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Showing posts from February, 2021

First Sermon

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Peter explained what God had accomplished in Jesus to a confused crowd on the Day of Pentecost, stressing fulfillment in Jesus  –  Acts 2:16-36 .  On the Day of Pentecost, the Spirit of God descended on the assembly of disciples accompanied by audible and visual manifestations. As they were “ filled with the Spirit ,” they all began to “ speak in other tongues ,” which caused consternation among many Jewish pilgrims who witnessed the event - [ Photo by Daniel Bosse on Unsplash ].

Pentecost and the Last Days

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The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost marked the start of the “last days.”   The application of the prophecy from  Joel  in the book of  Acts  links the initial outpouring of the Spirit to the commencement of the “ last days .” In  Acts , the activity of the Spirit is programmatic and essential for understanding the rapid spread of the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome, indeed, from the Day of Pentecost until the arrival of Jesus at the end of the age - [ Mountain Stream - Photo by  Ryan Christodoulou  on  Unsplash ].

What Does This Mean?

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The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost caused a great commotion and much consternation in Jerusalem .  In the book of  Acts , the activity of the Spirit is essential for the life of the church, from its inception on the Day of Pentecost until the return of Jesus at the end of the age. The church was inaugurated by the Spirit in Jerusalem, then spread quickly from Judea to Samaria, Syria, Asia Minor, Greece, and finally, to the city of Rome at the center of the empire - [ Photo by  Ezra Jeffrey-Comeau  on Unsplash ].

When Pentecost Arrived

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On the day of Pentecost, the long-anticipated time of fulfillment arrived when Jesus bestowed the Spirit on his church  –  Acts 2:1-4 .  The second chapter of  Acts  stresses  fulfillment , the things foreshadowed in the Hebrew scriptures were actualized when the disciples were “ filled with the Spirit ,” beginning with the Feast of Pentecost. The arrival of the Spirit was the key event that marked the inauguration of the Church and the age of the Spirit, and set the stage for the proclamation of the gospel - [ Photo by Edward Koorey on Unsplash ].

Between Law and Spirit

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Between the ascension and the gift of the Spirit, the apostles tarried in prayer and appointed Matthias to complete their number  -  Acts 1:12-26 .  After the ascension, the apostles returned to Jerusalem to wait for the “ promise of the Father ,” the gift of the Spirit. In the interim, they appointed Matthias to the apostolic office held previously by Judas. As the representatives of the new people of God, they needed twelve representatives to demonstrate continuity with the covenant established by Yahweh - [ Photo by  ChloĆ© Lam  on Unsplash ].

Tarry in Jerusalem

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Jesus commanded his disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the Spirit, empowering them as witnesses  -  Acts 1:1-11 .  The  book of Acts  begins in Jerusalem, the heart of the Jewish nation, with the ascension of Jesus and the outpouring of the Spirit. It concludes with Paul preaching the gospel in Rome, the heart of the world empire. Following his resurrection, Jesus ascended to reign over all “ at the right hand of God ,” whence he bestowed the gift of the Spirit on his church - [ Photo by Sander Crombach on Unsplash ].

Deceivers - Sign of the Last Days

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SYNOPSIS   -   The presence of false teachers in the church provides a clear sign that we are in the period known as the “last days”   -   2 John 7-8 .  The second and third letters of John dealt with a real and present danger to the churches of John - False teachers had risen from within these congregations and were causing dissension among some members. Among other things, the deceivers denied the real humanity of Jesus. The Apostle labeled them “ deceivers ” and “ antichrists .” In the process, John provided his understanding of just what an “ antichrist ” is: - [ Photo by  Julia Joppien  on Unsplash ]