Faithlife Sermons

The Acts of The Holy Spirit

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Pray — SIS
Acts 1:1–3 CSB
1 I wrote the first narrative, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up, after he had given instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After he had suffered, he also presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
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He spent 40 days appearing to his disciples teaching them about the kingdom of God. (two on road to Emmaus —
Luke 24:32 CSB
32 They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”
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So they asked him if he was going to rebuild and restore the kingdom of Israel? They were under the impression, as I’m sure I would have been, that when the Messiah came that he would establish the kingdom immediately.
Acts 1:4–8 CSB
4 While he was with them, he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “Which,” he said, “you have heard me speak about; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
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Power, not to spread an earthly kingdom, but to spread the Kingdom of God, not physically, but spiritually. God will establish it physically one day Himself.
When we receive the Holy Spirit of God, we receive Power! What kind of power? The Power of God Himself! So do we become God? Of course not! Do we get the ability to use God’s power to do whatever He can do? Not a chance! The Holy Spirit is not a genie that you get to command. The Holy Spirit is not the force that you learn to control and do whatever you want. But…The Holy Spirit, being God, can do anything He wants “through” you! God can walk on water, we can’t. But God caused Peter to walk on water. God can disappear and reappear instantly anywhere He wants, we can’t. But God instantly transported Philip about 30 miles from the road going to Gaza to the city of Azotus.
Acts 2:1–4 CSB
1 When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. 3 They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. 4 Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them.
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A quick note on tongues — You’ve heard me talk about the word Lord — Common word in 1611, everyone used it already, everyone knew what it meant, the authors of the KJV used common words to make their english version of the Bible so that everyone would be able to read it and understand it themselves. Tongue was a commonly used word for language.
I tried to look up a dictionary from around 1611 when the KJV was written and I was surprised at how many different lexicons I was able to find.
https://leme.library.utoronto.ca/lexicons/
LEME stands for Lexicons of Early Modern English
In the same year that the King James was printed, 1611, I found two other foreign language grammars.
An Entrance to the Spanish Tongue by James Sandford
A Dictionary of the French and English Tongues by Randle Cotgrave
Now I need to say that the word language did exist, but the word tongue was commonly used the way we would only use the word language today. When we say tongue today, we only mean the organ in your mouth, but in the 16, 17, and even 1800s the word tongue was commonly used to mean languages.
I found 53 different lexicons between 1550 and 1726 with “tongue” in the title meaning language. So when we read that the apostles spoke in different tongues, it absolutely meant that they spoke in different languages. The HCSB actually translated these verse to say languages.
Acts 2:4 HCSB
4 Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.
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But they received a ton of criticism for doing so and so they returned to using the word tongues in the CSB. I think they should have left it as language because I think the Bible should be translated into understandable english so that the reader can easily understand what God’s word says, because that is what’s most important. To tell people the gospel message in a way that they understand it clearly.
The Translators of the King James Bible in 1611 said this in their notes to the Readers in the introduction in the front of the Bible:
“Happie is the man that delighteth in the Scripture, and thrise happie that meditateth in it day and night. But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknowen tongue? … Indeede without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacobs well (which was deepe) without a bucket or some thing to draw with.” — https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611-Bible/1611-King-James-Bible-Introduction.php
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Vulgar, by the way, according to the 1623 English Dictionary by Henry Cockeram, meant Common, or much used.
Henry Cockeram, English Dictionary(1623)
Vulgar.Common, much vsed.
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[Go on to the next slide — talk about translation into the vulgar tongue]
“Happie is the man that delighteth in the Scripture, and thrise happie that meditateth in it day and night. But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknowen tongue? … Indeede without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacobs well (which was deepe) without a bucket or some thing to draw with.” — https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611-Bible/1611-King-James-Bible-Introduction.php
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So what does all of this have to do with the Apostles and the book of Acts?
