Peters Sermon At Pentecost

Guest Preacher - Part 92

Feb. 2, 2020


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] Let's turn back then to a reading in the book of Acts and chapter 2. You can read again the words there in Acts 2 and verse 36.

[0:15] These words that Peter finishes his sermon with, let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ this Jesus whom you crucified.

[0:34] Many ways the book of Acts is one of the most thrilling reads in the Bible. It's called the Acts sometimes, well most of the time the Acts of the Apostles and of course that's right but chapter 1 where we have the account introduced by Luke.

[0:56] He tells us in verse 1 that the first book was an account. The first book O Theophilus, that's the one he's writing to, a lover of God, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach until the day when he was taken up.

[1:10] Meaning the Gospel that Luke wrote is an account of everything that Jesus did until the day that he was taken up. He ascended but the word to notice is the word all that Jesus began to do which if we understand that right means that Acts is a continuation.

[1:27] So yes it is the Acts of the Apostles, it's what the Apostles do but it's really the Acts of Jesus through the Apostles which is thrilling when you think about it because up to a point when Jesus was announcing his departure to the disciples John records that in his upper room teaching or discourse whatever you want to call it.

[1:50] Chapters 13 through 17 in John. The disciples were greatly upset, really troubled at the thought and prospect of Jesus leaving them. He told them he was going but that he wouldn't leave them alone because he'd send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit that he would come and back then they couldn't really make sense of that, it wouldn't have understandably derived any real comfort, how could anything or anyone possibly replace Jesus' presence.

[2:21] But that's what he was saying. And so in one sense his departure would appear to you on the surface, meaning for them that this is the end of everything that he's going to say and going to do but Luke's telling us that and they would have of course understood because the resurrection, the cross and resurrection something they didn't figure out at that point but that taking place, the resurrection and Jesus opening their understanding to the Scriptures so much would have fallen into place then and his departure from them into heaven would then with the coming now in Acts 2 of the Holy Spirit made so much sense so much more would have fallen into place.

[3:02] And the fact that although the Spirit hasn't come at this point, again it's in chapter 1, the fact that when they're needing to find a replacement for Judas Iscariot from verse 12 and following it's very interesting that when they pray they appear to be when they're casting lots and we're told that the lot falls on Matthias but it doesn't fall on him until they've prayed in verse 24.

[3:28] They prayed and said, you Lord know the hearts of all. Show which one of these two that you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place and they cast lots for them and the lot fell on Matthias and he was numbered with D11.

[3:48] But that seems to be saying is that they had an awareness of Jesus having left them physically that he was nonetheless still acting, maybe we say spiritually and in that sense they're talking to him, they're praying and committing the choice of Judas the successor to him and they recognise the answer coming through the process of casting lots.

[4:11] What we're trying to say is that to these Christians there in the early church after the ascension of Jesus, physical absence now of Jesus, they still recognise his activity is ongoing, although they're going to see and discover and experience it in a far greater way as time goes on.

[4:31] So it is in that regard as well as telling us simply what happens. It is a very thrilling read. There's another side to it though and that side is though it's not without its, well it's not a minefield as such but it can be problematic, trying to be clear about what sections or aspects of the book of Acts are temporary, meaning confined to the time in which the events took place and what things are normative meaning they should be the regular and permanent in fact, up to a point, experience of the Christian church in every age and generation.

[5:09] Well we know there are certain things that were just by matter of fact and necessarily confined to these early days and that would include, we're seeing it here in chapter one, the apostleship, that that was a very unique and a very distinct calling and office and I think verse 21 proves that for us, that it was one that, so one of them who have this distributed for you, one of them who have accompanied us during all the time the Lord Jesus went in and among us beginning with John's baptism until he was taken up from us, one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.

[5:48] So there are characteristics of the apostolic office that are defined for us there, that for example you and I, none of us here tonight fit that category, meaning that office is no longer present.

[6:00] You'll hear about there's apostles here and there's apostles there, well let's say there actually aren't any more. So in that regard that and other things you may think about are temporary, they were for the time when the church was being founded and established and are therefore no longer permanent.

