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Pentecost

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The Gift of the Father Sent by the Son

[PROPOSITION]
Jesus has poured out the Holy Spirit on us, enabling us to change the world through the proclamation of the gospel.
[INTRODUCTION]
Jesus was born in the flesh, lived in perfect obedience to his Father, died willingly as the atoning sacrifice for our sin, and rose from the grace having defeated sin and death. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” ().
Last week we talked about those verses from and saw that the phrases “every knee” and “every tongue” refer to every single knee and tongue. Some will gladly bow and confess. Others will sadly bow and confess. But all will bow to Jesus and confess him as Lord!
This week we want to think about the word “every” in the sense of “all kinds.” All kinds of people will gladly bow to Jesus and confess him as Lord!
gives us a picture of this very thing...
Revelation 7:9 ESV
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
Revelation 7:9–10 ESV
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
Now, what we see in begins to take place in as Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit on his people during Pentecost.
[CENTRAL IDEA OF THE TEXT]
Just as the Jewish celebration of Pentecost celebrated the firstfruits of the harvest, so here in the firstfruits of a worldwide spiritual harvest begins to come in.
Now, to reemphasize, it was Jesus who sent the Holy Spirit upon and within his people. says...
Acts 2:33 ESV
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.
[PROPOSITION]
The Spirit was the promise of our loving Father sent by our exalted Lord to enable us to change the world through the proclamation of the gospel.
[INTERROGATIVE/TRANSITION STATEMENT]
Although it might seem that we’ve already answered this question, we want to see three REASONS why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit then and still sends it now.

Three REASONS Jesus sent the Spirit...

Reason #1: So the gospel would be proclaimed ()

Acts 2:14 ESV
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words.
[EXPOSITION]
Most of the time, when we study , we tend to focus on the disciples speaking in different tongues. People from all over where gathered for Pentecost, a larger pilgrim festival than even Passover. Jesus sent the Spirit and his disciples miraculously preached in languages that everyone could understand.
These were not ecstatic utterances, but intelligible, recognizable languages that were spoken by the people who had gathered to celebrate Pentecost.
The purpose of the miracle was so that the gospel could be proclaimed to the lost world.
This is important for us to understand: the sign of the Spirit’s presence is not the miraculous but rather the faithful proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. To say it another way, where Christ is proclaimed, the Spirit is present. Where Christ is not proclaimed, the Spirit is not present.
Now, we should notice at least a few characteristics of Spirit-empowered preaching as we look at Peter’s sermon:
(Characteristic #1) Spirit-empowered preaching is from the Scriptures.
To say it another way, where Christ is proclaimed, the Spirit is present. Where Christ is not proclaimed, the Spirit is not present.
The Spirit carried men along as they wrote the Bible () and the Spirit uses the Bible to convict men of sin and call them to salvation through faith in Christ. As says...
Romans 10:17 ESV
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
This is why when the Spirit fills Peter and he begins to preach, he doesn’t preach from his experiences with Jesus. He doesn’t entertain the Pentecost crowd with stories of miraculous healings and other supernatural events. No, he turns to the Scriptures!
(2) Spirit-empowered preaching is clear on sin and grace.
Starting in verses 17-21, Peter first turns to to explain the events of Pentecost. In the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth, the last days had begun - days in which “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved,” ().
Then Peter, filled with the Spirit, transitions to in verses 25-28. He says these words could not ultimately apply to David because David died and his tomb well-known. No, Peter says, David the prophet knew that those words ultimately applied to an heir God promised him; one who would sit on the throne as King of God’s people forever; one whose flesh would not see corruption after death. As Peter said in ...
Acts 2:32 ESV
This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
Then Peter transitions to even more Scripture in , moving from Jesus’s resurrection to his ascension. He does this by quoting from ...
Psalm 110:1 ESV
The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
Ps
And what is the result? ...
Acts 2:37 ESV
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?”
(Characteristic #2) Spirit-empowered preaching is clear on sin and grace.
(2) Spirit-empowered preaching is clear on sin and grace.
Peter doesn’t take it easy on his audience as he proclaims the gospel. He clearly confronts their sin of rejecting Jesus. Notice ...
Acts 2:23 ESV
this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
And after Peter proclaims Jesus as Lord and Christ by way of his death, resurrection, and exaltation, he again clearly confronts their sin of rejecting Jesus in ...
Acts 2:36 ESV
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now, just as Peter, filled with the Spirit, was clear about the reality of their sin, he was also just as clear about the reality of God’s grace through faith in Christ. They ask Peter and the other disciples, “Brother, what shall we do?” Peter responds in ...
(Characteristic #3) Spirit-empowered preaching is focused on Christ.
Acts 2:38 ESV
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.
Repentance is to turn away from rejecting Jesus to accepting Jesus. It is to give up sinful unbelief in favor of saving faith.
Baptism is the outward confession of that saving faith.
By calling on the Pentecost crowd to repent and be baptized, Peter was calling on them to turn away from sin by trusting in Jesus.
He was clear on sin and clear on grace.
(Characteristic #3) Spirit-empowered preaching is focused on Christ.
Now, this is obvious. Peter’s whole sermon is about Jesus. It’s not about 3, 5, or 10 steps to a better you. It’s not about how great and capable his audience was. It was about Jesus’s death, resurrection, and ascension and the need for the need for everyone listening to repent of sin and believe on him for salvation.
[ILLUSTRATION] Well-known youth evangelist being thanked for not talking about Jesus in his “talk”
[APPLICATION] When the Spirit enables a man to preach, that man preaches about Jesus.
[APPLICATION]
Jesus said the Spirit would glorify him. So will the preacher who is filled with the Spirit.

