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Utterly Amazed (Acts 2:1-41)

Notes & Transcripts

Utterly Amazed                                                                                       May 31, 2009

Acts 2:1-41                                                                          

Pastor Chet Klope

Introduction: Susan Boyle Video “Britain’s Got Talent”

 

Video

The first time I saw this video I was overwhelmed

          I have always been a fan of Les Miserables

                    I have mentioned that before

                    I find the Music and the Music moving

                              The Book is an even more powerful story of faith

But this video…its more than the well sung song

          It is the whole story around it

Forget what Simon Cowell said…

          “No one expected to hear what they heard”…NO ONE

This Frumpy woman doesn’t look anything like an American Idol

          But the voice

          People were shocked

          People were utterly amazed

I have watched this video…perhaps a dozen times

          It still has impact on me

                    There is something about it that captures me

                              I am over whelmed by it

No One Expected…

          Something so special to come out of her mouth

          She was written off, before she started

Yet when they heard her…that all changed

          People were listening

          People were paying attention

                    They were “Utterly Amazed”


(Sermon Title Slide)

Watching Susan Boyle sing may not be a perfect analogy, but today I would like to talk about something that was most definitely

“Utterly Amazing”

 

Jewish People…gathering for the festival of Pentecost

          A celebration of the Barley harvest

Came expecting one thing

          Were suddenly...Utterly Amazed by something else

I would like us to open the Bible today and see what that was

Acts 2:1-41 (pew Rack 1168)

Prayer

As we prepare to do that…Would you please join me in prayer

Lord God.  Amaze us today.  Amaze us with both the power and practicality of your Word to us, the Bible.  Holy Spirit, prepare our hearts and minds to be amazed and responsive to what you reveal to us today. 

Lord, guide my words that they would be completely appropriate for what we need to hear today.  And may you be exalted in all we do and think.  AMEN

This passage of scripture is very significant to Christians

          Some refer to it as the birth of the Church

                    That is the birth of the community of followers of Christ

          Many books have been written about this passage

                    And certainly it implications for us

Today I would like us to look at

Just a couple aspects of this powerful account

                    Of this Utterly Amazing account


First, I would like to look at How Amazed People

          were by the Spectacle of the day

1. Amazed By The Spectacle

The scripture doesn’t give us a lot of detail about what actually went on here

What We Know & What We Don’t Know

V1     “All Together”-  not sure how many

          Maybe the 120 mentioned in Acts 1:15

V2     “House”- big or small

Who owned it?

          “Sound like a Violent Wind”

                    We know what it sounded like…but what did it look like?

                    Were there physical things going on in the room?

                              Shaking, etc.

V3     “Tongues of Fire”

Fire has in the past been connected with a visitation from God

Moses and the burning bush

          The Pillar of Fire that guided Israel in the wilderness

          It’s possible that these individual tongues of fire

                    Whatever they looked like

          Were highlighting the new work God was doing

                    Placing His Spirit into individuals

                              and guiding them individually

But whatever this phenomenon…

          Something significant happened

          V4     The people in this house were filled with the Holy Spirit

                    And began speaking in “other tongues”

                              “As the spirit enabled them.”

Now…While all this is going on inside this house

          What ever its size, ownership or location

It is clear that its impact was intended for far more people

V-5 Tells us there were Jews from all over in Jerusalem for Pentecost

          And even though they were not in the house

                    They also heard the sounds coming from this house.

Again, we don’t know exactly what it sounded like…

          but whatever it was people heard it…

                   

This was not some quiet little…

                               “I feel like God is saying something to me”

                                        kind of moment

 

V-6  “When they heard this sound…”

          Scripture tells us A Crowd Formed…people started gathering

                    Taking it all in…and…

                              They were bewildered or confounded

                    They had so many thoughts running through their heads

                              They can make any sense out of it

The Jewish people, from various backgrounds and languages

          Were hearing things said in their own language

Illustration: Young Asian Man with an Accent 

          I have gotten so use to our ethnic diversity in America

          I was surprise one day by a heavy Chinese Accent on a young man

The people were surprised to hear their own language.