[6:19] There's other things however, we think about the work of the Holy Spirit in and through the church, in the mission of the church, the proclamation of the gospel, the life and witness of Christians like you and me, what does that look like, what should it look like, and what does conversion, what does someone becoming a Christian look like, what does a great awakening look like, what does a spirit empowered life look like?

[6:45] Well we believe that these and many other things like them are stated for us, described and illustrated in this amazing book, meaning that if we wonder what does the real thing look like, what does the real thing sound like, feel like, let's look at the descriptions, what is it like to be in a situation where people become under the sense and the awareness and the irresistible power of the Holy Spirit?

[7:14] Christians and non-Christians, not going to be the same thing at the same time obviously, but what does it look like? Well just before we move on to trying to look at the second chapter in general, but in a bit more detail, we just need to remind ourselves that something in chapter two, this glorious, this amazing event we refer to as the day of Pentecost, of course it wasn't the first, the day of Pentecost, it had an old testament significance, all of its own, but what happens on this day is something transitional and something non-repeatable, it's as unique in fact as the coming of the Son of God into this world. That isn't to say that the effects and the power that came to be experienced on that non-repeatable event day are no longer present or to be expected, but the coming of the Spirit in this way is unique. In what sense?

[8:16] Well what's happening here is Jesus has told the disciples, told the church, all of them, to wait. We read that in chapter one. The first thing we notice is the promise that Jesus gives them. It's really a reiteration of a promise that's already been given. He says in verse four of chapter one, while staying with them, He ordered them not to depart, chapter one verse four, not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father which He said, you heard from me, what is that promise? Well here it is in verse five. John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

[8:57] That way of describing the experience, the being baptised with the Holy Spirit, is itself something that different people associate with different things. It's one of these, like many other statements, that we may have our own conclusions about or beliefs about, persuasions about.

[9:18] It might even be the case that you and I tonight may have a shared persuasion, maybe even experience of certain things that we would say we can identify. You describe something and up to a point maybe the next person says, I think I know what you're talking about, and you would call it one thing and the next person would call it another. Some people call a certain experience that they may have, and maybe out of the ordinary experience, sense of the awareness and the power and the blessing, the energising which is both humbling and exalting of God's presence, they may think of it as being baptised with the Holy Spirit. But if we're going to be trying to be clear about what Jesus is referring to, as to whether we should describe any Christian experience by that is maybe important and well helpful anyway, hopefully, to remind ourselves that six out of the seven uses or references to being baptised with the Holy Spirit are explained, that you want to maybe want to look into this if you're not persuaded, but six out of the seven that are referred to in the scriptures New Testament are explained as being fulfilled and taking place on the day of Pentecost.

[10:33] So it's something that we see in other words here happening in chapter 2, it's something that has been promised, John the Baptist promised that Jesus is saying what John referred to, you're about to experience, you're about to witness. Now some people will refer to what they may experience in these quite extraordinary times in their Christian lives as being baptised with the Spirit, as what actually takes place in chapter 4 of Acts, where we're told in a sense, although you find it as well in chapter 2, that being defined and referred to in that way, chapter 4 expands upon that in a sense where we're told that they were filled with the Holy Spirit. The non-repeatable event is the baptism, the filling is something that is repeated. So what happens on the day of Pentecost, the Peter and the rest, isn't this once for all up they are and off they go?

[11:26] You find it happening in chapter 4 again, over and over and over again. And maybe it's why we're told in Ephesians to be filled with the Spirit or as it could be to be being filled with the Spirit.

[11:39] I mean, not to complicate this or confuse us any more than we may already be in trying to think about this, but how can a command come upon us from God? I mean, usually in that when we're commanded we're told to do something in which we are active and involved, but there the command comes with a passive aspect, meaning how can we be filled, not to fill yourself with the Spirit.

