Sermons

Baptism Of The Holy Spirit

Sun, May 17, 2020
Teacher: Tom Blackford
Passage: Acts 2:1-16
Duration:28 mins 54 secs

Message text

Baptism Of The Holy Spirit
Acts 2:1-16

INTRO: Good morning. In our study of the Books of Acts the last time, we were in Acts 1:4-26, we were talking about the days immediately following the crucifixion. This morning we will be going on to Acts 2 verses 1-16 and in general I will be using the NKJV. First though I’d like to tell a story.

Three religious men of different faiths decided to combine their efforts one day to help their community. Each one made a sign and positioned himself alongside a state highway.

Soon a car came speeding towards them, and the first guy held up his sign for the driver to read, it said, ‘Turn Around, You Are Going the Wrong Way!’ The driver barely glanced at him as he sped on by toward the next person.

The next man raised his sign, which said, ‘The End is Near!’ The driver shouts back, ‘Religious nuts!’ and drove toward the last man who had a sign that said, ‘Give Heed, Lest You Die!’. The driver laughed as he passed and shouted, ‘You guys are too much!’

Suddenly there was the sound of screeching tires on the road, the twisting of metal and then everything went quiet. The three religious men thought about what had happened and agreed that they needed a new sign, which would read, ‘Stop! The bridge has collapsed’.

I. The last time we were together we saw that God, through His prophets had given signs that His kingdom was to be established with the coming of the Messiah. We saw that Jesus said, ‘thy kingdom come’, and today we’re going to see that ‘thy kingdom came’.

A. What was going to be the sign that the kingdom had come? Jesus said in Mark 9:1 – “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” Jesus says they’ll know the kingdom has come because they’ll witness its power. That word ‘power’ is the Greek word ‘dynamis’ (δύναμις) and it means mighty work, miraculous power. In other words, everyone will know His kingdom has come because it will be accompanied by miraculous power.

B. A little later when Jesus is speaking to His disciples, He tells them in Luke 24:49 – “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” Here we see the promise of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Notice again that Jesus told the apostles to wait in the city until they had been clothed with power.

C. As we entered Acts 1, we saw that the apostles are still thinking physically and looking for a physical kingdom. They ask Jesus in Acts 1:6-8 – “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?'' And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. "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.''”

1. I notice Jesus says, the kingdom will come with power.
2. Stay in Jerusalem until you’ve been clothed with that power.
3. You will receive that power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.

D. Did that time come?

II. Yes, the event came in a powerful way. Let’s read Acts 2:1-4 – “ Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

A. What do we know about the setting of these verses? Well, the day of Pentecost was a Jewish feast, which was celebrated 50 days after Passover.

1. Pilgrims had come to Jerusalem from all over to celebrate the event.
2. It was a very busy time of the year, so busy in fact that Jewish history records the temple was open 24 hours a day to allow those people who arrived in the early hours of the morning to bring their sacrifices to the Lord.

B. What happened? It was on that day that the apostles, who were filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke in different languages.

1. This signaled the arrival of God’s new kingdom.
2. The kingdom that Daniel prophesied about.

C. When I read these things my active imagination kicks in and I can just imagine being there and witnessing this.

1. Thinking in today’s terms I imagine the local reporters writing articles in the local newspaper. I know, not realistic but this is my imagination.
2. The ‘Jerusalem Times’ has on its front page, ‘apostles drunken house party literally shakes the house.’
3. I can imagine, on the front page of the ‘Temple News’, ‘alcohol-fueled apostles speak languages they’ve never learned or studied’.
4. Imagine the guy at the newspaper stand at the temple gates shouting, ‘Read all about it! Read all about! The drunken apostles claim that God’s kingdom has come!’
5. As I said not realistic or even sensible - but we realize how this must have affected the people there.

D. It’s at this point, when everyone is amazed and perplexed, that Peter explains what’s going on. Acts 2:14-16 – “ But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. "For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:” Peter says “no, we’re not drunk.”

