Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

 5/18/2003

Title: Where the Spirit of the Lord Is

Text: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place…And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:1, 4).

Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-21


Read Acts 2:1-21

Acts 2 records the awesome historical event that changed the church forever-the coming of the Holy Spirit into the life of the church on the Day of Pentecost. 

It happened just as definitely as Jesus’ birth and resurrection, and the believers were never the same. 

The church really became the church at Pentecost.

We don’t need Pentecost again as such, just as we don’t need Jesus’ birth, death, or resurrection to occur again. 

But we constantly need the power of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, in control of our lives and the church.

Acts 2 is a fascinating chapter of scripture. 

It has much to teach us as a church if we are to know the Spirit of Pentecost. 

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is something spiritually special. 

This is the story of Acts. 

This is the story of the church through the centuries. 

This is the message to us today.

I’m going to read to you the first six verses of Acts 2, again.

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.

Pray for the lesson.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there are four results.

First, the Spirit of the Lord brings the presence of the Lord.

On the Day of Pentecost, there was a sudden and strange awareness of supernatural happenings. 

A sound from heaven like a mighty rushing wind filled the house where the disciples were staying, and tongues of fire came to rest on each of them. 

They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in languages not previously learned. 

The crowd heard them speaking and banded together in amazement. 

A very special moment in God’s eternal plan was taking place-the coming of The Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit was entering a new temple-He was entering believers. 

Israel carried the tabernacle as they journeyed through the wilderness, but the tabernacle was just an empty tent until Exodus 40:34: “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” 

The temple of Solomon was just an empty building until 1 Kings 8:10-11: “And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.” 

Now in the New Testament the Lord has filled a new temple, not one of skins and tapestries or of stones and ornaments, but His new temple, the church. 

Christ is the foundation of the church, and born-again believers are the living stones of His church

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit began to indwell all believers just as the glory of God had filled the tabernacle and the temple with His awesome presence! 

He indwells the church because He dwells in each believer in a personal, intimate way. 

In John 14:17 it says, “for He dwelleth with you,” and in 1 Corinthians 6:19 it says, “your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,” and in Ephesians 2:22 it says, “ye also are builded together for an habitation of God.”

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is the manifestation of His power and there is the awareness of His holiness in relation to sin. 

This is what the mighty wind and tongues of fire represent. 

It is personal to those who sense that something wonderful is happening. 

But it is perplexing to many who do not know the Lord.

Second, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is the power of evangelism.

The Day of Pentecost reveals that the Holy Spirit uses and blesses two primary methods of evangelism.

The first method is personal witnessing.

Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 

This is the commission that still holds for today. 

This is not only given to the church as a body; it is a personal command to every believer. 

This was given to those men of the early church even before the Holy Spirit had come and formed the church. 

It is a direct command from Jesus, and it is for you and me today. 

It is our business to get the Word of God out to the world. 

We can’t say that it’s up to the church to send missionaries and to give out the gospel, and then set back and let others do it. 

Acts 2:4 says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” 

These apostles were from Galilee. 

They couldn’t speak all these other languages. 

But they are speaking them now. 

For you see, the Spirit gave them utterance. 

Then verse 11 says, “We hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 

There were people in the crowd that day from three continents. 

Certainly they were from diverse languages and dialects. 

However, they each heard these Galileans speak in an understandable dialect. 

May I say, these were not unknown tongues? 

They were languages that were understood.

The early believers did not receive the fullness of the Spirit just to give them a spiritual uplift, but rather to make them powerful witnesses and to equip them for service. 

Not all of us have the gift of evangelism, but every Christian is a witness! 

Being filled with the Spirit precedes personal witnessing.  

Acts 4:31 says that when they were filled with the Spirit that they spoke with boldness.

The second method of evangelism is powerful preaching.

Acts 2:14 refers to Peter’s preaching when he stood up and raised his voice. 

He preached powerfully with the Spirit in control. 

It was the first great sermon of the New Testament and it was preached on the Day of Pentecost, and three thousand believed his words and were added to the church.

Such preaching leads people to repentance. 

The message of Simon Peter brought conviction to them. 

Verse 37 says that when they heard they were pricked in their heart and they asked the disciples, “What shall we do?” 

Such preaching is anointed. 

The filling of the Holy Spirit is for service. 

This is the only work of the Holy Spirit that we are told to do anything about-we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).

Such preaching is bold. 

Read Peter’s sermon in the second chapter of Acts; his message was bold and presented the gospel in a way that could be used by the Holy Spirit to convict those who heard it, of their sin and need for a Savior.

Such preaching is also Christ-honoring (2:22-24). 

Peter called Jesus “a man approved of by God,” and he spoke of His miracles, he said that His death was predetermined by God, and he said that death could not hold Him-God raised Him from the dead. 

The Holy Spirit honors these methods of evangelism. 

He honors your personal witness and He honors powerful preaching.

Third, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there will be the victory of the harvest.

Pentecost was called the Feast of Harvest and it celebrated the summer harvest. 

It was on that day, as recorded in the book of Acts, that the Holy Spirit harvested three thousand souls. 