Reason #2: So the gospel would be embraced ().

Acts 2:37–41 ESV
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.
[EXPOSITION]
God’s gracious offer of salvation through faith in his Son Jesus was not an offer for only those gathered at Pentecost. It was an offer extended to the whole world, “for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself,” ().
God is sovereign in salvation. Only those whom he calls to himself will be saved. But the offer of salvation that God makes to the world through his Spirit-filled people is a genuine offer.
says that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Now, some people have a hard time believing God genuinely offers salvation to all people if he ultimately decides who will be saved. They reason that if God is sovereign and desires to save all people, but doesn’t save all people, then his call to salvation must not be a genuine call for all people.
Perhaps they feel like Granny from the The Beverly Hillbillies when she and Jethro first went to the grocery store.
[ILLUSTRATION] Granny from The Beverly Hillbillies calling the grocery store workers “Indian givers” because they wanted their grocery cart back when she left; Granny felt the folks at the grocery store where disingenuous because they offered her the cart only to try and take it back later. But we know the truth, don’t we? The grocery store wasn’t disingenuous. Granny just didn’t understand the grocery store.
[APPLICATION]
[APPLICATION]
In the same way, if we think God is disingenuous when he calls everyone to salvation and yet sovereignly chooses only some to be saved, we only think that way because we don’t understand God.
And to be honest, on this point, I don’t know that we can understand God. What I do know is this, Jesus sent the Spirit so the gospel would be not only proclaimed but also embraced.
It’s our responsibility as followers of Jesus who have been filled with the Spirit to proclaim the gospel. It’s the responsibility of every person who hears the gospel to embrace the gospel. And God is sovereign over all of that and I’m in no position to question him.
I know his desire for you to be saved is genuine. I know he wants you to embrace the gospel. The only question is, will you?
We can’t understand how God sovereign in salvation, desire all to be saved, extend his salvation offer to all people, and yet only some are saved.

Reason #3: So the gospel would spread ().

Acts 2:5–11 ESV
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? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
[EXPOSITION]
There’s a reason that Jesus chose to pour out the Holy Spirit on his people at Pentecost - in effect, the whole world was represented in Jerusalem at that time as Jews from different nations gathered to celebrate.
The list of place names in verses 9-10 cover the map and surely the intent was that these people would take the gospel with them as they returned home. They would be his witnesses to the ends of the earth.
Maybe that happened in some cases, but it seems that the gospel didn’t spread much further than Jerusalem until persecution in the city forced Christians to flee. Nevertheless, as they went, they told others about Jesus.
[ILLUSTRATION]
[APPLICATION]
Jesus desires to use us, his Spirit-filled people, to reach the world for Christ. And if we belong to him, he will find away to motivate us to do just that.
[ILLUSTRATION] Man facing serious cancer surgery telling everyone about Jesus
Will God have to use pain or persecution, trial or tribulation to get us to share Christ with others?

Enabled to Change the World

If the Spirit’s desire is to glorify Christ and the Spirit resides in us, are we allowing the Spirit to proclaim Christ through us?
[PROPOSITION]
Jesus has sent us the Holy Spirit and now we are enabled to change the world by telling others about him.
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