Fruit of Pentecost
Acts 2:37-47; 3/19/2023; BCBC/IOUC; Rev. Paul Wang
In the previous two sermons, we thought about the testimony and explanation of Pentecost together. Today we will think together about the “fruit of Pentecost”, that is, to see what purpose or effect God wants to achieve in the event of Pentecost. Let’s look at the first point:
The church is the body of Christ, and it often does not understand the will of the head. As a result, the church falls into the situation of “don’t you understand yet?”, right? First of all, being cut to the heart. At that time, Jews from all over the world came to worship God with pious hearts. It is not easy for them to come here, the journey is long and expensive, and it may only be once in a lifetime. As a result, as soon as they came, they met everyone shouting to “crucify him”, and they even shouted along with the rhythm of the high priest. Now hear Peter said: “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” In other words, the zeal aroused by one’s godliness crucified God. It can be seen that faith needs to be thought about, rather than follow the crowd in a daze. Now, the Holy Spirit uses this sentence to pierce the heart, and the purpose is to make people think again.
Second, what should be done? The eleven disciples stood with Peter, giving the crowd a chance to respond. The people felt being cut to the heart, so they asked Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” This is the first question after faith, which I call “the first question”, ”which is: What should I do?” Because of ignorance, one became the “enemy” of God, that is, the antichrist. Including those armed police, public security, and state security who tore down crosses, destroyed churches, and arrested servants of God. Do you feel pricked? In fact, feeling pierced in the heart is the touch of the Holy Spirit’s grace, He has touched our hardened heart. Unless our end is the ultimate demise, there must be a piercing feeling. This is the work of the Holy Spirit, that is, He wants to witness with our hearts our belongings.
Finally, receive the Holy Spirit. Here Peter tells us that receiving the Holy Spirit includes repentance, baptism, and forgiveness of sins, and we must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. In fact, this is the promise that people are justified by faith and receive the Holy Spirit from God. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives, the greatest sign is our heart being moved. How can you repent if your heart is not moved? The revival held at Asbury University in the United States on February 8 this year showed us that many people have repented and their hearts have been moved! Not just Asbury’s revival, but every revival in history is like this. The Holy Spirit justifies people, condemns themselves for their sins, and hates their sins! The key is to live a godly life from now on, stay away from the entanglement of sin, walk with the Lord every day, and be more than conquerors! Let’s look at the second point:
Faith is not a castle in the air, but a normal state that is implemented in daily life. To say it is normal means that we must have a sense of normalcy, humility, and a heart of testimony. First of all, an ordinary heart. With so many fruits, perhaps the most difficult thing is the ordinary mind. Why? Because human beings after Adam all have the gene of pride, passed down from generation to generation. Very few people can maintain a balanced mentality and position themselves. He is obviously created, but he always wants to compare himself with God! First come, first served, line up to eat. However, someone insists on jumping in line. Why? Because hc is afraid that he or his children will lose at the starting line, He has to fight and dream. There are rules, but don’t follow them; there is order, but he has to go beyond them! Seeing others is not as good as oneself, and seeing oneself is always higher than others. Without a sense of normality, it is difficult to live a normal life. One has to overwhelm others when he speaks, and others must follow his own ideas. Once others don’t do what he wants, he would try to change, strive for, and achieve his goals. In fact, even if the goal is achieved and the heart is empty again, it is still not satisfied.
Second, humility. In fact, an ordinary heart comes from humility. Our receipt of the Holy Spirit is the promise of God to us and to our children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. That being the case, what are you proud of? Good eloquence is talent; using it to serve God is a gift. What’s the fuss about it? Being pretty is just the glory of the Lord, so what is there to show off? Some people may think that they are not beautiful enough, capable enough. This is also caused by another extreme state of mind without humility, and it is even more difficult to live a normal heart. In short, we cannot be satisfied with what God has given us. Or going to Korea for plastic surgery, or showing off wealth in front of people, the essence is that you are not satisfied with God’s creation, and you always have to add and subtract.
Finally, the heart to testify. What should we do if we lack an ordinary heart and humility? The bible says, “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” This is the most amazing thing! As long as we testify to God and the wonder and greatness of the Lord, a sense of normalcy and humility will return to our hearts. As mentioned in this verse, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” It is easy to lead us into thinking that we can save ourselves. The translation of this verse is somewhat incomplete. The correct meaning is that we have to fulfill our responsibility to escape from the corrupt generation. Because Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven must be entered with effort. Let’s look at the third point:
What is recorded here should be the first revival of the church in church history! Agree? All future church revivals should be based on this! First, accept the words of the Bible. The starting point of church revival must be receiving the word of God, otherwise it is easy to make mistakes. How do you know that someone has accepted the word of God? That is, people will confess their sins and repent, admit their mistakes, be sad and contrite, and blame themselves! How did that happen? Because the word of God is light, once the light comes out, it will illuminate the darkness in our hearts. On the day of Pentecost, people from all over the world gathered together. After listening to Peter’s words, they made a prayer and resolved to believe in the Lord. Accepting baptism is to show that they have broken away from the bondage of Judaism, entered the body of Christ, and become sons and daughters of eternal life.
Second, desire the life of the church. What is church life? It is in accordance with God’s will, the principles of the Bible, and the interaction between members, such as everyone “perseveringly obeying the teachings of the apostles, fellowshipping, breaking bread, and praying.” Just like the Sunday worship, Sunday school, Discipleship, prayer meeting, Lord’s Supper, baptism, evangelism, etc. The joy and peace brought by the life of the church is something that this world cannot bring us. The Bible says that at Pentecost that year, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,” Please note that they are together every day! We have fellowship meals together every week and already feel the sweetness of joy.
Finally, often someone is saved by grace. Our church life will definitely bring about the results of the gospel. We can aspire to have 3,000 people believe in the Lord a day like Pentecost. But it can also satisfy the continuation of the steady flow of the gospel, that is, there will always be people among us who believe in the Lord. Sometimes we preach the Gospel, but they have their prayers to receive Christ in other churches. So what? As long as it makes people believe in the Lord, it is also a matter of glory for the Lord to be counted in the credit book of others! The Bible says that no matter the time is in or out of time, we must always save some people, but it does not say that our church must bring them to believe in the Lord, right?
Well, thank the Lord! The fruit of Pentecost is the awakening of the church, the life of the church, and the revival of the church. Without the perspective of the church, no one can understand believers. Apart from Christ and His body, the church, God has not given any other way, truth, or life to save people!
Let us pray……
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.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.