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CrossPointe Community Church
P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215
CALL TO WORSHIP
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers. They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism) Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!Acts 2:1-11
“People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through Him, as you well know. But God knew what would happen, and His prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed Him to a cross and killed Him. But God released Him from the horrors of death and raised Him back to life, for death could not keep Him in its grip.
“God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now He is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as He had promised, gave Him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”’
“So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.Acts 2:22-24, 32-41
Perspectives on Pentecost Power
It is told that John Wimber, the pastor and author of Spirit Song which we just sang, thought there was a problem with Pentecost Power. Wimber met Christ in a dramatic way in the 1960s, began reading the Book of Acts, and became excited about what he was reading about the early church. At one of the earliest church services he attended, after they sang three hymns, received an offering and listened to a 12-minute sermon, he was a little disappointed and asked someone,
“When are you gonna do the stuff?”
“You know, the stuff, the stuff I’ve been reading about in Acts; about three thousand people who became Christians at one time, about how many signs and wonders were being done by the Apostles.”
But instead of signs and wonders, Wimber saw no sign of anything that would make him or anyone else wonder.
Have you ever read the Book of Acts and wondered why we don’t see today the power of the Holy Spirit at work through us like it did through the early church?
There are those who point to Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever,” and therefore insist that our churches today should resemble the early church. And the reason it doesn’t they would say is that the church overall has back-slidden or become complacent, or grown cold, or, you get the picture. In other words, God hasn’t changed; we have.
On the other end of the spectrum, are others who explain the apparent difference between the church then and now by saying that it was necessary to give the early church a powerful shot in the arm to get it going and therefore God gave the Apostles the power to do miraculous signs and wonders that attracted many to the faith. But as the church quickly grew by leaps and bounds, God no longer needed to work His miraculous power in order to reach people. In other words, we haven’t changed; God has.
I believe there’s merit to both views, but it is not my intention to debate them; rather to share three Biblical truths about Pentecost Power, which when taken seriously, will enable us to resemble an Acts 2 church.
The first Biblical truth about Pentecostal Power concerns who has it.
Now to be sure, in the Old Testament the gift of the Holy Spirit was given to a select few, for a short period of time, to carry out a specific task; such as when Samson was given extraordinary strength to do battle for God. However; as Peter mentions in his sermon, the prophecy of Joel is being fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost as the gift of God’s Spirit was being poured out on all of God’s people.
Many Christians read Acts 2:4, “They were filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke in tongues,” and since I don’t, I must not have the Holy Spirit. Or, I have never had the boldness like Peter did, to stand on a street corner and speak on behalf of Christ, therefore, I must not have the Holy Spirit. Or, I still have sin in my life; therefore, I must not have the Holy Spirit.
If for whatever reason you may have concluded that you do not have the Holy Spirit, let me be perfectly clear: anyone who has repented of their sin and turned to Christ to receive the forgiveness of their sins has already received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
There are those who say that receiving the Spirit is a two-step process; first, there comes the time when a person accepts the grace of God by faith. And then at some time subsequent to conversion; could be days or years, God sends His Holy Spirit to indwell that person.
However; I don’t know how Paul can be any clearer when he writes the Romans for example, “Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him” (10:9); implying that whoever does belong to Jesus has the Spirit.
And when he cautions the Corinthians about sin in their church, he writes, (3:16) “Surely you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you.”
And let’s not forget today’s text: “Peter replied, ‘Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” (Read 2:38-39).
Have you turned from your sins, and were you baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins? If you have, then you also have God’s Holy Spirit.
In other words, if the activity of the early church is going to be reproduced in our church today, it is going to be reproduced through people like you and I.
The second Biblical truth about Pentecostal power concerns the primary and overall purpose of the Holy Spirit.
Make no mistake about it: the Holy Spirit always glorifies Jesus.
The Spirit fell upon the disciples, they began to speak and those who listened said, “And we all hear these people speaking in our own language about the wonderful things God has done (in Christ)!” (Acts 2:11b). And later Peter says, “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now He is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. (Acts 2:32-33).
The Holy Spirit always glorifies Jesus. This shouldn’t come as a shock; Jesus told His disciples in the upper room, “He (the Holy Spirit) will bring Me glory” (John 16:13).
Now listen closely, it is not the role of the Holy Spirit to bring attention to any human being, to any pastor or healer or miracle worker or otherwise. In the third chapter of Acts, Peter and John are involved in the miraculous healing of a man who was lame from birth. People then, like some today, wanted to glorify Peter and John. But Peter says, “And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to His servant Jesus by doing this” (Acts 3:12b-13).
Make no mistake about it, the Holy Spirit always glorifies Jesus.
