Standing Up (Acts 2-3)

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. Acts 2:14

As my eyes once again came to rest in the books of Acts, I could hardly contain the joy in my heart as I anticipated reading Acts 2-3. When one first reads this text, he or she discovers a number of first for the New Testament Church:

  • There was the first giving of the Holy Spirit.
  • There was the first sermon.
  • There was the first converts, 3000 souls.
  • There was the first miracle (Acts 3).

Brothers and sisters there are many other firsts, but these stand out to me. Now some who are reading this might be thinking, this is not the first time that these things happened. We see these acts of God throughout the Bible.

This is so true, but we must remember that this is the beginning of the church in Acts 2. It was the first time for these things to happen in the church because it was just formed by Jesus.

Question: Are the first things still happening in the church where you serve?

The Bible teaches us that it was Peter who preached the first sermon in the church. As He begins, it is so clear that Peter is speaking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Here is how he began his message:

“Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.[b] 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
    before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

The key to your church experiencing the first things is in your connection to the Holy Spirit. The prophet Joel promised the day would come (Joel 2:28-32)) when the Holy Spirit would come and reside with power in every true believer.

This happened on the Day of Pentecost. As Peter began the first sermon, he began here with the Holy Spirit. Here is what you need to know about the Holy Spirit:

  1. All who come to Jesus in surrender receive the Holy Spirit.

2. All who come come to Jesus in surrender are empowered with the gifts of the Holy Spirit:

a. The Holy Spirit empowers the church with leaders who prophecy (give forth the truth of God’s Word).

b. The Holy Spirit empowers the church with people who have understanding (vision) for our day.

c. The Holy Spirit empowers the church to have vision for their day and into the future.

It was obvious that Peter was preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit. Brothers and sisters, God has called you and I to experience the same firsts as did the first church. It is all about surrender.

I ask to join me in praying for understanding concerning this surrender. Tomorrow we will discover more about surrender.

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