Sunday Messages

Acts 1:4-2:39 by Pastor Dan Walker
Do you want more of God's power in your life? In this message, we look at the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, that Jesus began to pour out on the Day of Pentecost. Learn how you can be Spirit baptized and receive the power of the Spirit in your life.
Duration:32 mins 16 secs

Today, we complete our series Jesus the Messiah. Let’s remember that Messiah means Anointed One in the original languages. Jesus was anointed with the fullness of the Holy Spirit at His water baptism. When the power of the Holy Spirit came on Him, He began His public ministry. As Jesus needed the power of the Spirit for His ministry, so we need that same power for our lives. Today, we’re going to talk about how we can live in the power of the Spirit on a daily basis. 

My message today is entitled “Resurrected Lord.” The last couple of weeks in this series, we’ve talked about Jesus suffering and death on the cross that we might be forgiven. If you missed any of the messages, you can watch the videos on our website. The wonderful fact that we’re going to talk about today is that Jesus did not stay dead. He rose from the grave and is alive forever more. After His resurrection, Jesus met with His disciples and gave them instructions.

Acts 1:4-5 (ESV) … he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Jesus had already given His disciples the Great Commission, to make disciples of all nations. Now, He commands them to not start on that command because they were not prepared. They needed to wait for the promise of the Father, which He had told them about before. The promise of the Father was to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Although the disciples were born again and had the Spirit living inside, they had not experienced Spirit baptism. Why did they have to wait? What was the purpose of Spirit baptism?

Acts 1:8 (ESV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The purpose of Spirit baptism was to receive supernatural power to be His witnesses and carry out the Great Commission. Without it they could never fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. As we’ll see today, the commands of Jesus to His disciples were not just for the apostles, but for every believer. So, the apostles and many other believers obeyed Jesus and waited for the Holy Spirit. They didn’t just wait, they prayed together asking God for His Spirit, as Jesus had previously instructed them. Then the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost as described in Acts 2

Acts 2:4 (ESV) And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

All one hundred and twenty that were praying together were baptized with the Holy Spirit. The outward evidence was that the Holy Spirit gave them the ability to speak in other tongues. To speak in other tongues is to speak in a language that you have never learned. We don’t have time today to explain the great importance of speaking in tongues. However, suffice it to say that speaking in tongues releases the power of the Holy Spirit into a person’s life. Tongues are a prayer language that is meant to be used daily for every believer. Peter then preached a sermon explaining what had just happened and inviting the listeners to experience the same thing.

Acts 2:17 (ESV) “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;

Peter quotes from the prophet Joel to explain Spirit baptism. Spirit baptism had never happened before, it had been saved by God for the last days. The last days are time between the resurrection of Jesus until His second coming. The outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost was not a one-time occurrence. God is and will continue to pour out the Spirit until Jesus returns again.

Today, we’re going to look more closely at Peter’s anointed message about Jesus’ resurrection. His message has great implications for us today. We’re going to learn how to be followers of Jesus and how to be Jesus’ witnesses in the power of the Spirit. So, let’s get started with the importance of …

Talk about Jesus’ resurrection

Acts 2:22 (ESV) “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—

In this verse, Peter summarizes Jesus’ entire ministry over three years. He says that God did might works, wonders and signs through Jesus. These supernatural works of the Holy Spirit verified that God was with Him. Jesus had the power of the Spirit working through Him and now His followers were receiving this same power. Yet, everyone did not believe in Jesus, despite the supernatural power He displayed.

Acts 2:23 (ESV) this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Jesus’ death on the cross was not a mistake, was not a surprise to God or Jesus. God had a definite plan for Jesus to follow and He knew what was going to happen. Jesus had to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, so that we could be forgiven. The good news is that …

Acts 2:24 (ESV) God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

Jesus defeated the greatest enemy, death, by rising from the dead. When Jesus rose from the dead, He rose never to die again. The human body that Jesus had was transformed into a glorified body. You see, Jesus is still fully human and fully divine. But now His body is like the body we will have when we are resurrected. In a few minutes, we’re going to see what the resurrection of Jesus had to do with the power of the Spirit. But first, let’s discuss why it’s so important to talk about Jesus’ resurrection.

