ENGLISH VERSION - Bulletin Nº 52 September 12, 2021

ACTS 2.1-4
​"COATED WITH POWER TO PREACH"

by Rev. Renato Souza Prates

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            How should we equip ourselves for God's Mission?

            We know that the personal empowerment of each Christian, theological training and material resources are extremely important when we think about carrying out a missionary project. However, they will be useless if we do not have a fundamental tool, which is present in Acts 2 - The Power of the Holy Spirit upon us!

THE CONTEXT OF THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

            Through Peter's speech in Acts 2:14, we see that the outpouring of the Spirit was an ancient promise, recorded in Joel 2:28-29: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream, and your young men will see visions; even on the servants and on the maidservants will I pour out my Spirit in those days.”

            Acts 1:8 records Jesus' confirmation of this promise to his church of about 120 believers in Jerusalem: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the ends of the earth”.

            This promise would be fundamental for the church to fulfill its mission of preaching the gospel and represents not a progression in order of priority in preaching, but a simultaneous action that included at the same time "Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth." Notice the expression “so much” in the verse, indicating this simultaneity. That is, at the same time the church would preach in its hometown, without forgetting to preach to other peoples.

THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (1-2)

            Pentecost took place 10 days after Christ's ascension to heaven and was a great Jewish feast, which took place 50 days after Passover and gathered Jews scattered across different peoples in Jerusalem. This festival celebrated the harvest, where the first fruits of the wheat were dedicated to the Lord! (Num 28.26)

            Little did its participants know that the most important harvest of their stories would take place on that occasion...

            Pentecost also marked the day of the arrival of the law for Israel, it was called several times the "Day of the Law". In Acts 2, he will mark the "Day of the Holy Spirit."

            It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit was no stranger to the prophets of the Old Testament period and neither to the disciples of Jesus, who experienced various operations from Him, including the day of the Master's baptism (Matt. 3:13), when he descended from heaven in the form of dove. But at Pentecost, this descent would be entirely different, because He had now come to represent Christ and to empower His church once and for all for Mission!

 THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT ALWAYS COMES AT THE RIGHT TIME ABOUT US

            Pentecost was the right time. Why?

1) The church was gathered and ready! – We need to be united, in one body, to be clothed with power!

2) The Roman roads allowed access to several countries in the known world – Currently we have other accesses much smarter through technology! The Zoom platform, our social networks, whatsapp, website and youtube channel promote the spread of the Gospel on an unimaginable scale.

3) The city of Jerusalem was full of foreigners who, after receiving conversion, were missionaries in their own lands – Macaé is always an attraction for many foreigners, whether for work or tourism!

            Therefore, we urgently need the Spirit of God to always be poured out on us to fulfill his mission!

 

THE GIFT OF TONGUES (3-4)

            We've come to the most controversial part of Acts 2. It's possible you've already been waiting for this explanation! Will the pastor touch this point? Will he say that we need to speak in tongues to demonstrate that we are filled with the Spirit? Will he speak in tongues? All these questions are predictable and normal.

            We need to understand that there are some interpretations of the Acts 2 gift of tongues to consider:

1. The Pentecostal interpretation says that the gift of tongues is the “sine qua non” evidence that one has been baptized with the Holy Spirit. For them, this is a second blessing, which comes after conversion or along with it. In their interpretation, every believer must speak in tongues! What are the problems with this interpretation?

a) First, the bible does not guarantee that every believer will speak in tongues. When we read 1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14 we realize that there is a listing of different spiritual gifts, which God distributes as He wants. At no time does the Apostle Paul say that all will speak in tongues, but that some will speak in tongues and others will receive other gifts.

In fact, there are 12 quotes about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Gospels and Acts, and only 3 of these texts include the gift of tongues as a sign of this outpouring: Acts 2.4; 10.44-46 and 19.6. In the other 9 texts, the Spirit is promised or poured out, but there is no gift of tongues.

b) Second, in the Pentecostal interpretation there would be the so-called "tongue of angels", quoting I Corinthians 13, where Paul uses that of hyperbole, a deliberate exaggeration to say that love is greater than any gift. This is a poetic and not a literal text.

In the text of Acts 2, the languages ​​spoken by those 120 believers, were perfectly understood by the people who were in Jerusalem, who were surprised by the illiterate Galileans speaking in their tongues, without ever having studied! This indicates that in fact they were supernaturally enabled to preach in human languages, not to speak in foreign languages.

2. The other interpretation, which includes Reformed commentators, asserts that the gift of tongues did occur in the apostolic period, but ceased after this period, no longer being accessible to any believer after this age. This interpretation is called cessationist and it also has some problems:

a) If we admit that the gifts of tongues ceased because they were only useful in the apostolic period, then how would we understand verse 39 of Acts 2, which says that the Spirit was poured out not only on those 120 believers but on all who are far away? to as many as God our Lord will call?

b) Every time the apostle Paul speaks of the gifts, he links their cessation to the second coming of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 1:7 we read: "Wherefore ye lack no gift, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ."

c) Throughout history, starting with the church fathers Justin, Irenaeus and Tertullian, great theologians have always affirmed that the spiritual gifts were present in the church.

3. The last interpretation of the gift of tongues comes from the Continueists, who admit that the gifts have always continued in the life of the church, based on the contrary arguments presented against the cessationists.