[12:07] He's saying be filled with the Spirit. It wasn't exactly the same thing. There is a very clear divine element, a mystery of course in all of that. If it was a case that just like you go and when you're thirsty you go and draw water from the tap or whatever, then if being filled with the Holy Spirit was just we just pray and then there it is, it happens.

[12:26] Then it would happen, but you know that's not how it is. There may be times of what feels like famine and drought in your life, so like Sam 63, David is saying his very body, his whole self is thirsting for God and Sam 84 is it not and 42, he compares himself to the Anand of Thirsting. If he was living on this plane and level of constant connection and awareness of satisfaction with the presence of God, he'd never say that. So there can be gaps, there can be feelings of drought, not actual drought, but feeling that, but God coming with his blessing. What an amazing thing and what a wonderful thing to pray for and we are in fact, we are in fact, Jesus tells us, we are in fact told to pray that we may receive the Holy Spirit. Not in that initial sense of course, we're Christians. If you're a Christian man or woman tonight, praying to receive the Holy Spirit is not an initial reception, but Jesus in saying, illustrating and teaching us on how to pray, he says if you parents, if you want your children ask you for bread or ask you for fish, you wouldn't give them a stone or a scorpion or a snake or whatever.

[13:43] Well, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those that ask Him? Another place. How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those that ask Him?

[13:53] So let's ask, let's keep asking, let's keep asking in our droughts maybe, when we maybe feel a receding of the tide or whatever sense of power and blessing we're missing and looking for. Let's pray, let's pray.

[14:09] Some people that you shouldn't pray for, remember reading an article about that, someone overstressing God's sovereignty and saying you shouldn't, we shouldn't, we have no right to pray for a revival. Say well wait a minute, what is that all about? We understand what someone means.

[14:25] We're not going to twist God's arm into doing anything as it were, he's not going to do, but well we look in the Old Testament, we look in Isaiah 64 and doesn't God himself in somewhat human terms lament the fact that there's no one who stirs themselves up to lay hold of Him?

[14:43] Well the prophet begins, oh that you would rend the heavens, that you would come down, that the mountains might flow down at your presence. So yes let's pray for this, let's be encouraged, let's be encouraged because our Lord has said he's going to build his church and we by his grace and in his providence are part of that.

[15:02] Every one of us who if we're Christian men or women, young people, we belong to that and if we're not Christians yet, we maybe become part of this and we'll see hopefully just a minute what that looks like and let's pray for it to be our experience in life. There is a promise.

[15:17] Jesus is saying wait and they're waiting, they're in this room and they're praying. They're all together, verse 1 of chapter 2, they were all together in one place. Now chapter 1 showing us they're in a very prayerful state of mind, it's a great thing that. You know and you know I don't mean to be in any way condescending or anything you might think insulting thing stating the obvious but would you say yourselves and for yourself that and you maybe be able to answer this for your own individual self and in your togetherness, you find yourselves in a real frame of prayerfulness just now.

[15:52] You know that prayerfulness where you're waiting or is it kind of looking without any clarity. That's one thing. These people were certainly praying, a prayerfulness with a unity of mind and heart and purpose because they had a promise they were holding on to. They had a word from God that was just foundational to their whole expectation and we may have many such as we do.

[16:18] Promises on which to rest our faith and our hope and then be filled with expectation and God may test their faith and all of these things may keep us waiting but in reducing us, not a comfortable reducing by what we mean by that is maybe your hopes disappointed and waiting and praying and expecting and it just doesn't happen or maybe seems to you and then fades away. Well God will have us no doubt be in a place where we're relying completely on him and praying to him and hanging on to his promises like that. Well they were certainly praying, they were waiting for this promise but then the second thing you notice the presence, presence of God, the Holy Spirit comes in a very special and unique way. Verse 2 is explaining us suddenly when they're all together in one place suddenly there came from heaven.

[17:09] This sound like a mighty rushing wind filling the whole house where they were all sitting. They hear something and then they see something. Verse 3 tongues like fire appear to them and rest on them and then they start saying something. They're filled with the Holy Spirit and begin to speak in other tongues or languages as the Spirit gave them utterance. Well we know wind and fire are associated, elements associated with the presence of God in the Old Testament and mysterious and unapproachable, uncontainable. We've got no power over them and their presence be at the wind though it's invisible, its effects are very clearly seen. Don't we know all about that living where we do?