1. He says “We all know that on a festival like Pentecost, none of us Jews would ever eat or drink anything until after 9:00 a.m.”
2. Peter tells them, “No, this is exactly what the prophet Joel said would happen when God’s kingdom came. This is the power that Jesus spoke to us about, the power of the Holy Spirit.”

III. Just in case Peter’s audience forgot about whom “Jesus” was, He goes on to remind them and I paraphrase. Acts 2:22-24 – “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

A. We all have read about the many miraculous things Jesus did in the Gospels, whether it be healing the lame, restoring people’s sight, or even raising people from the dead.

1. Peter said, these men had witnessed these things. They know full well what Jesus did. The proof that God was with Him was in those miracles, wonders, and signs.
2. His death on a cross was all a part of God’s plan from the beginning. The good news is, despite being crucified and buried, He rose again because God gave Him the power to do so.

B. Peter in verse 25 reminds them of what David said; - “For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh will also rest in hope, because You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”

1. Peter is quoting from Psalm 16 and I paraphrase Psalm 16:8-11 – “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
2. David prophesied about the resurrection of Jesus, but David died and was buried. Peters says, you want proof that Jesus rose from the dead? Go and visit David’s tomb. It’s still there and if you were to open up his grave you will find his remains.
3. If you go to the place where Jesus was buried, you’ll find no remains. Why? Because He’s risen.
4. In other words, as much as David was still dead, Jesus was still alive.

C. Peter continues and says in Acts 2:36 – “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

1. The name “Jesus” was very common in Biblical times and Peter doesn’t want anyone to think about any other Jesus than ‘this Jesus’.
2. Peter proclaimed that God had made this Jesus, the One whom the Jews had crucified, Lord of all things. He was the anointed One, the Messiah of the Jews. He was the Messiah for which all Israel had been waiting for—for centuries.

D. Can you imagine being told that you murdered the very person your nation has been waiting for? Now I imagine someone hawking a paper in the temple court selling the ‘big issue’ shouting, ‘Read all about it! Read all about! The apostles charge us with murdering our very own Messiah!’

1. Imagine what was going through their minds! We’ve just killed the Messiah! We’ve just murdered this Jesus who was God in the flesh! The Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the Author and Perfector of our faith!
2. We’ve just killed the very person God spoke about as the head crusher in Genesis 3:15! We’ve just murdered the very person the Old Testament prophets spoke about coming!

E. Folks, it is hard for me to think about what was going through their minds. I can believe that panic was setting in because of the reality of what they did. We see their reaction in the next verse.

1. Acts 2:37 – “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?''”
2. Those words, ‘cut to the heart’ is the Greek, ‘katanýssō’, (kat-an-oos'-so) and it means to pierce thoroughly, to agitate violently. (Strong G3572). In other words, when the realization of what they did, thoroughly hit home, they were pained in their hearts, they panicked and asked, “What shall we do?”
3. In effect, they’re asking, what can we do to make things right? How can we be right with God after doing this? I can imagine them thinking there would be thunder and lightning and the earth was going to open up and swallow them. I can imagine them thinking that God Himself was going to appear from the clouds and wipe them off the face of the earth.

IV. We can imagine them nervously asking Peter, “What shall we do?” Acts 2:38-39 – “Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.''”

A. Now imagine the first response to Peter’s words in their minds? Peter, we’ve admitted that we crucified this Jesus. We know we’re guilty of killing the Messiah, we understand that we murdered God in the flesh and you’re talking about forgiveness!

1. How can this be?
2. Are you telling us all we have to do is repent and be baptized in the Name of the very person we crucified to be forgiven?
3. Peter says, yes, it’s that simple, just think differently about your life and turn to Jesus. Just do spiritually what Jesus did physically. Die with Him in baptism. Be buried with Him in baptism and rise again to a new life—with Him.

B. I can imagine them saying, but Peter we crucified the Lord and Messiah and you’re talking about God giving us a gift!

1. Peter describes to them something that seems so simple; when you are baptized God will give you a piece of Himself to help you live a life worthy of being called a follower of Jesus.
2. They might have wondered how is all this possible? All of this is possible because Jesus died for us, He was buried but He rose again.