The number itself was significant because that was how many was killed on the day Moses brought the law down from Mount Sinai and found the people worshipping the golden calf. 

The analogy is this: The letter of the law kills; but the Spirit gives life.

This is the age of the Spirit. 

He is still harvesting souls. 

We are still under the order of Pentecost. 

George Whitefield saw thirty thousand converted in his revivals in America. 

In the 1858 revival about fifty thousand people were saved each week. 

Through Billy Graham’s ministry hundreds of thousands have come to Christ. 

The harvest of the Holy Spirit is seen throughout the world.

Finally, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is a pattern for doing God’s work.

The marks of a church that does things God’s way are found in Acts 2:41-47.

 One of those marks is an atmosphere of respect for God.

The new believers in the Jerusalem church had a fear, a reverence of the Lord, an awareness that God was at work. 

We live in a day when the main theme of every sermon is the love of God. 

And that is one of His most wonderful attributes, but let’s never forgets that He is holy and sovereign. 

He deserves our respect, our adoration, our worship, and our obedience.

Another mark of a church that is doing things God’s way is activities.

There will be active teaching. 

A real church will actively teach the Bible. 

The mark of a true church is not the height of its steeple or the sound of the bell. 

It’s not whether the pulpit is stationed in the middle or at the side. 

The important issue is whether or not they teach the Word of God truthfully and without compromise. 

Correct doctrine was one of the fingerprints of the early church.

Another mark is that there will be active fellowship. 

Verse 46 says, “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.”  

Fellowship is important for many reasons, but perhaps one of the most important is that we need Christian friends. 

It is inevitable that there will be sickness and problems come our way and Christian friends are used by God to bring comfort and help.

There will also be active breaking of bread, including fellowship meals and the Lord’s Supper. 

In the early church they shared their possessions and they made the church the center of all their activities. 

That’s difficult to do today because our life style is so different than theirs, but we should seek the fellowship of other Christians whenever possible. 

Finally, there will be active prayer. 

I am afraid that in the average church today that prayer is a little fingerprint. 

That is, prayer is the evident weakness of the church. 

However, it should be the greatest asset of any church. 

Praying together as a church body is an important element of worship. 

Remember Jesus prayed to the Father and He taught His disciples to pray. 

The Bible has a great deal to say about prayer.

Another mark of a church that is doing things God’s way is their Christ-like attitudes.

First, there will be generosity (vv. 44-47). 

In the early church they shared their possessions with one another and they gave to others according to their need. 

Christ is our example of generosity. 

He gave healing to the sick; He gave life to a dead child so that He could give him back to a grieving mother; He fed the hungry, five thousand at one time; He gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf; he gave new skin to lepers; and then He gave Himself to be nailed to a cross for our sins. 

Today, He continues to be generous by giving eternal life to all who will believe in Him.

And another mark of a church that is doing things God’s way is that there will be a oneness of spirit (v.46). 

The members of the early church not only had a mutual affection for each other, but they spent a lot of time together and would talk together. 

Today, they say conversation is a lost art. 

We are private and we don’t share the “good” and “bad” with each other as we should. 

But as Christians, we should be “like birds of a feather” and meet regularly for fellowship, prayer, worship and Bible study. 

Another mark is that there will be gladness. 

One day an older man in my church asked me if I had lost my joy. 

He said I looked sad. 

I didn’t feel good that night, but his remark bothered me anyway, because the Holy Spirit has given me great joy and I want the joy in my heart to show on my face. 

Verse 47 says that there will be praise. 

The early church abounded in thanksgiving and they were continually praising God. 

Praise should be part of every prayer and not just be part of a special occasion. 

Those who have the gift of the Holy Spirit will spend a lot of time praising God.

Another mark is that there will be favor. 

If you are a Christian, then you have God’s favor, because you were saved by God’s grace. 

You have His favor because He paid a high price for you. 

He gave His only begotten Son, so that you can live eternally with Him in heaven. 

There’s a hymn that speaks of His favor.

Early let us seek Thy favor;
Early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior,
With Thy love our beings fill:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still.

The greatest mark of God’s favor is that Jesus loves us.

The final mark of a church that is doing things God’s way is additions (vv. 41, 47).

Here is the happy success that comes from doing things God’s way. 

The Holy Spirit used the witnessing of the individual believers and the powerful preaching of Peter and worked wonders in the hearts of lost sinners. 

Many gladly heard the gospel and received it into their hearts; they were baptized and added to the church. 

Three thousand souls were added that first day, when Peter preached the gospel with the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Today, the Lord is continuing to build His church, and as the church grows, believers join together in a spirit of enthusiasm and excitement.

It is not the size of the church that counts, but the working of the Spirit. 

Lord touch us with the freshness of your Holy Spirit. 

Work in us and through us for your glory. 

Let’s all determine to be faithful servants of Jesus Christ, by doing what ever His will is for you, and let’s remember those things that we have been shown today in our lesson. 

You are the church. 

You are the one who Christ is coming back for or if you die before He returns, you will be welcomed into heaven to live eternally with Him.

 

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