[17:50] We can hear it, we can feel it, there is an invisible and yet an almost if not well with the wind. It is tangible, we can feel but so with the presence of God Jesus in John 3 tells Nicodemus the working of the Spirit is in the new birth it's like the wind. We don't know where it comes from or where it goes in terms of the visible side. We see where the Spirit is moving, we believe we can, that there's a discernible way, not that we're right all the time of course, but there are certain ways he works and sometimes we feel we just can't mistake where he is a bit like Jacob waking up from his dream and saying surely the Lord is in this place and I didn't realize it, I didn't know it. And so with the fire we know that there's that about the fire we just can't approach. Our God is a consuming fire and appearing as he did to Moses in the burning bush and that symbol associated with the tongues, that medium or that bodily organ associated of course with speech and communication that there's something clearly not just actual but prophetic in the symbolism that the wind and the fire both emblematic of God's presence, mighty, rushing, irresistible are emblems and symbols that are going to define what is going to accompany the proclamation and the mission and ministry of these people and of the church throughout every age. And we're told that that comes to some expression verse 4 they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now we know what these tongues are in this section here they're described in the following verses from 5 down to down to 12 and that is human languages and different the languages spoke in different places so that the assembled Jews hearing all that's going on they come together and they're thinking to themselves what are this going on here how is it that we are verse 8 hearing everyone in our own native language and hearing them the end of verse 11 telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God. This is all self-explanatory that this is human languages that these people speak in them had never learned it was a miraculous enabling to communicate and speak out in the hearing of men the wonderful works of God. But as you throw this one out don't know what you think about this in relation to the phenomenon that's recorded for us by Paul and 1 Corinthians. Defined in similar terms as speaking in tongues is it the same thing? Well not being controversial in any shape or form or certainly not intending to be but I don't think it's the same thing at all. Well it's communication from within a believer that has its source and origin in the Holy Spirit absolutely but if you wish to compare the two you would see in I think come to the conclusion with all the other difficulties in the whole subject that in this one we find that the communication is addressed and is directed towards men. In Corinth Paul explains that those who are speaking in a tongue are not speaking to men but speaking to God. So it just leaves us there in that place of what is that all about. See some some of us were maybe so there's nothing wrong in a sense with it so logical and so inclined to compartmentalize absolutely everything in scripture that we think we understand it. But if there's anything about the ministry of the Holy

[21:33] Spirit about everything about our God in fact Father, Son, Holy Spirit is very being his perfection, his activities, his word what do we actually know about him? We know next to nothing.

[21:47] It's now why Paul tells the Corinthians early on in chapter 13 that we know in part we're just like we're speaking in infant language we don't even understand proc. We know the truth and we're speaking the truth according to the measure of knowledge and understanding but there is such an intense and incredible mystery involved in this and so in relation to God and in relation to worship in addressing God and praying in the Holy Spirit or proclaiming the word and the power of the Holy Spirit these are things out with our own power and control. There is that element of mystery which is exciting all in its own way. In some way there are no laws in these things. We like to have everything some of us maybe it's maybe in every one of us if you're a parent you maybe know what it's like with your children you like to be able to not control, not be the control freak as we say but to at least be in a bit of a position to be in a bit of control over the way things are going. We don't like not being in a place where we're out of our own depth but and so there's a sense where that translates over to our Christian lives and we look at this and some of you will know far more about this than some others than myself you think of people you've known and times of tremendous blessing in the church maybe even throughout these islands even in this very location and there are some things that people have experienced or heard or witnessed and you think what is that all about and exactly there is that side about our God that we just cannot even begin to understand and while as we're trying to see and we'll see in just a minute there are certain ways God ordinarily works in the process of bringing people to know himself through the preaching of the and the exposition of the word of God there is at the same time another way in which you look at these men they had no control over what happened to them there is that side there we find it and in verse four they were all filled with the Holy Spirit they didn't fill themselves they were taken hold off they were filled and they were so used by God for his purpose on that occasion you ever find it quite unnerving when you're praying about things like this or praying because we're trying to say okay well we should and we must and be encouraged to pray for God's blessing and God's power and for his spirit to come but isn't it another side where even beginning to sense something of the nearness of God it's very unnerving the very reality of this God the very presence of this

