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Pentecost: The Church Receives the Spirit

Back to all sermons Acts of the Church

Date: October 20, 2013

Series: Acts of the Church

Scripture: Acts 2:1–2:13

Tags: Acts, church, mission, sermons, scarlet city church, worship gathering, Pentecost

Cessationism is believing that the Holy Spirit worked in a very specific way at Pentecost and through the Apostles in the early church that has since ended and no longer works that way in our world.

Continuationism is the belief that the Spirit works in the same or similar ways today that it did at Pentecost and through the Apostles.

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. - Ezekiel 36:25-27

“there came a sound from heaven like a mighty rushing wind” (v.2)
“and...tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each of them” (v.3)
“and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues...” (v.4)

Genesis 11 - Humanity rebels against God, so God responds by confusing their language and spreading them throughout the earth.

Pentecost is a reversal of Babel!

  • This is the end of Babel and the beginning of a new humanity.
  • Instead of people climbing up to God, we testify that God came down to us - not in judgment, but for salvation.
  • Instead of people gathering in one location to make their own name great, we are now scattering over the earth to make God’s name great.
  • Instead of language being a barrier to man’s mission of self-glorification, languages are now redeemed in order for the Triune God’s mission of glorifying Himself to move forward!

The beauty of Pentecost is that God wants to receive glory from all kinds of people, and to that end, He ensures that His gospel will be proclaimed in all kinds of languages.

What can we expect from the Spirit’s empowerment?

  • The Holy Spirit will ALWAYS lead us to glorify God.
  • The Holy Spirit will ALWAYS lead us to bless others.
  • The Holy Spirit reveals power over sin.

“We need to be careful not to simply imitate what we see in Acts. God gave a mission to the church, and it worked out in a specific way in the life of the early church. We have the same mission, but God may want to do something unique in our churches. Rather than trying to reproduce tongues of fire, [Peter’s] powerful sermon, and the mass conversion we find in Acts 2, we should be looking for God to fulfill His purposes through our churches in whatever ways He sees fit.” - Francis Chan, Multiply


Resources for further study:
Francis Chan, Multiply
Bruce DeMarest, The Cross and Salvation
ESV Study Bible