The Birth of the Church on Pentecost

The Birth of the Church on Pentecost
October 24, 2021

The prophet of the Lord, Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 31:31-34 delivers an new kind of covenant. God promised to Israel and the world that there would be a new law which would come into effect that would replace the old. It would be a new kind of covenant, not according to the kind of covenant He made with the fathers. It would be a a spiritual covenant, a spiritual law.

It would be a better covenant.

  • Hebrews 8:6-8

The Hebrews writer refers back to Jeremiah's prophecy. The Lord promised that He would establish a new covenant, a better covenant, one based on better promises and that the Lord’s house would be established.

  • Isaiah 2:1-4

He's talking about the days when the Lord's house would be established in the top of the mountain. He was talking about Jerusalem. All men, all nations would flow into it. This new covenant would include both Jews and Gentiles.

There is a lot of discussion in the religious world about when the church was established. Some say the church was established as an afterthought because God and Christ was surprised that the Jews didn't accept Him, and that they put the church in place as a stopgap measure. That doesn't go along with anything we know about God, the attributes of God is that He is omniscient, omnipotent. It was His plan to establish the church.

If you want to know about the church, you must look to Acts, and the beginning of the church is found in Acts 2. The best way tto learn about anything is to go back to the beginning.

Jesus spoke of a church that He would build.

  • Matthew 16:15-19

Jesus would build a church, not ON Peter, but on the confession that Peter made, that Jesus is the Son of God. The church was established on the truth that Jesus is the Son of God.

Peter would be given the keys to the kingdom. What does a key do? It unlocks a door, a  gate. Peter would unlock the gate to the kingdom. As we’ll see in a few moments.

When we talk about the church in prophecy and prospect, Jesus made it clear before His ascension that it would begin in Jerusalem.

  • Luke 24:44-49

Notice that Jesus said that the preaching of repentance would begin in Jerusalem and they should stay in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high.

  • Acts 1:4-9

This was said, about forty days after the resurrection. The apostles still at this time did not have a complete understanding of the spiritual nature of the Lord’s kingdom. They expected Him to go and sit on a throne somewhere. He basically said you are not ready to understand it, but soon you will.

Jesus gave them instruction on where they were to start bearing witness and where they were to spread the teachings. They were to start in Jerusalem, then move out to the rest of Judea and Samaria and then to the rest of the world.

This is the promise that Jesus gave to them. He told them to wait, and they would be endued with power from on high.

Let’s take a look at Acts 2 where we see the church at its inception on the first Pentecost after the ascension of Jesus.

What Happened On Pentecost?

We don't read about the church in existence prior to this. When the day of Pentecost began the church is not in existence, but it ends with the church coming with power.

  • The Day - Acts 2:1-4

What is the Day of Pentecost? What is the significance of the Day of Pentecost?

The word, Pentecost, means fiftieth, it was fifty days following the day following the Sabbath of the Passover Week. The Passover, we see is found in Leviticus 23:9-11 and the days of unleavened bread. Fifty days later comes the Feast of Firstfruits, otherwise known as the Pentecost, Leviticus 23:15-17.

Therefore, Pentecost marked the close of the harvest, which began by the offering of the first fruits unto God, and which was consummated by the presenting of the two loaves of bread, made from the first fruits of the harvest.

Other Bible names for Pentecost:

"Feast of weeks" (Deut. 16:10), because it came seven weeks after the Passover.

"Feast of harvest" (Ex. 23:16), because the harvest came during those seven weeks.

"Day of first fruits" (Num. 28:26), because of the offering peculiar to it.

The Feast of Harvest, or Pentecost was one of 3 feasts in which all of the males of Israel were to present themselves before God. It is estimated that there were perhaps a million people in Jerusalem on that day. When you think of the size of Jerusalem at that time, it was a relatively small city, and the temple comlex would have been even smaller. Yet, there would be a great multitude there on that day.

On the Pentecost, which we are now considering in this lesson, the first fruits of the gospel were produced.

  • Acts 2:5
  • Romans 1:16
  • James 1:18

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." — Acts 2:1

As we look here the Day of Pentecost was fully come. Who were the “they” mentioned here?

Scripturally and grammatically speaking “they” were only the apostles. The word,“they” is a pronoun and the refers to someone or something previously mentioned, the previous antecedent.

The nearest antecedent identifies the subject of the pronoun. The direct antecedent here is not found in Acts 1:15, but in Acts 1:26 “Mattias and… the eleven apostles...

The apostles is the, they. Remember this promise was made to Luke 24, was only to give this promise to the apostles. Some say “they” were the 120 people mentioned in Acts 1:15. Others say “they” was the entire multitude. But, scripturally and grammatically speaking, they were only to the apostles.

We see the Day of Pentecost was fully come. And, we see these great signs. The signs of the tongues of fire were upon their head, and they began to speak in other tongues.

  • The Audience - Acts 2:5-13

The multitude heard and saw what was happening and were both amazed and confounded. They weren't speaking in an unknown tongue, but in the languages of the people. They heard the apostles speaking in different languages, yet they understood them to be Galileans.

