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Comfort In The Fulfillment

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Trying Times

This week we wrap up our series on Finding Comfort. Where we explored where to find comfort.
Week one we explored Finding Comfort In The Promise, the promise of the coming Helper, The Holy Spirit.
Week two we explored Finding Comfort In The Instruction as Jesus taught two disciples how He is the promised One from the Jewish Testament. To us, the OT.
Week three we explored Finding Comfort In The Encouragement as Jesus encouraged Peter, James and John after they tried to return to fishing. We saw that Jesus not only encourages, but He charges Peter with caring and tending to God’s people.
This week we are going to explore Finding Comfort In The Fulfillment. If we are being honest with ourselves, There is no more relevant time than now.
This year started with what seemed like “20/20 Vision.” Or to take it further, we projected our loaded expectations on the year. But we found out quickly that despite our plans, life is ever changing. That things do no always turn out as we’d like. We get reminded of our humanity, we get reminded of the sinfulness that runs deep and that has broken paradise into the world we have now. For what ever plans we have, we are reminded of the never ending, ever changing variables. We experienced this in the passing of a young legend and his passnegers, to the pandemic that shook our world to nearly a halt. And we cannot and will not forget or ignore the tragic deaths experienced at the hands of injustice.
How is there comfort in the midst of all this uncertainty? A concise answer is that our comfort should be found in all that God has laid before us. The things that He has promised and fulfilled. That we find comfort in His faithfulness through Christ and by His Spirit.

Context

Before we dive into our text in Acts 2, I want us ot consider the Jewish observance of Pentecost.
Pentecost was one of the three great annual feasts of Israel. It came after Passover and before the festival of booths. That means that many Jewish people from different nations would make the trip to Israel for these feasts.
Pentecost was celebrated 7 weeks, or 50 days (which is what Pentecost means in Greek 50th) after passover. It is also know as Feast of Harvest or First Fruits. This was because they would gather the first fruits of the grain harvest and bring it as an offering as Exodus 23:16 and Numbers 28:26 specify.
It was also generally recognized as the day that God gave the Law to Israel. Someone took the time to do the math and even plotted a timeline chart together. It was 50 days between when Israel exited Goshen (Numbers 33:3) and when Moses and Aaron ascended Mt.Sinai and received the Law in Exodus 19-20
These are important facts to remember as we continue on.

Acts 2

When we read these verses we have to ask ourselves “is this prescriptive or descriptive?” Prescriptive means that this is exactly how the Holy Spirit operates every time regardless. A prescriptive passage in Scripture would be “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
Descriptive simply means that this particular passage describes a situation.
As it reads, this is a descriptive passage. We know that the Holy spirit does not only appear to us in a rushing wind resulting in “tongues as of fire.” But at this time, this is how He came to the Apostles.
John Piper say this:
At times the Holy Spirit makes himself known with visible, audible, touchable manifestations. In the Old Testament there was the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. At Jesus' baptism there was the dove. In Acts 4 the building shakes. In chapter 6 Stephen's face was like the face of an angel. In chapter 16 there is an earthquake. At times the Spirit stoops to give us visible, audible, touchable demonstrations of his presence and power.
Men from several different places heard the noise, then heard the Apostles speaking to them in their own language. I don’t know if you remember where Jesus picked up His disciples from, bu tit wasn’t a Greek or Roman university after they had travelled the world. They were fishermen, tax collectors, Jews born and raised in Israel. So for people to hear them speak clearly in their own language was a straight miracle.
In week one we learned about how Jesus told His disciples that He was leaving, but that He would leave a Helper, the Holy spirit. This was not the first time The Holy Spirit was promised to be with God’s people.
In Acts 1:5 just before Jesus ascends, he reminds them of the announcement made by John the Baptist in Luke 3:16.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update Chapter 3

16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Ezekiel 36:27
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update Chapter 36

27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

So even before the Son of God put on flesh, the Father had been promising His spirit to His people. Before we jump into the next part I want us to consider this verse in Joel.
Joel 2:28–29 NASB95
“It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
God here promises that His Spirit will not only fall on the few anointed priests, but that it will be open to all. Or next level, that all that are His will become a part of the Royal Priesthood as 1 Peter 2:9 says echoig Exodus 19:5-6
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update Chapter 2

9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Acts 2:14-36

V.14 I want to make the quick observation here that Nohan so boldly declared last week. “Before the Spirit’s indwelling of Peter, he was a coward. After the Spirit’s indwelling, he was courageous!” How powerful is that? That made me think of 2 Timothy 1:7
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update Chapter 1

7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

V.22 God gave them many signs and wonders to testify to Jesus’ genuineness.
V.25-36 Peter here shows them that the man they exalted, David, knew and told of a greater king to come. One of his descendants. And this shows us the importance of genealogies, or family trees. The coolest thing is that the Jewish people were super good at keeping track of someone’s lineage. And that’s how we know that Jesus was a “descendant” of David. In the sense that the woman that bore Him was a direct descendant.
This here brother’s and sister’s is the Christ we believe in. The one in whom our hope rests. The One who is and is to come!! When we say find comfort in Christ, it’s not because it some ideal removed from reality. It’s because Jesus is truly the only Hope in this world. Because He is faithful, Because He will never abandon us! He is and always will be faithful.
The beauty in this is that He doesn’t just die on a cross for the payment of our sins, but that He is raised by the power of the Spirit, The same Spirit that He gives to us that carries us into eternity. He doesn’t leave us to fend for ourselves, but we gave us the Helper! This is the fulfillment! This is what we take comfort in, that we are not alone in this.
On the same day that God’s people celebrate the Law being given to them, that same day He pours out His spirit to all His people without distinction. To all who believe.
In these uncertain times, believer, you have a Helper, you have a source of hope and strength!
V.37-42
closing.
When you are feeling hopeless remember that
Hebrews 6:19
New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update Chapter 6

17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath,

18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.

19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,

New Living Translation Chapter 6

16 Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. 17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.

Revelation 21:4 NASB95
and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
New Living Translation Chapter 21

4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

remember
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