In the story of the early church in the book of Acts we see events unfold that lead to change and growth among Christ followers.
Pastor Troy Murphy started a sermon series entitled “And Then What Happened” by examining Acts 1 & 2.
Pentecost was significant in the early church because Christ followers were empowered by the Holy Spirit. Troy examined what the Holy Spirit’s power can do in and through us. Here are key points from his message on Sunday, June 7:
*The Holy Spirit’s power reaches. In the early church Christ followers spread the good news in Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The gospel reaches past boundaries. It also speaks right where we are today. It applies to the culture we are in. We receive power from the Holy Spirit to reach across lines we would not normally cross.
*The Holy Spirit’s power unites. Christ followers came together, prayed together, looked out for one another. Their unity wasn’t around a cause, but rather around Christ. It wasn’t around a campaign, it was around Jesus. Change doesn’t happen due to organizations but instead due to organisms, which is all of us.
*The power of the Holy Spirit includes. There were no privileged people. Self righteousness had no place in the early church. God loves all people. God embraces diversity.
*The power of the Holy Spirit transforms. This change we experience happens in your mind, heart and strength. The Holy Spirit shifts how you think. If left to our own devices, we tend to seek content and knowledge that supports what we believe. The Spirit enables us to change the way we see and think in spite of our background. That truth sinks into our heart and compels us to action.
A.W. Tozer said: "Religion can reform a person’s life, but it can never transform him. Only the Holy Spirit can transform."
*The people in the early church devoted themselves to fellowship with one another (Acts 2:42). We need each other. We need to share our life stories, break bread together and be in each other’s lives, no matter how messy or imperfect things are.
*The power of the Holy Spirit helps you respond to God’s word. We should not just be hearers of God’s word, but doers (James 1: 22-25). Dr. J. Vernon McGee said this about the bible: "Know it in your head, stow it in your heart, show it in your life, sow it in the world."
*In what way is the Holy Spirit changing and transforming you?
*What strategy do you use to ensure you are a doer of God’s word, not just a hearer?
*What difficult boundary is God calling you to cross with the help of the Holy Spirit?