What the translators of the King James Version of the Bible in 1611 knew, is still true today. That God’s word must be given to the people in their own commonly used language. Because it is the gospel, the good news about Jesus that has the power to save people. The message about Christ is what actually saves people
Romans 10:13–17 CSB
13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 14 How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. 16 But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
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God has a mission! And He not only has a mission, He has a plan. He has a method. God has given us a mission and a method. He wants all people everywhere to love Him. And He wants us to love each other. He has done all of the work to make it possible. Therefore all we are left with is the message. The good news. The gospel. And we don’t just have a man made message. We don’t just have a natural message that we can give to others with a supernatural power. You see when you start talking to someone about your favorite food, they may get hungry but that’s about it. If you start talking to them about your favorite political party they may get heated but that’s about it. But when you talk to them about God and their sinfulness, and the coming judgment of God, and His call for them to repent of sin and trust in Him and His love for them that He died for them so that they would not have to perish. They don’t just get angry or humbled, which many do, they get drawn by the Holy Spirit. They get convicted by their sin. They feel it. Their body reacts in a way that it doesn’t to any other topic. Because the Holy Spirit isn’t convicting people about their favorite sports team, or their favorite color. But He is about their favorite sin. When you share the gospel message with someone clearly, then The Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin and will draw them to repentance. They have the free will to refuse to repent, and they have the free will to choose to repent, but they know that when people start talking to them about God and salvation, they feel something inside of them that they can’t ignore, no matter how hard they try. The Holy Spirit is real, and He is power.
Romans 1:16 CSB
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.
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And when The Holy Spirit fell on each of the apostles, He didn’t give them the power to go out and defeat the Romans that were occupying Jerusalem, He gave them the power to go out and speak His message in everyone’s native language.
Acts 2:5–16 CSB
5 Now there were Jews staying in Jerusalem, devout people from every nation under heaven. 6 When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 They were astounded and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 How is it that each of us can hear them in our own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts), 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the magnificent acts of God in our own tongues.” 12 They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But some sneered and said, “They’re drunk on new wine.” 14 Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them: “Fellow Jews and all you residents of Jerusalem, let me explain this to you and pay attention to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it’s only nine in the morning. 16 On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
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He went out to share a clear gospel message and when he got done, it says this:
Acts 2:37–41 CSB
37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he testified and strongly urged them, saying, “Be saved from this corrupt generation!” 41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them.
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Then it says:
Acts 2:42–47 CSB
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. 44 Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
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Robby Gallaty in his book “Bearing Fruit.” tells the story of a doctor in the early 1900s named Walter Lewis Wilson who was asked by a visiting missionary this question.
Who is the Holy Spirit to you?
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After giving him an answer similar to what you would have probably said along the lines of He’s the third person of the trinity… the missionary said, “No, who is the Holy Spirit “to YOU?”
Wilson responded honestly: “He is nothing to me. I have no contact with Him and could get along quite well without Him.”
the next year while the doctor was listening to a message given by James M. Gray on Romans 12:1.
Romans 12:1 CSB
1 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.
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Gray said: “Have you noticed that this verse does not tell us “to whom” we should give our bodies? It is not the Lord Jesus; He has His own body. It is not the Father; He remains on His throne. Another has come to earth without a body. God gives you the indescribable honor of presenting your bodies to the Holy Spirit, to be His dwelling place on earth.”
Robby said that “Wilson returned to his house and lay prostrate on the carpet. There in the late hours of night, he said, “My Lord, I have treated You like a servant. When I wanted You I called for You. Now I give You this body from my head to my feet. I give you my hands, my limbs, my eyes and lips, my brain. You may send this body to Africa, or lay it on a bed with cancer. It is Your body from this moment on.”
Do we live as though we have the Holy Spirit in us? Who yearns desperately to save those around us? He burns within us wanting to draw those around us to Himself. He is already at work in them, and He wants to save them through the message about Himself, and He wants to use us to do it.
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