C. Now again my imagination of the local reporters on the scene, listening to this conversation, and taking pictures. The ‘Jerusalem Times’ on its front page, has a picture of these Jews crying, with the headline, ‘God offers forgiveness to anyone who admits they are sinners and is baptized.’ On the front page of the ‘Temple News’, it reads ‘Jews overcome with joy as God offers a gift to anyone who is baptized’.

D. You see, God’s kingdom came and it came in a powerfully miraculous way. Luke, the writer of Acts, continues in Acts 2:40-41 – “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation.'' Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

1. Jesus said, ‘thy kingdom come’.
2. After He died, was buried and rose again, His kingdom came.
a. The church was born and it was made up of people who had been born again.
b. On that day 3000 souls were spiritually born again and added to the spiritual kingdom of God.

E. I was curious about that number 3000. In Exodus 32 when Moses and Joshua were up on the mountain, they came back down to discover that Aaron had organized the building of a golden calf. God was furious, as was Moses and we pick up the story in Exodus 32:25-28 – “25. Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies), 26. then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, "Whoever is on the Lord's side, come to me.'' And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27. And he said to them, "Thus says the Lord God of Israel: 'Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.' '' 28. So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.”

1. When the Old Testament law was introduced it immediately brought death, 3000 souls died on that day.
2. When the New Testament law is introduced it brought grace, and 3000 souls were saved that day.
3. That’s why John said in John 1:16-17 – “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

V. I wonder, do you remember the day your sins were forgiven and you received the gift of the Holy Spirit? I remember that day well. It was full of mixed emotions. I felt the guilt in the realization that I was a sinner and Jesus died for my sins. I was also feeling overjoyed and amazed that God would forgive me and offer me a gift despite my past.

A. I went down into the waters of baptism as a sinner, as a nobody... but came up out of those waters of baptism as somebody, a child of God, a Christian.

1. The story is told that Martin Luther when he was depressed or feeling worried about his life would often recall in Latin the words, ‘Baptizatus sum’, which means ‘I have been baptized!’ It was a reminder to himself of who he was and Whose he was.
2. You’re not part of a church named after the day on which the church was born. You’re a part of the church adjectively named after the One who died for His church.

B. Do you realize that you’re a part of the greatest living organism on Earth, where Christ is King and ruler over everything? You’re a Christian, one who is possessed by God and you’re a part of His kingdom.

1. You’re a part of that Kingdom which Daniel and other Old Testament prophets spoke about. You’re a part of that church that Jesus told Peter He would build.
2. I know that life can get tough at times and that enthusiasm we had in the beginning just seems to fade away. I would like to encourage everyone listening who is a Christian to think of your baptism when you’re going through difficult times. Remind yourself of who you are, to Whom you belong, and where you live.

C. Too many times when life gets tough or we go through some trial, we beat ourselves up to the point of thinking that God has abandoned us and we’ve lost our salvation. Nothing is further from the truth. Romans 5:8-10 – “... God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life!”

1. Notice the phrase, ‘much more’, our salvation isn’t based on our ability to be good or better ourselves. Our salvation is based on Jesus and what He did for each of us.
2. We’re not going to heaven because we perform so well here, we’re going to heaven because Jesus performed like no man ever could on Calvary.

VI. Do we believe that God, with the motive of love, He who sent His Son to die for us—would love us less now that we’ve obeyed the Gospel and we’re trying our best to please Him?

A. Ask this, did we do anything to save ourselves? I would suggest the answer is both “yes” and “no”.

1. Yes, because Peter said in Acts 2:40 – “Be saved from this perverse generation.”
2. How did we save ourselves? We go back to the question the Jews asked Peter, in Acts 2:37 – “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” The word ‘do’ implies an action, something to be done.