V-7  The were “Utterly Amazed”

          A literal translation of the Greek scriptures would be

                    They were “Amazed and Astonished”

This same sense of Amazement is found in…

Luke 2:47             Jesus 12 years old talking with the teachers in the temple

Mark 6: 51            Jesus Walks on Water

                              Steps into the boat and the wind died down

Genesis 43:33     Joseph’s Brothers

                              Arranged in birth order

In this Case…

The Utter Amazement was based on a very diverse group of people

          Observing simple Galilean men

                    Speaking a variety of languages

V 9-11 Gives us a long list of the geographic regions

          That these Jewish pilgrims, came from

         

          North, south, east and west

                    Were hearing declarations of the wonders of God

                              In their own language

 

V-12 tells us that the more they thought about it

          The more Amazed and Dumbfounded they got

          “What does this mean?”

          “How are they doing this?  There has to be a trick.”

V-13 “They have had too much wine”

          I don’t know about you…

          But my experience is that people’s language ability

                    gets worse when they have had too much to drink…not better

                             

                    Alcohol tends to cause both content and pronunciation to deteriorate

                   

          The people saying this were grasping for straws

As a side note:  I think is interesting

          that the Bible does not exclude dissenting opinion

                    It is not spiritual propogama document

                              But a rather a historically accurate spiritual guide

I want to tell you…This sense of Utter Amazement that is recorded here

          Is not something unique

                    This is what happens when the Holy Spirit shows up

          People are amazed by the Spectacle

                    They may not fully understand it…

                              but they know something is going on

But the Holy Spirit never wants to leave you simply

          Amazed at the spectacle

                    There is always something deeper

                              He is leading you to

In this case it led to Peter and a message

2. Amazed By The Message

V 14-21  “Listen Up Everybody”

First…We are not drunk

                    As faithful Jews they would not be consuming any wine

                              Until much later in the day

          Plus…I think it will become complete obvious

                    As Peter speaks to them that he is not drunk

 

Then…He Goes on to tell them “This is a God thing!!!”

He recites a passage of Scripture from

          the Old Testament Book of Joel  (Chapter 2)

He is tell everyone listening…This was to be expected…and that…

          God’s Holy Spirit has come upon His people

          That is the origin of all you are seeing and hearing today.

 

The First Evangelistic Sermon

 

Then…Having gotten their attention

          Peter presides over…and preaches at

                    The first Evangelistic Sermon of the Christ Church

Having been Utterly Amazed by what they have seen and heard

          They are now going to become Utterly Amazed

                    By the message Peter will deliver

To this Jewish audience

Peter lays out a brief…but compelling argument

          For Christ’s being the promised Messiah

                    In whom they should trust.

Earthly Ministry (V22-24)

He describes the basic facts of Christ earthly ministry        

          Validated by God- Miracles, Wonders and signs

          His God ordained, persecution, trial and death

          His resurrection from the dead

Prophetic Prediction  (25-32)

Peter directs his Jewish listeners to the very place they should go

          To validate all that he is say…to their Holy Scriptures

                    What in our Bibles we call the Old Testament

He references David, the great king of Israel, and a Prophet

          He quotes David’s prophecy…his expectation of the Messiah, Jesus

          David did not live physically long enough to see Messiah come

                    But he lived under the promise it would come

                              And he is counted among the faithful because of that

Promised Holy Spirit (33-35)

And Peter spoke of the Holy Spirit’s coming and power

          Just as David had prophesied

Just as the Miracles of Jesus validated his message

          On this date the Holy Spirit’s presence validate Peter’s message

And like every good sermon…there is a punch line

Acts 2:36
Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.

And people hearing this…got the message…loud and clear!!!

Look what it says…

V 37-39

Acts 2:37-39
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

 

 

V 40  Says that he communicated other things as well…

          But what we have recorded in this passage are the key things

And the people responded

          3,000 people accepted the message

                    And were baptized

Taking It Home

In our culture today…It is very easy to be Amazed by things.

          Whether it is the latest movie special effect

          Some dare devil or athletic feat

          Astronauts repairing the Hubble Telescope

          Or even an 8th grade girl’s ability to spell words we can’t even pronounce

But one of the things we have come to know for sure is that

          Our excitement over the The Amazing…even the Utterly Amazing

                    Eventually goes away

Susan Boyle

As much as I love watching Susan Boyle

          Eventually…I will stop

          Yes, I expect I will remember for a while

          But the reality is that her 15 minutes of fame will come to an end

She may go on to do other great things…

          Maybe she will have her dream of being a professional singer

                    But she will likely never Amaze me the way she did

When is the last time you’ve been Utterly Amazed?

When was the last time you were Utterly Amazed by something God did?

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