[24:27] God be very disturbing because you find yourself sometimes maybe in that situation where you feel that more than you can cope with the very thought you know it's it's told Jonathan and what a fantastic and there'll be many like it no doubt but Jonathan Edwards accounts of some of the testimony people's experiences in times of revival in his own experience and ministry out in the United States back in the 1700s I mean there's some that started and never carried on and he of course was worried and concerned because of that and would write a book for other reasons as well called the religious affection but in his account of the awakening that he refers to one woman who who he was speaking to and he only to be speaking about when they were in the church and they'd be holding on to the pews through the preaching and Edwards wasn't himself a very we're told a very animated dynamic fiery preacher he's someone who would read his sermons read them word for word and the power was there nonetheless I mean let's not think it's got to be the dramatic and all the rest of it it doesn't it doesn't God use that man's preaching phenomenally and people would be holding on to the pillars holding on to the seats for fear of what he was talking about happening to them you imagine that we can just take it or leave it that's how we feel sometimes most of the time but these people were coming under such conviction they felt it was as real and as vivid as they could see it with their own eyes if they were in christians where they were going and and what was coming their way of in life as people not at peace with God and through death and beyond as people who were not at peace with God they were terrified rightly but God was there and they were pressed and they were cornered they were hemmed in they couldn't get out of that place God was striving with people but the other side and this is maybe what we're trying to think about in this relation in this connection in relation to this there's one woman he mentioned and he was talking about of that even when she would hear the name God she felt she was going to lose consciousness it's just going to pass out the sheer grandeur and majesty of the name of God what is that all about you might think that is just fanaticism or mysticism whatever well they tell you you could even compare edwards with wittfield and they were in their own way one was wittfield would be maybe more emotional and more dramatic and dynamic in certain ways great man of God that's no criticism whereas edwards would be very logical very philosophical and very ordered in everything but he knew that he knew as saying himself he heard wittfield wittfield preach on one occasion and maybe coming with his mind made up in certain things but as wittfield preached edwards was saying he felt as it went on we were one in the hand of God God just took over the whole thing and edwards knew it and everything he maybe thought or worried about wittfield that just went doesn't mean you don't have concerns but what it was is that God was showing him that he is in control it isn't edwards it isn't wittfield isn't anyone so the thought of God the presence of God for the fear of it that doesn't mean we shouldn't pray because this is our great one of our if not our greatest need that we're in a position that we can be prone to try and figure out how we're going to do church in times where God clearly isn't in the midst as we would wish or as we would need or as we would want and hope you know what that that means yourself you've maybe seen other times and certainly hearing about other times not saying all right let's live in the path not saying that we mustn't that one thing to to look back and of course history has many lessons to learn but as somebody has said it's to be that rudder to guide us not an anchor to hold us but the very fact of the past and what God has done before in other generations is something that we should compare the present with then and somebody we don't even need to compare it's obvious even in our own lifetime your lifetime is obviously longer than some of our lives other lives are shorter but even maybe even within shorter lifetimes we can say we can see it's like the tide going away doesn't mean that God is going to leave but there's certainly a difference a discernible difference and there's no denying it we just got to admit that but what we're trying to say the problem in that situation is that we try and come up with all the answers doesn't mean we don't plan or try to do what we can do within our power but there's one overarching thing that just seems to be so pressing is where the church had Corinth being when you think of a church in Corinth you'd think what on earth would someone like Paul do how would he get to these people how would he get them interested what would he put in place to go and he said you know the only thing I did he said he preached Jesus Christ and him crucified that's the only thing he did and people we say it's to the Jews it's a stumbling block the Greeks it's foolish and Paul you're finished before you've started you're as well packing the whole thing up don't even go into Corinth they're not going to listen to you the