The multitude were Jews from all across the known world. Fifteen countries are mentioned. They were speaking in numerous and diverse languages. They were described as devout men. These were the Jews, the men, who had come to Jerusalem to worship. They had travelled great distances to worship God. They were devoted!

Yes, they were “devout men,” yet they were sinners. They had just taken part, less than two months prior, in the death of Jesus on the cross. Some of them could have been part of the mob yelling, crucify Him, crucify Him. Some of them could have been among those mocking Him upon the cross. They were devout men, yet they were wrong.

Hence, their hands were still red with the blood of the Son of God. Therefore, they represent subjects for pardon.Were they the only guilty ones? Were they the only ones with hands so stained?

NO! Folks, your hands and mine were also stained with the blood that Jesus shed on the cross! He died because of the sin of all men.

We see the preaching of the cross. The preaching of the gospel is to save sinners.

  • The Preacher - Acts 2:14

Who was this man Peter? He is the one who made the great confession, Matthew 16:18-19, thou are the Christ the Son of the Living God. He spoke by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

  • Jesus had given unto the apostles the word the father gave unto Him. John 17:8, 14
  • The Holy Spirit would remind them what Jesus had spoken. John 14:25-26
  • The Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth. John 16:12-13
  • The Holy Spirit would speak through them. Mark 13:11
  • The Holy Spirit gave him utterance. Acts 2:4

Peter is the principal spokesman here. I believe the other apostles were preaching the same message. But,the wirter of Acts follows the teaching of Peter, directly.

  • His skill and logic are seen in referring to their Jewish scriptures, the prophets. Acts 2:15-17

He thereby removed their prejudice. Thus, he gained their ears that he might win their souls.

  • The Sermon - Acts 2:16-36

Peter first answered their charge that they were drunk.

  • Acts 2:16-21
  • Joel 2:28-32

He answers them, that this is that which is prophesied by the prophet Joel.

They were not drunken, but filled they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Prophecy was being fulfilled before their very eyes.

The body of the sermon:

  • Acts 2:22-35

It was evident by the miracles, signs and wonders that He had done among them. This was not a secret.

He says this is according to God's will. It was the foreknowledge of God which determined that Christ should die on the cross.

  • The death of Christ - Acts 2:22-23

It was God's plan, before the first man was created, that He would send His Son to die on a cross for the sins of man.

  • The burial and resurrection of Christ - Acts 2:24, 30-32

The greatest proof that Jesus is the Son of God is His resurrection. Peter tells them, that the death, burial and resurrection, just 50 days prior, was according to God's counsel.

Peter offers them proof through prophecies.

  • Their own prophets - Acts 2:25-31

There is proof through eyewitnesses.

  • Eyewitnesses - Acts 2:32

He points out that they witnessed Him, the resurrected savior.

  • The exaltation of Christ. Acts 2:33

He's talking about the work of the Father, and what they are seeing. The signs, wonders, are for the exaltuation of Christ.

  • The kingship of Christ. Acts 2:36

The facts of the sermon are the death of Christ, Acts 2:22-23, the burial and resurrection of Christ, Acts 2:24, 30-32, the exaltation of Christ. Acts 2:33, and the kingship of Christ, Acts 2:36.

  • Psalms 16:8-11
  • Psalms 110:1

What Peter is doing is opening their understanding of what had transpired.

  • Acts 2:36

Step by step he approached the irresistible and irrefutable conclusion. He showed that Christ had fulfilled His promise of becoming a King and is now seated on His throne.

  • The Result - Acts 2:37-41

"Now when they heard this..." Here were men, who now believe that Jesus was the Messiah. They were conficed in their heart of sin. Their question – "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"

Peter's answer. Acts 2:38-41

They were convicted in their heart. They had heard the word, Romans 10:17. They heard Peter preach it. The word is the Spirit's power to convert.

Thus, the preaching of the gospel of Christ brought a penetrating and stinging conviction to their hearts. Their question – "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"

Were they believers at this point? Verse 36 says that they "…know assuredly…" But, Peter answers them, Acts 2:38

Where did he learn this? From the Great commission.

  • Matthew 28:19.
  • Luke 24:46-47

Did they do what they were told to do?

  • Acts 2:39-41

Thus, Jerusalem sinners were then forgiven. They were baptized fort he remission of their sins, and we see in verse 42, that they continued in the apostles doctrine.

  • The Aftermath - Acts 2:42-47

They continued to be steadfast. They continued in the apostles doctrine, in fellowship, in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

We see the church was established, it came on that day with power. Those who were there on the Day of Pentecost. They believed that Jesus was the Son of God, they were convinced and convicted in their heart by the sermon that Peter had preached.

They were told to repent, we're also told to confess that belief in Jesus as the Son of God, and they were told to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

If you have not become a Christian, you can become one just as they did on that day. They weren't a part of a denomination. No man made denominations existed on that day. They were united in one doctrine, the teachings of the apostles.

If we can assist you in coming to be obedient to Christ as those did on the Day of Pentecost, we invite you to contact us.

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