What we’re going to see today in Peter’s message in Acts 2 is the importance of the resurrection. Without the resurrection, Jesus’ death would have accomplished nothing. Without the resurrection, we would have no hope for the future. Without the resurrection, there would be no Christianity. In fact, the Bible teaches that you must believe in the resurrection in order to be saved. If the resurrection is not true, then Jesus is not alive and our faith would be in vain.

But the good news is that Jesus did rise from the dead. The early church talked about the resurrection a lot in their witnessing. And so should we. The resurrection is at the core of who Jesus is. God desires for us to talk to people about the resurrection of Jesus. We have the evidence of the New Testament record and the changed lives of millions of people down through the centuries. Yet, it takes faith to believe in something that is a once in history occurrence. So, let’s pray for our lost loved ones and neighbors that they would believe in the resurrected Jesus and commit their lives to Him.

Share prophecies about Jesus

Acts 2:27 (ESV) For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.

In this verse, Peter quotes a verse from Psalm 16:10 written by David. Was David talking about Himself?

Acts 2:29 (ESV) “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

Peter, says, no David was obviously not talking about himself. He died and was buried. Who was David talking about?

Acts 2:30 (ESV) Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne,

God had promised David that one of his descendants would be king forever. So, David, as a prophet, was speaking of one of his descendants who would not remain dead in Hades, the place of the dead. Peter clearly indicates what David saw in …

Acts 2:31 (ESV) he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.

A thousand years before Jesus was born, King David prophesied about the resurrection of Christ, the Messiah. Why did God direct the prophets to write prophesies like these about the Messiah?

The reason that Peter talks about these prophesies is that they show us that Jesus indeed was the Messiah. Old Testament prophesies about Jesus confirm to us the supernatural nature of the Bible. There is no way that hundreds of prophesies about the Messiah were randomly fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Not only does an understanding of these prophesies build our faith, it helps us in witnessing to unbelievers.

One of the biggest impediments to witnessing today is that most people have little understanding of the Bible. And many do not believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. As we share prophesies about Jesus, we are telling others about Him and helping them trust the truth of God’s Word. Share prophesies about Jesus.

Receive the promise of the Spirit

Acts 2:32 (ESV) This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.

Peter was an eyewitness of the resurrected Jesus, as we the other apostles. They saw Jesus die on the cross and three days later, they saw Him alive. They touched Him, they listened to Him, they ate with Him and saw Him ascend into heaven.

Acts 2:33 (ESV) Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.

Now we’re getting to the heart of Peter’s message. Jesus ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. As the resurrected Lord, He received from God the Father, the Spirit of promise. And Jesus then poured out the Spirit upon all the believers praying for him. This is therefore the explanation of what happened on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:36 (ESV) Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Jesus, who had been crucified, was risen and was now both Christ, the Anointed One and Lord of Lords. The outpouring of the Spirit was evidence that Jesus was reigning in heaven. The people listening to Peter were convicted by the Holy Spirit of their sin. It was their sins and our sins that were the cause of Jesus’ crucifixion. They cried out to Peter, What shall we do?

Acts 2:38 (ESV) And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In this key verse of the book of Acts, indeed of the whole New Testament, Peter gives instructions on the three keys to being a follower of Jesus. First of all is to repent, to turn away from your sins and put your faith in Jesus. Secondly, believers are to water baptized as Jesus commanded. Thirdly, believers are to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, here called receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.

We’ve already seen that Spirit baptism was not just for the apostles, as many others were Spirit baptized in the initial outpouring. Now, we see that the promise of the Father, Spirit baptism was for all of the thousands listening to Peter’s message. Finally, Peter makes it clear that Spirit baptism was for every believer of all time.

Acts 2:39 (ESV) For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

The promise of the Father was for the children of the people gathered. And is for everyone everywhere that God calls to be a believer. So, the Spirit baptism that Jesus began to pour out on the day of Pentecost is still being poured out upon hearts who will receive it today. Jesus speaks of the gift of the Holy Spirit as being a good gift that God the Father gives to everyone who asks in Luke 11:13. If you have not yet received the gift of the promise of the Spirit, God invites you to receive it today.

Let’s talk some more about what Spirit baptism is all about. Every believer has the Holy Spirit living inside of them since they believed. Spirit baptism is a separate experience after salvation, where the power of the Spirit comes upon you. When you’re Spirit baptized, you speak in tongues, a language you’ve never learned.

