In a few other digital formats I have published my pulpit notes. With the launch of Simple Bible Commentary it made sense to create a format for them here.
Hope you enjoy them again.
By Way Of Introduction
We tend to think greatly about Jerusalem, but not the ancient world. Her reputation was terrible, and in Jesus’ day, no one considered her great. Rome, Athens, and Ephesus were thought of as great spiritual places, but not our beloved Jerusalem. Some of that had to do with how often Jerusalem was conquered by her neighbors.
Here is a list of who conquered Jerusalem:
Now can you see why nobody thought much about Jerusalem? But God never forgot about his promises to her, and when Christ was born the prophetic clock starting ticking again, and through all the years Jerusalem never lost significance.
4 Distinct Qualities From The Early Church
- Kingdom Calling
- Godly Habits
- Other Focused
- Said Yes To Life
Pentecost is celebrated 5o days after Passover.
Jesus in Acts 1 told them to “wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father,” and they did exactly what he said. The bible records constant disobedience and cluelessness in the disciples which leads to the following principle:
Your first act of obedience can begin to cure a lifetime of disobedience.
The House Experience
In philosophy there is the phrase “likeness is not sameness.” That is true here, the wind was “like a rushing wind” but was not a rushing wind. There were no words to describe it, so Luke did the best he could. The entire house was filled with the Holy Spirit. Tongues of fire appeared on everyone. We are not sure exactly what it looked like, but whatever it was, was obvious to everyone else. We are not sure how long it lasted on each one of them.
The Experience Moved Out Of The House
Most likely those folks gathered at the steps of the Temple, near a place called Solomon’s Porch. The area had several places where larger groups could gather, and somehow the area felt the “pow” that took place in the house and people wanted answers. Somehow the “mighty acts of God” were communicated to them, most likely in smaller group settings, yet all the folks heard the preaching in their own mother tongue. The list of nations follows the known list of great Jewish communities in the ancient world.
Luke does not give us the detail of the “mighty works of God” but they most certainly would have included the cross, resurrection and character of God.
If you want to defeat negativity, openly declare the mighty works of God.
Those who could not accept the manifestation of the Holy Spirit coming with power at Pentecost, just as Jesus taught, accused the new believers of being drunk at 9am in the morning. Those on the outside of the work of the Holy Spirit, cannot embrace the work done by God on the inside. A person is either inside the circle of God or not, there is no in between.