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The Church Begins

Ekklesia  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Walk by the Spirit


Descriptive not Prescriptive

Acts 2:1 ESV
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.

Day of Pentecost

How were all together? - Pentecost occurs 50 days after the the feast of first fruits (Lev 23:15-22) Celebrated as the Feast of Weeks - a week of weeks or 7 weeks after first fruits. Amazing opportunity to make sure not only all the followers were in town but also they were all in one location. (Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner).
Something really Cool? The feast of weeks always takes place on the day after the sabath, thus it is always on the first day of the week (the sabath always being on teh last day of the week) that would put it on Sunday. Yes we meet on Sundays because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week and because the Holy Spirit was given to us/The Ekklesia began on the First Day of the week. Is it ok to meet/ have a gathering on other days? Sure, but the picture matters.
Speaking of pictures - at the first fruits celebration the priest would wave a sheif of grain beore God - Just as Jesus was the first Fruits of what was to come. At the feast of weeks the priest would wave two loves of bread before God - Just as the Holy Spirit baptised belivers Unifying them. its an amazing picture of the Ekklesia (the body of Christ)/The Church. From each of the inividual grains of wheat comes a unified body
Acts 2:2–4 ESV
And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Ekklesia Begins

Location - Unknown; House/doubtful in the temple - close enough to the temple to get peoples attention
Notice how Luke describes the coming of the Holy Spirit - Remeber “Descriptive not Prescriptive” - this is what occured in this sittoation, not what has to happen in every situation, not what is required to recognize the Holy Spirit being around. This is what happened, not what will happen.
A sound like a mighty rushing wind. The word for spirit is related to the word translated wind here, it also mean breath The sound is not the Holy Spirit it is an audible manifestation in this situation. it filled the house where they were sitting - Not the Holy Spirit a sensory manifestation of the Holy Spirit in this situation. Tongues of fire - not the Holy Spirit but a visual manifestation of the Holy Spirit in this situation. This event reflects the power of the Holy Spirit and the fullness of his coming.
“and they were filled with the holy spirit” - what does that mean? There is a diffrence between being filled and benig baptised in.
Acts 1:5 ESV
for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Baptism has two parts. One is the act of being submerged, the other is the concept of being identified with. When we are baptised in water we are submerged and then we are identified with Jesus, His work on the cross, and His body (the ekklesia). Being baptised in the Holy Spirit is the same thing a one time event that occures at the point of salvation. We are “sumberged” into the Holy Spirt and thus identifed before God as His. Being Baptised is a one time event.
Indwelling unlike a Baptism is not a one time thing and something we are commanded to seek, unlike baptism which God does.
Ephesians 5:18 ESV
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
the Holy Spirit has been interacting in creation and in humanity but this becomes a major change. No longer would the Holy Spirit indwell and leave. Now the Spirit would dwell in people and that dwelling would be permanent, His presence never leaving. The presence of the Holy Spirit is not being filled either. So what does “filled” mean?
The filling of the Holy Spirit is the volume of your life you allow Him to control. Think of Staph. Staph is always on our skin and even a bit in our nose. It is always with us. However if it takes over deeper it will make us sick. It begins to “fill” a person with the Staph infection that will eventually kill the person who is “filled” with it.
For the Believer the Holy Spirit indwells us from the Point of conversion. The Holy Spirit can live in a superficial way and not impact the person. But we are commanded to be filled with it. We are commanded to stop fighting it and allow it to take over us. Like the Staph infection the Holy Spirit will take over, filling us. Like the Staph infection the Holy Spirit will kill our old nature, slowly destroying it as it moves forward. Unlike Staph, the end of the Holy Sprit is not Death but Life. As the Holy Spirit kills the Old Nature, the New Nature is given life and space to work.
Here the disciples are filled during an amazing event in a house near the temple. A huge sound occurs drawing people around and… lets see.
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.”

Witness Explosion

The Disciples are Filled with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is expressing that through giving them the ability, for a while or permanently, i don't know. To speak in other languages. This is not garble or gibberish, these are languages that others around them knew. I have heard tale of this occuring where Christianity are pushing the boundaries of the gospel, giving them ability to witness
Tribe wants to tell another tribe about Jesus, they don't know the other tribes language but deiced to go anyway and see what God does. They go and though they are speaking their language the other tribe hears their own native language
Why doesn't this happen now? I dont Know, I am not God. We dont really need it. They proof of the authenticity of the gospel has already been established for those who want to hear.
It must have been amazing to experience this. and to see how God sets this up is incredible! Look how God set all of this up to cause this. 1) Jesus stays with people for 40 days after resurrection and teaches/trains them 2) Tells them to stay in one location 3) Sends out the Holy Spirit on the day of a feast in Israel. This guaranties a) the followers will be in one location and b) there will be tons of “tourists” visitors in the city from all over 4) the Holy Spirit causes a huge sound drawing in a crowd from all over 5) the Holy Spirit gives followers the ability to speak other languages (1, more? we dont know). God is the ultimate strategist. None of this is by accident. People around them were amazed and started asking questions
Acts 2:12–13 ESV
And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”