            Currently, reformed commentators and preachers such as John Stott himself, considered the greatest exegete of the 20th century, Wayne Grudem, John Piper and the Rev. Hernandes Dias Lopes himself, affirm the continuity of the gifts in the life of the church, although Calvin is considered a cessationist in your comments.

            We must remember that while we agree with much of Calvin's thinking, it should not be considered inerrant or superior to Scripture. Nor are our symbols of faith inerrant. For example, Westminter's confession of faith asserts that the Beast of Apocalypse was the Pope, when in fact we are still awaiting his manifestation.

            While it is a question of continuity of gifts, we cannot forget the subjective experiences of each believer who has received spiritual gifts and uses them for the glory of God.

            With this, we are not teaching a disorderly Pentecostalism, where often the gifts are used more for human glory and confusion, than for the glory of God. We are just stating that the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts as He wants to each of us for a profitable end! He is sovereign!

            I believe that our position should be that of the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 14:18-19: “I thank God that I speak in other languages ​​more than all of you. However, I prefer to speak in church five words with my understanding, to instruct others, than to speak ten thousand words in another language”.

            According to Acts 2, the church was empowered by the Holy Spirit to announce the wonders of God through the languages ​​of those people who were in Jerusalem. They didn't speak in tongues because those people didn't understand Hebrew or Galilean. Tongues were a sign that God was calling his people to preach to all languages, races and peoples! What actually happened only from that moment on, starting in Jerusalem and reaching the entire world to the present day!

THE SPIRIT EMPOWERS YOUR CHURCH FOR INTERCULTURAL MISSION

            Just as those 120 believers were able to announce Christ to different nations, the Holy Spirit also wants to enable us to preach to all peoples!

            In this sense, Macaé has always been a good preaching opportunity, not only for Brazilians, but also for people from America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Oceania, who in recent decades have come to work in our city.

            A few churches have tried to hold services in English, realizing this need, but have left the project. I believe the Lord is calling our church to this intercultural challenge, which will take place very soon, with a service entirely in English, to reach and serve foreigners in Macaé, as throughout the world through our online broadcasts.

 

THE RESULT (5-41)

            As a result of the outpouring of the Spirit, 4 important facts happen:

1. Admiration – Many foreign visitors to Jerusalem marveled because those brothers were speaking in languages ​​they didn't know.

2. Mockery – As always, the scoffers said they were drunk.

3. Peter's Speech – Peter, filled with the Spirit, stands up and gives a speech, with the support of the 11 Apostles, including Matthias. This speech:

a) Rebuts criticism from the scars providers that believers would be drunk, at the third hour of the day, or 9 am.

b) Applies the event to the prophecy of Joel 2:28-29 about the outpouring of the Spirit.

c) Presents Jesus as the Messiah, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies, and as the Giver of the Holy Spirit.

4. Church growth - Nearly 3,000 people receive Jesus as their Savior and are baptized that day. Someone has said that Peter filled with the Holy Spirit preached only one sermon and 3,000 people were converted, but today, it takes 3,000 sermons for someone to convert!

 

THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT IS WHO PRODUCES RESULTS IN THE CHURCH'S MISSION

            As we said in the introduction to this sermon, the church can be very well equipped with financial resources, a good place of worship, trained and qualified people and a lot of initial disposition, but if it doesn't have the power of the Spirit on it, nothing will happen!

            But someone might say: We no longer have the Holy Spirit upon us, why do we still have to look for something?

            The word of the Lord is clear in Ephesians 5:18: “And do not be drunk with wine in which there is contention; but be filled with the Spirit”. The Greek word for “be filled” here indicates continued action, giving the idea that we must be constantly filled with the Spirit!

            That's why churches and believers who were once filled with the Spirit end up emptying themselves of Him by failing to seek Him!

            The Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 3:6 says: "I planted, Apollos watered, but the growth came from God."

CONCLUSION

            Today we hear the voice of God through Acts 2, which teaches us that:

            THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT ALWAYS COMES AT THE RIGHT TIME ABOUT US

            THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT EMPOWERS YOUR CHURCH FOR INTERCULTURAL MISSION

            THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT IS WHO PRODUCES RESULTS IN THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

From this Sunday on, you will enjoy a Revelation Series with Dr. Joel Beeke. It is amazing studies from which we can learn more about this instigating book.

Prayer Requests

Pandemic over

For the arrival of Rev. Renato and Juliana.

For the Council

By the Diaconal Board.

By Church Ministries.

For the sick.

For the unemployed.

For the Missions.

For the city of Macaé.

For the State of Rio.

For Brazil

For those far from the Gospel.

For the new believers.

For the lost.

Prayer Meeting

Every Friday, 6:00 am

Person in charge:

Presb. Anderson

Claudia

Lucilia

08/09 Dinazil de Souza Gomes Domingos

09/09 Bruno da Cruz Santos

11/09 Marcos Ramos Lucas

14/09 André Medeiros Armond

24/09 Claudia Gomes Pregione

26/09 Josemar Tadeu Fuligne Ferreira

27/09 Breno Ferreira Clen Pregione

During the pandemic period, the pastor of the church has been available for counselling and meetings in general, by phone and internet.

If you have a specific need, seek the pastor of the church to be properly attended to. You can do this in person or over the phone: (22) 98124-4283.

For now, home visits and face-to-face counselling are suspended, due to the pandemic.

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