B. We did do something to save ourselves but at the same time we didn’t do anything to save ourselves because Jesus did it all for us. In other words, because of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, He made it possible for us to save ourselves through obedience. That’s what grace does. Grace opens the door for us to enter so that we can be saved. The hymn says; “He who died, Heaven’s gate to open wide”.

C. If someone were to tell you they had a brand-new house built for you just outside London England, and it’s their gift to you no strings attached, but for you to own it, you must go to the house following their instructions.

1. To get to that house they tell you that you must get on a plane, a train, a bus and a taxi, or they can’t give you this gift.
2. Imagine you accepted their gift and you got on a plane, a train, a bus and a taxi to where the house is located just outside the city of London.
3. Did you earn that gift? No, it was their gift to give. Ah, but did you have to do anything to receive that gift? Of course, you had to get on a plane, a train, a bus and a taxi to reach the meeting place at the house.
4. Would they have given you the gift if you only used a plane, a train, and a taxi? No! Why is that? Because their instructions were for you to use a plane, a train, a bus and a taxi.

D. My point is this, salvation is free but we must do something to receive it.

1. The Bible never says simply believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved.
2. The Bible nowhere teaches that you say the ‘sinner’s prayer’ and you’ll be saved.
3. To receive salvation, we have to follow the instructions God has given us.

a. The Bible says we must have faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
b. We must repent and turn to God.
c. We must acknowledge our faith in Christ Jesus.
d. The Bible says you must be baptized in water to receive the forgiveness of your sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

4. Peter tells them, this is what you need to do to enter God’s kingdom, the church.

CONCLUSION:
If you’re not a Christian this morning, you might be thinking, ‘well I didn’t crucify Jesus’, I wasn’t there.’ There was an unknown hymn writer who asked that very question for everyone, Christian or not to answer for themselves. I’m fairly sure most people here have heard the hymn “Were You There”. You know how it goes;
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
All through this song, there is a series of questions but the answer is never given. It’s never said, but it’s implied with the words, ‘sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.’

It certainly caused those to whom Peter was speaking ‘to tremble, tremble, tremble’ because they asked the question, in Acts 2:37 – “what shall we do?”

If you accept that you’re a sinner, maybe you too will ‘tremble, tremble, tremble’ because you’ll realize that Jesus died for you because of the sins you’ve committed in your life.

The promise of forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit isn’t restricted to just those who were there present on the Day of Pentecost. Peter says in Acts 2:39 – “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Forgiveness is still available today because Jesus did die, He was buried and He rose again. The gift of the Holy Spirit is still available today because He did die, He was buried and He rose again.

When we realize and accept that we’re sinners and acknowledge the terrible death Jesus went through for us, it should prompt us to ask the question, what must we do?

Let me sum up Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 with four verses from 1 Corinthians 15.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – “1. Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2. by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you unless you believed in vain. 3. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4. and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”

Peter preached the simple Gospel message, he spoke about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus just as the Old Testament Scriptures foretold. Paul says, if you believe this Gospel and hold onto that good news, you will be saved.

If you’re not a Christian this morning, then please know that you too can become a part of this amazing spiritual kingdom of God. You too can have all your sins forgiven, every evil thought you’ve ever had, every evil deed you’ve ever done will be wiped clean.

God knows how difficult it will be to live the Christian life and so He promises to give you at your baptism a piece of Himself to help you along the way. You simply have to follow the instructions given in God’s Word and when you do, the angels in heaven will write in the ‘Eternal Herald’, ‘Rejoice with us, another sinner has repented and given their life over to this Jesus.’

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We learn from the New Testament how to be saved. We need to hear the word; believe in Jesus; repent of our sins; we must confess our belief that Jesus is the Son of God; and be baptized for the remission of our sins... If we follow these steps, the Lord adds us to His church.

Perhaps there is someone in the assembly today with the need to be buried with Christ in baptism. If you have never done these things, we urge you to do so today. If anyone has this need or desires the prayers of faithful Christians on their behalf, we encourage them to come forward while we stand and sing.

Reference Sermon: Mike Glover

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