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Power for Our Mission (6 of 6)
April 25, 2004
INTRODUCTION: Vance Havner said, "We are not going to move this world by criticism of it nor conformity to it, but by the combination within it of lives ignited by the Spirit of God."
The early church had none of the things that we think are so essential for success today: buildings, money, political influence, social status; and yet the church won multitudes to Christ and saw many churches established throughout the Roman world. Why? Because the church had the power of the Holy Spirit energizing its ministry. The people were those who were ignited by the Spirit of God.
That same Holy Spirit power is available to us today to make us more effective witnesses for Christ. The ministry of the Spirit is to glorify Christ in the life and witness of the believer.
John 16:14, "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you."
The second chapter of Acts marks a turning Chapter 1 the disciples are waiting for the Holy Spirit's coming; in Chapter 2 He comes. In Chapter 1 the disciples were equipped; in Chapter 2 they were empowered. In Chapter 1 they were held back; in Chapter 2 they were sent forth. In Chapter 1 the Savior ascended; in Chapter 2 the Spirit descends. The fulfillment of the promise of the Father is now a reality.
The coming of the Spirit of God marks the beginning of the church age. The mystery of Eph. 3:3-10 of the unity of the Jews and Gentiles in one body is possible because of Pentecost.
The church is the bride of Christ; the branches of the Vine; the flock of the Good Shepherd; the kingdom of God's dear Son; God's household; a spiritual temple of which Jesus Christ is the cornerstone; but, uniquely, the body of Christ.
I. THE EVENT OF PENTECOST. v. 1
Pentecost means "fiftieth" because this feast of Lev. 23:15-22 was held 50 days after Passover. Pentecost is the Feast of Weeks (Ex. 34:22-23) or Harvest (Ex. 23:16)
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