Another Pentecost Sunday has come and gone. It was May 23. Since I didn’t do a special Pentecost message this year, I wanted to highlight that day in this month’s “Note From the Preacher.” You can read the historical account in the second chapter of Acts.
Some folks like to note the activities that are not normative. In their hunger for the supernatural, they like to focus on the rushing wind and the tongues of fire and the speaking in tongues. But these activities are not the norm. They were the confirming “signs” from God that he was doing a unique work, as He had promised.
Remember, Acts is a history book, not a teaching book. Too many in the church want to teach the experience of the apostles, found in Acts, rather than experience the teaching of the apostles, which is found in the epistles.
So instead of focusing on the unique, one of a kind, abnormal actions described in the text, let’s focus on the normative actions – the actions that the epistles encourage us to keep doing.
1. There was evangelism among the multitude (vs. 5-11). Note that the tongues were not gibberish; they were known languages. And they were proclaiming “the mighty works of God.” The tongues-speakers were evangelizing!
2. There was a sermon about the Christ (vs. 14-36). As a preacher, I’m very encouraged that the first “corporate act” after the coming of the Holy Spirit was a sermon! A Christ-centered sermon!
3. There was communion among the believers (vs. 42-47). Is this beautiful or what?! The Spirit-indwelled, Spirit-filled, Spirit empowered church is now engaged in several God-honoring activities: Bible study, prayer and worship, fellowship, sharing & caring, the Lord’s Supper – and they are in awe!
And take special note of v. 43: Who was doing the “wonders and signs?” The apostles. And there are no more apostles, no matter how many guys attach the title to themselves. How do we know that? Eph. 2:19-20: So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone… A “foundation” is laid at the beginning and is not repeated. How many “foundations” have you seen in the middle or at the tops of buildings?
So, to sum up: The day of Pentecost provides a nutshell view of what the church is still to be doing: (1) evangelizing, (2) preaching Christ, and (3) fellowshipping together in unity.
Beloved church family, let’s keep doing those three things, for our good and God’s glory!
Pressing on with you, with our eyes fixed on Jesus,