[29:45] Jews will kill you for talking about this Jesus that they crucified the only Greeks the non-Jews will mock you then laugh laugh in your face and Paul was saying no he said I am I telling the Corinthians after the of course the church was founded they became Christian men and women he was saying I was with you I was among you in weakness and in fear and in trembling why he was saying so that and that is preaching his speech and his preaching wasn't in as the old Bible puts in the enticing words of man's wisdom but in demonstration of the spirit and of power simple gospel proclamation Jesus Christ and him crucified people say look that stuff's not going to work anymore and the reason he had for it is so that your faith would rest not in the wisdom of men but in the power of God it's a massive difference and if you're not on board with certain things people will say you're finished when you think hang on a minute is this through or is it not is this a blueprint of what it looks like for the ministry of the Holy Spirit in a church through a people in a world as a lost in sin then as it is now does this work anymore it's a question there are a lot of things that change of course but as someone someone that just struck me earlier on today and trying to get get it together it wasn't exactly the way someone was saying this it was a motto for a mission for a year what a great motto and it was that the spirit of the age would be the age of the spirit now that that was great and it fitted for what they were doing but there's another side to it and I just you know really crossed my mind in that regard where our situation is that we're tempted and who isn't under the pressure of thinking and being burdened with the question and many questions what do we do to try and reach and try and persuade and try and bring the gospel to a people who really don't want anything to do with it well the danger and the temptation is maybe that we succumb to the spirit of the age maybe it's such an old-fashioned thing to think about but think about it seriously we succumb to the spirit of the age rather than realizing that we are in the age of the spirit and if we are in the age of the spirit which we are since

