BY STEVE DUNN
The church I am a part of is in the midst of a sermon series on The Book of Acts called “The Church in Action.” We have been looking at the process by which God brought the church into existence and set about carrying out its mission. Historically speak of Pentecost as the “birthday” of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Acts 2 describes the event of birthing:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” – Acts 2.1-4
Those disciples went from that upper room into the streets of Jerusalem to bear witness to their new reality. By verse 41 we read the result: “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
This is not the place to argue the finer theological points of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, but it IS the place to make these simple observations.
The church was born when it was filled with the Holy Spirit. They went from ordinary men and women who had spent time with Jesus, still defined by their human limitations and uncertain ambitions. They became something supernatural or perhaps better, ordinary people who began to do extraordinary things because they were filled with the supernatural Holy Spirit of God.
The church received power. They now possessed the means to embrace the supernatural mission of Jesus Christ.
Later in chapter 2 we read what happened when they moved beyond the miracle of the Birth of the Church.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2.42-47
The church was filled with people who were filled. In other words, the pews (if they had had them) were neither empty nor filled with empty people. The church was overflowing with people filled with the Spirit of God now on mission with Jesus.
What are your pews filled with?
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