Sermon Sample Excerpt:

"Pentecost: Happy Birthday, Church!"

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Sermon Excerpt:

“Pentecost: Happy Birthday, Church!”
a sermon based on Acts 2:1-21
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

Pentecost. What a glorious day, and yet….the average man or woman in the street could not tell you what it is.  I suspect that not even all church-going folks could tell you exactly what Pentecost is. Maybe that’s because the festival is also celebrated with a different meaning in the Jewish tradition; or perhaps it’s because “Holy Spirit” experiences puzzle us, or even scare us.

It’s a shame because one of the most poignant meaning of Pentecost is that it is the birthday of the church.  Perhaps that’s where we should start when we talk about Pentecost, we should get out the party hats and party whistles.....

 

Excerpt: Bible Study Section

In order for us to understand the remarkable new thing that Peter is describing here, we need to engage in a brief survey of the Old Testament:

Up to the original Christian Pentecost Day, the empowerment by God’s Spirit in the OT was limited to. . .

  • the people of Israel (though certain foreign rulers were used by God at times, such as Cyrus, king of Persia in the book of Ezra)
  • individual leaders (e.g Abraham, Moses, prophets, priests)
  • special dispensations and events (e.g. exodus, giving of the law, conquests, miracles, Day of Atonement, etc)

 

On the Day of Pentecost, all this changed. In accordance with the events as reported by Luke and the prophetic word by Joel, God’s Spirit was now becoming available to …

  • believers of all nationalities, ethnic backgrounds - Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia . . .” Acts2:9
  • all ages . . . .

 

No longer do we need the office of priest, or any other middle man (or woman).  We can directly commune with God through the power of the Holy Spirit poured out on all of us. We can approach the throne room of God personally and with boldness to confess our sin and receive mercy

 ...

One thing that became clear on the day of Pentecost is that “we, the people”  are the church of Christ. 

. . .

 

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