[32:12] Pentecost God has his way of doing things you know he doesn't need any of us now whatever you might think about someone not meaning to hope I don't insult anyone saying this but when you think of many commendable things of course but other things you may wonder in terms of accuracy someone like Oswald Chambers I mean his very calling to ministry as he described it himself if I remember right he was sitting on Arthur's seat and struggling with what to do with his life feeling the compulsion to give himself to Christian service and ministry full time and he felt that God was there saying to him look I want to use you in my service but I don't need you and that's what persuaded him and I think there's a sense where we need to get to that play beginning with self to be at that place where we realize and accept and live by the fact that God doesn't need us he doesn't need us to do what he's going to do but the wonder is he's pleased to use us and we try and find our place in what he's doing and there's a sense where again where we as someone else had said that what maybe defines us is that we come up with all that we have to do and there's nothing wrong with planning an organabetum misunderstand this there's it's about we're trying to see something of balance because they had defined a replacement for Judas but they went about it not saying in one sense here's all our plans and Lord please bless them they plan so far and then they left the rest with God say Lord you show us these are sense where they've been have we got it wrong they had to look out people who had specific requirement so they came to the task knowing that God has already sent out requirements for the apostolic office so they singled out the men who were there among them well this one and this one and this one Joseph justice Matthias they have the qualification needed for an apostle been with us since the baptism of John to the ascension here they are there's only three of them but Lord which one of them do you want rather than saying Lord we've chosen Matthias please bless him see the difference having our plans having our process having our procedure and coming and saying Lord is this wrong is this right or even coming and saying Lord give us the vision give us what we need to do show us what you're doing so here they are in this situation and this situation where they really are in the hand of God what a wonderful place to be now there's so much we haven't got time we're planning or thinking of going going through this but there's just so much there's so much we don't even begin to get past the beginning of what's going on below the surface of what's recorded for us with the presence of God you know there's some people there and they're clearly just bewildered at this there's some of this Jewish congregation are gathering amazing that God pulled the people to them isn't it that God did that as well he actually did that amazing work he brought them brought these people prepared and made and called together this congregation there's something about the church in philadelphia in the book of revelation as well that church there was this chapter 3 revelation the church in philadelphia uh people who were who were very very tried and tested they had those were told of the synagogue of satan uh who say that they are jews and are not but like isn't what jesus says about it's amazing it's all amazing but there's things in this connection that stand out he says about those who belong to the synagogue of satan revelation 3 there's verse 9 i will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that i have loved you that has to be at very least a humbling acknowledgement of the truth that these christians are proclaiming when it comes to the situation in Corinth where they had a problem with people speaking in tongues and there they were totally going out of control and causing a bit of chaos Paul is saying no rather than that you should be emphasizing prophecy which isn't so much telling the future or foretelling but telling forth where god is speaking into people's lives in the present and the way he illustrates that is if someone comes in somebody doesn't usually come here and they came in and they they heard all of the tongues and think what's going on but if they heard the prophesy Paul is explaining the secrets of their heart would be revealed which meaning god through what is being said by those prophesy is speaking into the life of the stranger who's just come in who's going to realize it's like this fellow knows what's going on in my heart and in my thoughts no one but god does so speaking through someone god is speaking to me and then Paul is saying they'll fall down and they'll admit that that that truly god is among you it's the same thing as the church in philadelphia they're in revelation jesus is saying i will do it i will bring them i will bring them to that place where they realize that all you've been talking about everything you've been trying to speak about is real not only that i'll make it real for them that amazing he's he's over all that you're doing you know this already it's not we know this but sometimes it's to recover or retain maybe some of the most obvious and elementary things in our lives in our christian lives and in the church that he is going to build this church he is going to do it and if he wants to use us he'll make us be in a position where using us will not go to our heads we won't try and take the glory for it or anything of the sort that's maybe why a peter had to go through what he went through before he was ready to cope with the blessing of thousands coming to faith through this sermon thousands the old peter by the old one not many the unconverted one but the three or so years he was with jesus as a converted man he's like like all of us he made his mistakes but jesus as he said the first time we were told by john they met jesus looked at him and said you're simon son of john he said you will be your name is peter he'd given that nickname meaning rock jesus saying prophetically i'm going to make a rock out of you it takes a lot doesn't it to be brought through these things are we looking at peter and saying this to be brought through what he had to go through in order to be in maybe crushed and broken before he's put back together and capable of the blessing god had for his life otherwise he'd have run away and taken the glory for it like all of us unless god keeps us but what does it look like and we just be really brief in this that's just a shame because there's there's so much so much in this having expounded the scriptures to them quoting from joel chapter two some of the crowd are mocking saying you know what this all this you're hearing it's just the wine has gone to their heads and this isn't them talking it's the wine talking and they're saying no it's it's not even nine o'clock in the morning they're not doing this this isn't wine this is the spirit quoting joel two and then approving that the spirit has come in fulfillment of joel's prophecy as a result of the exaltation of jesus sam 16 and sam 1110 and then he explains it very clearly verse 33 being exalted at the right hand of god having received from the father the promise of the holy spirit he that is jesus