Scripture References: Acts 2:1-12
From last lesson: God is just as powerful this moment as He has ever been. We can still have Pentecostal power today because God has not changed. How could God change? He is God!
Second, not only is our Master the same, but humankind is basically the same. Humanity has not changed. Human nature has not changed! I hear people say, “Today men are more wicked than they used to be.” I disagree because Adam and Eve were totally self-centered. They didn’t believe a word God told them. One can’t get any worse than that. Cain, their first son, was a murderer. He killed his own brother, Abel.
People have always been wicked. God has never had good people to work with. Don’t think that in the first century there were suddenly an unusual number of nice people, and God took these nice people and did something wonderful with them. The people in the first century nailed Jesus to the cross. Yet, in the first century the church ministered with great power, and souls were saved.
Third, our methods should not change. God has given us the message of the gospel and the blueprint for success in the Great Commission. Our Master has not changed, humankind has not changed, and our methods should not change. God teaches us in Acts 2 what the church ought to do. I believe that God has a well-defined plan for what the church is to do. What is God’s method, blueprint, plan, and design for the amazing church?
I. The Right Atmosphere in the Church
The golden characteristic of the New Testament church was unity, oneness, and accord. Luke stated: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” – Acts 2:1. These people were not rusted together by tradition, nor wired together by organization, nor frozen together by formalism. They were melted together by a common Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of love.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9. Jesus taught that in His sermon on the mount. According to the writer of Proverbs, among the six things that God hates is someone who sows discord among the brethren (Proverbs 6:19). How good it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
Some said concerning the first-century Christians, “Behold, how they love one another.” Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35. We may have differences; but, if we are to do what Christ wants us to do, we must bury these differences between ourselves and love one another, by not just saying, “Jesus is Lord,” but by acting as if we truly believe it. There are not enough demons in hell to stop a church bonded together in love.
It’s small wonder that the world was amazed at the first-century church. The believers were assembled together, and they were in accord, they were united. This church had the right atmosphere. It was a spiritual atmosphere!
II. The Right Appeal from the Church
The amazing first-century church was led by Almighty God to make the right appeal to the unsaved. This is a threefold process. First, there is the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Second, there is the action of personal witnessing. Third, there is the authority of the Word of God.
These first-century Christians were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). The work of God can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is every believer’s privilege and responsibility to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
It was not just the preacher that was filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Peter told the audience that the promise was unto them, their children, their sons, their daughters, and as many as the Lord our God shall call (Acts 2:17–18).
At Pentecost, the Bible says there was a sound like a cyclone, “a mighty rushing wind,” then there appeared cloven tongues as of fire. Following that, as the Christians opened their mouths in praise and witnessing, the speech that came out was not in their own language but in various foreign languages. You and I do not need to repeat the miracle of Pentecost any more than we need to repeat the virgin birth of Christ or the vicarious death of Christ. Pentecost was a once-and-for-all event. We cannot repeat it, but we surely can experience the same power today, just as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and rejoice that He died to cleanse us of our sins.
God was with us when Jesus Christ was born and placed in the cradle at Bethlehem. Supernatural events surrounded Bethlehem. There was the new star in the heavens. There was the virgin birth. There was the angelic chorus, and when Jesus was born, He was given the name Emmanuel, which interpreted means “God with us.” None of these miracles need to be repeated, but aren’t you glad for Bethlehem?
To Be Continued