James Packer, in Your Father Loves You, writes,
I remember walking to a church one winter evening to preach on the words, ‘He will glorify me’ (John 16:14). As I turned a corner, I saw the church all lit up and realized this was exactly the illustration my message needed. When lighting is done well, the floodlights are placed so that you don’t see them. What you are meant to see is just the building on which the floodlights are trained. This perfectly illustrates the Spirit’s role. He is, so to speak, the hidden floodlight shining on the Savior. The Spirit’s message is never, ‘Look at me; come to me; get to know me,’ but always, ‘Look at Him, and see His glory; listen to Him and hear His word; go to Him and receive life; get to know Him and taste His gift of peace.” 1
Friends, whenever, through the ministry of the church, we witness someone coming to faith in Christ and subsequently begin to grow in Christ, what we are witness to is the power of the Holy Spirit at work to glorify Jesus.
Thirdly, that purpose of the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus serves to remind us of the wonderful privilege we enjoy!
And that privilege is that each and every one of us has a role to play in the incredible challenge to build God’s Kingdom, offering His love to a world that is desperately crying out for it. All of us have different roles, and every role matters because we are allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us to glorify Christ!
Think about the relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit in this way: the Holy Spirit comes in and the life of Jesus goes out. At one time, Jesus walked this earth and ministered His grace wherever He went. But as a man, He was limited in where He could go and what He could do. But beginning on the day of Pentecost He is no longer limited in time and space. Now Jesus can continue to minister His grace in the power of His Holy Spirit working through His people wherever they go.
All of our roles matter when it comes to gaining victories for God’s Kingdom!
An atheist professor was teaching a college class and he told the class that he was going to prove that there is no risen Christ. “Jesus, if you are real, I invite You to knock me off this platform to prove it. I’ll give you 15 minutes!”
Ten minutes went by.
He kept taunting Jesus, “Here I am, come and get me, I’m still waiting.”
When he got down to the last minute, a 240-pound offensive tackle gets up,
rushes the podium, slams into the professor, and sends him flying.
The professor struggles to his feet, obviously shaken, and yelled, “What’s the matter with you? Why did you do that?”
The student-athlete said, “Jesus must have been busy, so He sent me!”
Now I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that student’s action to stand up and get involved glorified Jesus, but his willingness is an apt illustration that each one of us has a vital role to play in helping Jesus bring His kingdom to earth!
I am so grateful for all of you who take seriously the call to be involved in the life of the church. I want you to understand that as you offer yourselves to Christ to serve Him that the Holy Spirit is empowering you to do His will. And because that is true, you are making a significant impact on the Kingdom of God.
Those of you who spent 3 hours yesterday morning at a Leadership Retreat were led by the Spirit to make decisions that will glorify Jesus.
Those of you who just spent your 4th Tuesday evening in this building with a handful of children were not alone. The Holy Spirit accompanied your efforts and Jesus was glorified.
Last Friday, those of you who prepared the meal and then handed it out to those who drove here were working in conjunction with the third person of the Trinity to glorify the second.
Those of you who are willing to work behind the scenes in so many ways without anyone knowing about it other than Christ are allowing the Spirit of Christ to glorify Him.
At our prayer meeting Thursday evening, Lynda prayed, “Lord, I don’t know their names, but You know the fruit people. I just want to thank you for them and for their heartfelt desire to help pay off the church’s mortgage.”
John Wimber often taught about being used by Jesus, saying, “I’m spare change in His pocket, He can spend me any way He wants.” 2
What a wonderful privilege! The Holy Spirit of God enables us to reproduce the life of Christ and; thereby, bring Him glory!
Baptist pastor, A. J. Gordon, one of the founders of Gordon-Conwell Divinity School, told about being out for a walk and looking across a field at a house where he saw what looked like a man furiously pumping an outside hand water pump. As Gordon watched from across the field, he saw that the man continued to pump at a tremendous rate; he seemed tireless, pumping on and on, up and down, without ever slowing down in the slightest. When he got close enough, he realized it wasn’t a man after all, but a wooden figure painted to look like a man. The arm that was pumping so furiously was hinged at the elbow and the hand was wired to the pump handle. The water was pouring forth, not because the figure was pumping it, but because it was an artesian well and the water was pumping the man.
What a wonderful illustration of the Holy Spirit at work within us.
This why we celebrate today the birthday of the church! For it was on this Day of Pentecost that the Risen Christ sent the power of His Spirit to His people so that they could reproduce the life of the Living Christ. What began way back then continues today as we participate in helping God bring His Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.
1 Packer, James. Your Father Loves You. [Wheaton, Illinois: Harold Shaw Publishers,
© 1986] page for February 1st.
2 Third-wave Revival, Part Three: John Wimber