has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing and then concludes in 36 let everyone the all house of israel know that god has made jesus both lord and christ this jesus do you crucified there's one sense you could imagine peter wanting to run at that point in one sense what's the reaction going to be you wonder if you could see it coming over people you want you know you've maybe seen that yourself or thought you've seen it where there can be a melting a hardness under the gospel and then before you know it over time you can see someone listening or appearing to be listening and you don't the person listening doesn't think anyone else can see it but there it is remember seeing that a few years ago and it's quite remarkable that I don't think it's ever seen it before or since but to to see someone having faces and everything listening and clearly trying to get their heads rounded or saying that don't take don't buy that at all and then over time when it would come to maybe trying to speak by way of application you'd see the head go down coming out the odd morning and then starting coming out morning and evening and then coming to the prayer meeting and then all the time without coming into membership which in one sense that that that's that doesn't make some more of course we know in every sense doesn't make someone a christian but you know what we're saying but anyway peter's in this position of preaching to this crowd and the amazingly 37 the commander this awareness of their guilt and of their sin and of their helplessness before god there's proof isn't it of the work of the holy spirit there are no longer saying you know what they're just talking nonsense filled with new wines gone to their heads no peter's saying this is the holy spirit and you could imagine maybe saying yeah right and then as the sermon goes on as the exposition goes on the conviction comes in and then all the arguments all the mockery all the blasts from me and the ridicule goes and they're crushed and they're broken if ever felt like this you know church being an uncomfortable place and think you know what this is getting under my skin not just in an annoying sense but in a convicting sense and in a sense where the conviction isn't something you want to run from anymore what's you know you know adam and eve in the garden really will finish in a second adam and eve where they heard god come in the garden after the fall and we were told that that they would hide and they try to cover themselves their guilt and shame made them want to run away from god but this is different just like the jailer in philipi in 16 when god is bringing them under conviction in that preparatory or initial series of stages where he's bringing them to himself in faith and repentance this conviction isn't something they try and run away from unlike adam and eve and they run they want to hide they're just terrified there's something involved in this that is different there's something by i'm not saying that adam and eve didn't get past that and and were brought of course that we believe they were brought to faith through the conversation god had with him but in that initial sense the fear the paralyzing fear of just wanting to run away from and hide from god but now in this in this situation they're saying what must we do just like the jailer in philipi says what must i do to be saved they're not fighting like in chapter seven six the seven with stevens ministry sitting chapter seven of acts and there's very much the same sermon though it doesn't quite follow the the same pattern it's more historical in a sense you'd think the same sermon a man filled with the same spirit but they turn they're raging with him and they kill him god is the difference isn't it either difference but to be in that place where we come under the power of the holy spirit even when it means it's uncomfortable and you know you might sometimes feel you come to church and and you think there's someone telling the preacher or the minister about you and they haven't a clue that they're saying anything to anyone personally situations can come up in in what's being said but it's it's it's god who's saying it it's god who speaks to us and it can be very real very powerful it's what we're praying for that every one of us come to the place even if it's uncomfortable but that we come to the place of realizing this is all true and not just true for him or for her but for me but with a conviction where i'm cornered by it and you know what i can't run or hide from this anymore and i'm asking now what do i do about it if that's how you feel and i'm conscious of addressing people that that i don't really know in terms of whether everyone here is in whatever situation you may be as far as the christian faith is concerned but if you ever have these questions or if you ever like this what shall we do ask them don't keep it to yourself every christian here will be more than happy to do anything and everything they can to help you along this way like peter was where he said uh repent and be baptized of course let's not go down that one just now but in terms of believe in jesus repent have your faith in jesus or which baptism was for them to be a declaration that they were believing in jesus a turn from their sins and peter's saying that's the way that's the beginning see the way they carry on they are priorities they have worship they are fellowship and they have a tremendous experience of god it's an amazing book this book of acts amazing chapter this second chapter the whole everything's amazing about it but we're praying that we become more familiar with it in our own experience in our own lives maybe so every one of us whether you know god yet or not whether our homes and families and people we're going back to know god yet or not may this encourage us and every one of us to be looking to this tremendous this glorious god to surprise astonish and amaze us with what he might do yet may it be so let's pray together let's pray lord our god in all of our need in all of our ways we come to you not that we do all the time or as we should but we come to you giving thanks that when we are weak you you've told us that it's then that we're strong and when we're not relying on ourselves anymore it's then that we'll find your strength perfected in weakness while it's uncomfortable it's safe we thank you for that and now paul explained that from his own life we thank you for those times where we know that energizing and empowering in times and phases of life we're through ill health or trials of whatever sort we may feel weak and reduced but your power and strength through answered prayer of others or in the sheer grace of your own coming to us whatever it is it is you anyway thank you for it and this the this church and congregation this whole the village the homes all the surrounding villages throughout our own islander people we pray that you will come to us we're not being confining things to our island lord our god our whole generation and generations to come we're praying for days of the right hand of the most high it's what we need it's what we cry for it's what we hope we can say we're waiting for may it be so and maybe be ready and prepared for what you may have for us in jesus name