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The Importance of the Day of Pentecost.

Key Scripture:Acts 2:1-4 (KJV) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

SUMMARY

The day of Pentecost and the events that followed on the glorious day are lessons to our Christian faith. The day of Pentecost marked the birth of the Christian church by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit that was poured out on that day is present with us this moment, if only we surrender in obedience for God to work in us.

On one hand without the power of the Holy Spirit we cannot have a victorious Christian life enjoying the beautiful relationship with God and on the other hand when we have His Spirit we have the power to expels the evil spirits and commune with God. Therefore, let us not be ignorant of what the Holy Spirit has to offer but continue to grow in our spiritual life with His Holy Spirit.

SERMON POINTS

We are a ‘Triune being.’ We have the soul that gives us an understanding of ourselves, the body that responds and has a connection with the world and the spirit that can either commune with God or evil.

The Holy Spirit connects us to the body of Christ.

The Factors that led to the Birth of the Christian Church:

1)Prayer at Pentecost:

Acts 2:1 (KJV) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

They were all praying together in one accord when God poured out His Spirit. The presence of the Holy spirit cannot be felt without prayer. Prayer is the platform and prerequisite to experience the Holy Spirit. The question today is how is our prayer life? How many times a day do we commune with God? Are we wasting and increasing our time in gadgets or are we offering prayers and supplications to God, because the scripture says that when they were together in one accord God poured out His spirit and He will do the same when we prayer together, He will pour His Spirit to dwell in us.

Let us be purposeful in prayer and be devoted in bringing a change in the community through our prayers. The scriptures say that as they prayed all one hundred twenty men were filled by the power of the Holy Spirit and there was a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house; this is the power of prayer when men and women of prayer come together it changes the situations and the spiritual environment.

2) The Presence at Pentecost.

 Acts 2:2-4 (KJV)And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

On the day of Pentecost God was coming down to be present with man. It is relevant today that when we sit in the church meetings and gathering we feel His presence. Healings happen, strong holds are broken, miracles happen and it is all because God is present in our midst. Therefore, we should yearn and thirst for His presence. We need to seek His presence as the Psalmist says in Psalm 63: 1(KJV) O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

The beauty of His presence lies in the fact that the day we taste His presence it is incomparable to the riches of the world. We should let our flesh starve and let our spiritual man arise so that we will be raised and modeled to feel the presence of God. Let us all long for His presence to determine, develop and convey the work of His Holy Spirit through our lives.

3)Preaching at Pentecost.

 Acts 2:14 (KJV) But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

Apostle Peter stood up lifted his voice and preached. He referred to the prophesy in the Old Testament in the book of Joel; He preached about the crucified Christ and the scripture portion being fulfilled among them. When God pours out His Holy Spirit, it will enable us with His power to teach and preach the gospel. When a believer preaches, uplifts and glorifies Jesus we know that the Holy Spirit is at work but not otherwise. Therefore, let us be vigilant to discern the power of the evil against the power of Holy Spirit. The preaching at pentecost was characterised by a good spiritual scriptural exposition by Peter referring to Psalm 16,Psalm 110 and Joel 2. A good sermon never contradicts the scriptures but enables the listener to have a deep understanding of the Lord.

4) Purpose of Pentecost.

 Acts 2:5-11 (KJV) And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

We are the purpose of Pentecost. The bible tells us that the nations that were scattered by God in the tower of Babel were united on the day of Pentecost as the disciples were enabled by His Spirit to speak in different tongues. God has given us spiritual gifts so that it will helps us to evangelize and minister to the body of Christ. Let us be hungry, more willing and more open to the work of the Holy Spirit and align our desires to the things that God wants to give us in our life and surely, we will be purposeful to the work for the kingdom of God.

5) Power of Pentecost.

Acts 2:37 (KJV)  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

There was great power on the day of Pentecost and those who heard the message were pricked in their hearts, they repented and three thousand people were baptized that very day. This is the power of the Holy Spirit. When God pours out His Holy Spirit there will not only be witnesses, guidance and boldness in His power but also it will prick our heart to repentance. Therefore, as God pours out His spirit let us accept and continue in fellowship to convey the strong message of the power of the Holy Spirit to the world around!

6) Promise of Pentecost.

 Acts 2:39 (KJV)  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

The promise of this divine infilling of the Holy Spirit is not just for us but also for our children and as many as the Lord shall call. Today, as St. Peter directed the people to repent and baptize in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins we as fellow brothers in Christ have the same promise to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and lead people to salvation.

Therefore, as we direct a way to salvation to the people, God is faithful to keep His promise!

CONCLUSION

The day of Pentecost is a remarkable event, when the power of God was poured out, displayed and manifested upon one hundred twenty people and the Holy Spirit was further conveyed to a large people in many places. Today God is looking to pour out His Spirit in the same way when we pursue Him in prayer, seek His presence and preach the gospel with determination so that God can fulfill the purpose and promise that He has for us. However, it can only be achieved when we manifest everything with power of the Holy Spirit.

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God’s Dream for His Children.

Key Scripture: Acts 2:41-47 (KJV) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

SUMMARY

God the Father has a dream for each one of us, like every other parent on earth. However, the difference is that the plan of God originated in His heart before the creation of the world and He is ready to watch it happen in our lives through the church. As earthly parents love to see the dreams for their children being fulfilled, God the Father also wants to see His dreams for us being fulfilled through the church that would gladden the heart of God.

SERMON POINTS

Church is not a building or an organisation; it is an organism. It is a vibrant, living and an on going movement that must grow. Once we acknowledge what our big God can do with one man available, loving the Lord and wholeheartedly obeying His word and faithfully committing to His call we would grow. Growth comes only when we dream big.

Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV)  The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)    For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

As children of God it is important that we make His heart glad by carrying out His plans. Our God is emotional about His people; He rejoices over us and sings over us. His plans for us are not to harm or pull us down but to give us hope and a bright future.

The Fine Blueprint of God for His Church:

Acts 2:41-47 (KJV) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

In the book of Acts we not only read the historical facts about the birth and growth of the church after the resurrection of Jesus but also see a fine blue print of what and how God wants to see the church and His followers today.

The twelve pointer layout of the Church that God dreams of:

  1. Teaching the apostles doctrine- that is whatever Jesus taught them.
  2. Fellowship in prayer and breaking of bread.
  3. Worship.
  4. A sense of awe
  5. Many signs and wonders
  6. Sharing and generosity; a community life.
  7. Unity in one accord, oneness
  8. Gladness
  9. Sincerity of the heart
  10. Praising God
  11. Favour with God and men
  12. Daily salvation which add the people into His church.

 The reality of God’s dream being fulfilled:

Acts 1:1-5 (KJV)   The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

The biggest question is can we compare the blueprint of God with our churches today? Sadly when we consider these points, we are so far from seeing God’s dream being fulfilled in our lives through the church.

A Declaration of Lord Jesus aboutone the Church:

Matthew 16:18 (KJV)   And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

This statement that the Lord Jesus declared, though simple, holds the entire doctrine about the church.

  • There is only one Church.

The Lord said that He will build His Church and not churches. Though there are many denominations which the Lord allowed but He does not divide churches on that basis and tells us that there is only one church where His name is honoured and His word alone is obeyed and preached.

  • The Church belongs to Jesus Christ.

The church does not belong to any bishop, the pope or even the apostles. It belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He will build His church and it is only in the church He builds, where the devil cannot prevail. If it belonged to men, then only those they prefer would be a part of he church but the Lord in His great mercy died for every soul, so that everyone who comes and acknowledges Him as Lord and Savior is saved to be a part of the Church.

  • Church was and is the plan of God.

The Church was the plan of God. It is not the product of man’s imagination. It is the plan of God even before the beginning of time therefore, by being in the church we are in the glorious plan of God!

 Why did God plan the church?

Acts 1:8 (KJV)   But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

1) To Create a Force That will ignite the storm By the fire of the Holy Spirit:

God in Heaven wanted to create a force that will ignite and take the planet by storm with the fire of the Holy Ghost. We read that at the Day of Pentecost the disciples waited and received the power of the Holy Ghost before they could be sent. Though they didn’t know how the Holy Spirit would come or for how long they had to pray yet in obedience to God’s word they waited and they prayed continually. Similarly, in our lives too when we get God’s vision which is big and there is uncertainty to achieve all we have to do is wait in obedience to God and He will equip us. Remember the disciples gathered in the upper room in one accord and prayed which was enough to bring fire from heaven.

2) To fulfil the vision of God the Father which is the great salvation:

Salvation is the great plan that originated in the heart of God even before man was created; this vision of God the Father was to save humanity which as a mission was given to be fulfilled by His Son, Jesus Christ. As Jesus shed His blood on the cross for the remission of our sins He fulfilled the vision of God with His sacrifice. Therefore, now Jesus has imparted the mission of going into the ends of the world and making disciples by sharing the good news.

Today our churches need to be given united and continual in prayer to catch the vision of God the Father and make it our mission.

3) To understand who He really is:

When we understand God for who and what He is, the more we will love Him. Though our salvation is free yet it comes with a great cost to our Heavenly Father for the sacrifice of His only begotten Son. This great salvation needed a spotless, pure and holy blood; therefore, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus had the blood of His Father in heaven and that is why we can only be saved by the blood of Jesus alone.

When we know this great love He has for us and His great plans for us we can never keep quiet. Even the twenty four elders in heaven get up from their thrones, fall prostrate, laying their crowns at the feet of God Almighty to worship Him. Similarly, when we understand what He has done for us, we will offer all that we have and worship Him.

John 4:10 (KJV) Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

This is the purpose for God to plan His church so that we will acknowledge who He is. We read in gospel of John that Jesus says to the Samaritan woman that if she only knew who Jesus was then she would ask Him for the living waters.

As followers of Christ, if we only acknowledge how great our God is then we would dare only ask Him for the impossible. Ask big, dream big because He is an able God.

What can bring the presence of God from Heaven?

As the disciples prayed an earnest prayer that brought down the fire of the Holy Ghost from heaven similarly the Lord expects His church to pray an earnest prayer that can bring the presence of God.

 The presence of God can come only when:

  • We gather in one accord in obedience to God’s word, the presence of God will come. In the church there is no being the greatest or being the leader but being united in prayer.
  • We submit our will to the will of God. In the garden of Gethsemane when our Lord Jesus cried out to the Father in heaven to remove the cup from Him, but who also submitted to the will of God. Therefore, when we submit ourselves to His will; to pray, to evangelise, to missions then will come the fulfilment of His work, His vision in and through our lives.
  • When we devote in earnest prayer and obedience in faith and will never give up on God. Throughout the bible we read about incidences where Jesus called the disciples, “O ye, of little faith!” while the Lord found great faith among the heathens. We should always remember that a smallest expression of His grace is enough to meet our greatest need.
CONCLUSION.

Our God the Father in heaven has a dream for His children through His church. As we imprint the blueprint into our hearts and walk in building His church with obedience, earnest prayer and faith we will live to fulfil His dreams and make His heart glad. Therefore let us dream big and live to complete the mission Jesus Christ has imparted to us and never give up on Him.