Curious or Mocking

This is normal, We experience this today. There are two groups of people. the first group wanted to know what it all ment. There is a huge noise, there are people coming out of the building sounding like gibberish but you can pick out from someone your native language. The voice from somewhere keeps talking about all the great things God has done. you dont necessarily know what everyone else is saying but wow! What does it mean?
Others hear the same thing and mock with “these guys are all drunk!” That seems to be quite the accusation. They dont understand, so they draw conclusions from their own bias rather than ask questions.
Reporters - I have heard this type of things happening with reporters in war zones. things may be peaceful and then gunshots ring out. some jump to the ground wondering what was happening others just stand around thinking someone is lighting off firecrackers.
Ironsides told of an experience he and his friend had. Friend was a street preacher. His friend spoke a redicules amount of other languages. They would go to the docks where ships would come in from around the world. as a crew came by, they would recognize where they were from and his friend would start talking to them about Jesus in their native language. Soon another group would come and his friend would switch languages. Soon another group would come and the second might not even be gone but he would switch languages again. Ironsides says people who did not speak the languages would see this at times and say “he must be drunk, no one can understand that, its all gibberish” Well to those he was speaking to it was not gibberish but news about our Savior.
That is what was going on there. Some heard it and wondered others thought the were drunk out of their point of view. Peter talks to those who think they are drunk.
Acts 2:14–21 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. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
What is Peter talking about here? 3 Things
They are not drunk its only… 3rd hour of the day. not 3 am. ancient Israel during this time period ran a 12 part proportional hour system. They were much more based on sunrise and sunset. so if the sun raises at 5 am and sets at 730pm one hour would be 72.5 min long - They didn't have clocks but they were very accurate with sun dials and such. Think less exact, more feeling or conceptual. When peter says they are not drunk it is only the 3rd hour, it would have been between 8 and 10 in the morning.
Then he moves to a quote from the book of Joel. The quote in Joel is referring to the Millennial period where God will physically rule over humanity. Peter is saying, look if you have a problem with what is happening now, you have a problem with what will happen when God rules over us. No Jewish person would deny that argument. Its like a christian saying they dont want others to hear about Jesus. It goes against a fundamental tenant of what we as believers desire.
Peter is not saying they were IN the millennium, but instead refers to the actions and says they are similar. If you have a problem with what is happening at this moment, you have a problem with what will be coming.
After this Peter has the crowed rapt attention and an amazing thing happens… but that is next week
What can we take away?
This is the beginning of the Church
God is a ultimate strategist
People will either be wondering or Mocking
The Way to God is open to everyone through Jesus

Walk by the Spirit

Sermon Series: Ekklesia
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Small Group Questions
We grow best in the community. When we gather and discuss God’s word in a safe environment we grow more like Him. If you are here at Crossroads we encourage you to join a Small Group and talk over the Questions below. The Questions in Bold, are great places for your group to start. The other questions are for further study. May God Bless you in your pursuit of Him - Pastor Neil
1) Have you ever been involved in something that it appeared like God made everything line up? What was it? What about it made you feel like the God was involved? How did it come together?
2) Read Acts 2:1-21
3) What is going on in this passage? How did God set up an amazing opportunity for people to know Him? What are all the details that had to work right for this to occur? Could we plan something like this? What kind of planing would it take? Even then with out God could we pull it off? why or why not? Every plan has a goal, what was God’s goal here (check out vs 21)
4) If God planned out how He would launch the Ekklesia, why do we think He has stopped planning? Are we just board with the everyday things? Is the God’s goal still the same? Are most elements of the church this flashy? What were the foundations that God had to set up for the flashy bits? looking out to your neighborhood, what do you think makes for more lasting change, flash or steadiness? Why did you choose that? is there anything wrong with the other option? We are surrounded by flash right now. Conflict in the News, drama online, relationships shredded. How appealing would the stability that comes from the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) be right now?
5) How can we walk by the Spirit today as Paul says in Galatians 5:15; not with the same action but with the same heart as the believers we just read about in Acts 2:1-21? What can you trust God to plan and execute in your life this week? What specifically will you start to do about it this week? Is this good news? Who can you share this with this week?
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