We killed Jesus but God raised Him from the dead. Now we can live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

New Beginnings

Acts 1:8

 

Dr. Luke (Colossians 4:14) records for us the beginning of the church age. Luke wrote the Gospel that bears his name and the book of Acts – sometimes called the Acts of the Apostles it would be better to be called the Acts of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus promised the coming of the Holy Spirit and we see in Acts the Holy Spirit’s arrival and His power working through the lives of the Apostles and followers. The power we see is the power available to us also. The Apostles had the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out on them we have the Holy Spirit indwell us.

 

Jesus promised the disciples the coming of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. …25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

 

Jesus reminds the disciples before He ascends into Heaven about the coming Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 

The apostles were waiting in Jerusalem, they added Matthias to take the place of the betrayer Judas and then the Holy Spirit came upon them.

 

Acts 1:26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

 

“They” refers back to the 12 not the 120. Jesus’ promise was to the 12, and it was the 12 that spoke in other tongues (different languages).

 

Acts 2:5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?

 

The 12 began to preach to the ones who were gathering – it seems they were in the Temple area during morning prayers. The 12 were speaking different languages so everyone could hear the gospel in their native tongue. Speaking in tongues is an unlearned language not gibberish or an angelic language.

 

The people wondered what this meant – so Peter stands with the 11 and explains it to them.

The crowd is Jewish – worshipping at the Temple during the great feast of Pentecost.

So Peter empowered by the Holy Spirit quotes the prophet Joel and lets the people know that the prophecy is being fulfilled.

 

Acts 2:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

This Pentecost in AD 30 is the beginning of the Last Days. The last days are not coming, they are here and have been here since the beginning of the church age. The church age and the last days are the same.

 

John in AD 90 writes:

1 John 2:18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.

 

We are not waiting for one Anti-Christ – there were many anti-Christ and have been since AD 90.

What is the definition of the anti-Christ?

1 John 2:22 Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist–he denies the Father and the Son.

 

So the last days – this new beginning – the church age – the Holy Spirit age is all the same.

This is the time we are living in.

 

What is the message of this age? What message did Peter preach? What message should we preach?

 

Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, 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. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 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.

 

Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

 

Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

 

Three sermons – the same message

Jesus is the Messiah – He is glorified

You killed Jesus – they literally cried out for Him to be crucified

Our sin cries out that we want Him crucified

God raised Him from the dead – God’s power and victory over death

 

Reading through Acts this week it struck me how Peter accused the people of killing Jesus – Jesus’ death was there fault – he did not let them off the hook. Peter emphasized their guilt, if they would not accept their guilt of killing Jesus then they would not repent and be baptized.

 

The Apostles filled Jerusalem with this teaching and it got the drug before the Sanhedrin

Acts 5:27 Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

 

You and I want to me nice and gently – then we are not being like Peter – we are not preaching the Last Days sermon. If people are going to repent they have to understand they are guilty, people have to understand that their sin put Jesus on the cross.

You name the sin. What sin have you committed? That sin even if it was only one put Jesus on the cross. A Holy God will not let a sinner enter into Heaven. We only enter Heaven because Jesus died on the cross and our guilt has been washed away.

 

You killed Jesus – your sin put Jesus on the cross

Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. … 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

 

Are you as open to Peter’s message as the Jews at Pentecost?

Are you cut to the heart when you realize you killed Jesus?

Do you want to remove your guilt?

 

Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

 

Peter’s solution is still the only solution – Repent and be baptized.

Peter told the religious leaders that Jesus is the only way.

 

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

 

This is why I am so narrow minded – Peter said Jesus is the only way because Jesus said He was the only way.

 

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

The religious leaders were furious – they were well educated and this fisherman is lecturing them about how to get to Heaven.

 

Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

 

If you believe in Jesus the elite of this world, the educated of this world think you are ignorant and a hillbilly. Of course that is not true but that is the insult.

You reject science and believe in creation. You reject progress and believe that only a man and a woman can get married. You are so backward you probable think that “fetal tissue” is more important than a lion’s life (Cecil the lion uproar).

Yes, I think a human life, a baby created in the image of God, that is murdered in the mother’s womb is more important than a lion.

 

Peter and John were courageous – they have already been arrested twice.

Why were they courageous – 50 days ago, less than 2 months ago they were locked in an upper room, scared of the same Jews that they now are before?

The difference – Jesus’ resurrection and the power of the Holy Spirit that came upon them.

 

The Sanhedrin thought the same thing –

Acts 4:13 …they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

 

If we have been with Jesus we can be courageous also.

When we have not been with Jesus we will cower in the corner.

Have you been with Jesus? You are here now but were you are Sunday School, are you coming to Wednesday night Bible study? Are you reading and studying your Bible at home? Are you praying and relying on Jesus every day?

Being with Jesus is a daily occurrence not one hour on Sunday morning.

 

If you are going to have the courage of the Apostles – if you are going to face persecution and still preach Jesus then you had better spend time with Jesus now.

If we don’t spend time with Jesus daily we will not be able to remain faithful to Him and do what is right.

 

Acts 4:18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

 

The Apostles could not stop speaking about Jesus.

They were threatened and they could not stop.

We can’t make ourselves talk about Jesus – why? Because we might get threated.

 

What that tells me is that we have not been with Jesus.

We fear man more than we fear disobeying God.

 

Understand that the same Holy Spirit that was poured out on the Apostles on the day of Pentecost is dwelling in us who are Christians. Let Him work through you to speak for Jesus.

 

It is time for us as Christians to get bold and courageous and speak the truth and love of Jesus to every one we meet.

 

You know Jesus loves you and died on the cross for you – Why won’t you repent of your sins and been baptized into Jesus and receive the indwelling gift of God the Holy Spirit

 

What is holding you back? Come and have your sins forgiven today.

 

Song – There is power in the blood