy Spirit was not for “people” to be in control of the church.  The church is people who are created by God and seek to follow Jesus with their own ideas.  The church was not an “idea” that a person came up with so they could control.  No, the birth of the church, this unusual happening, was not something that people had planned.  Pentecost, the birth of the church, happened beyond the control of people.  God was in control.     
 
9.)        The purpose of the filling of the Holy Spirit was for wholeness to be experienced from God.  God wanted to do something that people could not.  Acts 2:21 says, “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.  When you call on the name of the Lord you will be saved.  God, through the Holy Spirit, will bring wholeness to our entire life.      
            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 so that we will be made whole, put together, renewed and given new life. 
 
10.)      The Holy Spirit filled the disciples and believers and when the witness was clear, and the word was revealed andwholeness in Christ was experienced people were transformed. 
Listen to 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.  The church was not in control but the Lord was.     
11.)      The Holy Spirit will witness about Jesus, show you scripture, as Christ brings wholeness. 
As we celebrate Communion one of the aspects of the prayer of Consecration is asking that the Holy Spirit would use the elements of bread and juice and make them be for us the Body and Blood of Christ.  We pray that the Holy Spirit will do something “supernatural” with these “natural” elements of grain and grape.
            The Holy Spirit is still filling disciples and Communion is one of those special times when we yield our hearts to God and we receive His grace.