What is speaking in tongues all about? When you speak in tongues, the Holy Spirit is praying through you a perfect prayer according to God’s will. We know that when we pray in God’s will, God always answers those prayers. As you pray in tongues, the power of the Spirit in your life increases as more prayers are answered. As you pray in the Spirit, God enables you to operate in supernatural gifts, such as the gift of healing or prophecy or many others.

Let me tell you my story about Spirit baptism. My father was a Baptist pastor, so I was raised in the Baptist church. I was saved and water baptized at a young age, so we Baptists two out of the three experiences in Acts 2:38 right. For me, Spirit baptism and speaking in tongues was just something that happened 2000 years ago, but wasn’t for us anymore.

In college, I led a small group Bible study with a young lady named Michelle. One spring break, Michelle visited some friends in Florida and when she came back she was different. She just seemed to bubbling over with joy and Jesus, witnessing to everyone. I asked her what had happened on her trip. She said that she had gone to a Spirit-filled church, had been baptized in the Spirit and now spoke in tongues. I was speechless at what had happened to a nice Baptist girl. Not only we Baptists not believe this was for today, but were pretty sure the Devil had something to do with it. Yet, everything that had happened to her was good in every way.

So, as a good Baptist, I decided to see what the Bible had to say about it. I began to study the book of Acts on my own and read it multiple times. I saw accounts of Spirit baptism happening throughout the book, also accompanied by speaking in tongues. I read about the promises of God that Spirit baptism was for everyone throughout the last days. I read how the apostles made sure that everyone who believed was both water and Spirit baptized. I discovered that in the rest of the New Testament after Acts, all the writers assumed that every believer was water and Spirit baptized.

So, one day, I asked Michele to pray for me, as I was going to ask Jesus to baptize me in the Spirit. At this point, I was convinced from God’s Word, that Spirit baptism was for today and was for me. I went into my room alone and began to pray in English. I simply asked God to baptize my in the Holy Spirit. Immediately, I sensed the presence of the Spirit come upon me and as I opened my mouth, I began to speak sounds that were not English. I began to cry as I sensed I was being immersed in the Holy Spirit.

My life changed forever from that point forward. I shared with my Pastor Dad and he was Spirit baptized, along with my mother, two sisters and many people in our Baptist church. Spirit baptism is truly for every believer, no matter your age or background. Everyone of our seven children has been Spirit baptized.

The truth about Spirit baptism was rediscovered in Topeka, Kansas in 1901. Since that time, the number of Spirit-baptized believers is now 640 million and growing at a rate of four times that of Christianity overall and the world’s population. Life Church is part of the Assemblies of God, the largest Spirit-filled denomination in the world with 70 million members.

Let me tell you another story from this past week and the importance of Spirit baptism. I have a long-time friend, Pastor Joel Oliver, an Assembly of God pastor in the city. A couple of months ago, he had a serious stroke. The stroke did not affect him physically, but it affected his speech. He was only been able to say a couple of words since then. We believe that he can understand everything others are saying, but he just can’t communicate back by speaking.

Last week, another pastor was talking to him and could tell Joel was getting frustrated because he couldn’t talk back. Then he saw Joel do an amazing thing. He put his head in his hands and began to pray aloud in tongues like he’d always done before. What a comfort for Pastor Joel to know that even though he could no longer pray in English, he could pray God’s perfect will in the Spirit. That incident illustrates that praying in tongues is an activity of the Spirit that bypasses our normal speech functions in the brain. At the end of the service, we’re going to pray that God would do a miracle for Pastor Joel and bring back normal speech for him.

Today, if you’re a believer and you’ve never been baptized in the Spirit, I encourage you to seek God for it. The believers in the upper room sought God for a time before the Spirit came. Perhaps you’ve asked God in the past and nothing happened. Don’t give up, continue seeking. Build your faith, study God’s Word, especially the book of Acts. There is a wonderful book on the Guest Table called Power for Life. It is written by an Assembly of God pastor and is a great explanation of Spirit baptism. A number of people in our church have received Spirit baptism after reading the book.

If you have been Spirit baptized in the past, don’t let the Spirit’s gift lie dormant. Along with reading your Bible and praying in English, pray in the Spirit every day. The more that you do, the more that the power of Spirit can work in and through your life.

Spirit baptism is a wonderful gift, the promise of the Father for every believer. We all need the power of the Spirit in order to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. Let’s continue to seek Him for more of His Spirit in our lives and church in 2021.