STUDY NOTES

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES – A MESSAGE SERIES AT NEW CITY CHURCH (SPRING 2016)

The following content is based on the message “Pentecost” spoken on 02/07/16  by Brian Kruckenberg at New City Church in Phoenix, AZ.  The following is not meant to be a full synopsis of the message but rather a brief look at the main ideas.  To use this Study Guide effectively you must listen to the message found at  http://newcityphx.com/sermons/.

Leaders using these Study Notes for group study and reflection should read the Biblical text thoroughly before beginning, using this resource as assistance and not relying solely on this material for insight. We encourage all leaders to pray and ask the Spirit for revelation as they lead their respective communities.

THE SCRIPTURE:

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  5Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.

7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others mocking said, “They are just drunk.”

14But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

17“ ‘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

THE BEGINNING

Pentecost was a Festival of the Harvest  that Jews celebrated fifty days after the Passover.  (LEV. 23:15–22).  People from “every nation” under heaven were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate and give thanks to God.  Little did they know that God would use this gathering as His starting place for something brand new: the giving of the Holy Spirit to dwell in His people.

The Pentecost unleashes a New Ministry and Movement. 

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

Jesus’ followers were told to stay in Jerusalem.  Jesus promised He would send a helper and advocate to them and that they would become powerful witnesses for God.  In Acts 1:14 you see that the  people were gathered together and anticipating what God would do. 

What are you expecting God to do in your life?

While the coming of the Holy Spirit seems unbelievable to us, just imagine what it was like for them?  We learn in this passage the people were  “bewildered,” “amazed,” and “astonished.” This wasn’t normal for them either. 

Are you willing for God to do something completely out of your normal expectation?  Do you believe that God would go to supernatural lengths to reach people with His message?

THE CONSUMING FIRE

Came in Fire… In Genesis and Exodus we see that God presents Himself as an all-consuming fire.  He appeared to Moses in the burning bush; He guided the people of Israel by a pillar of fire; He sent Moses the Ten Commandments by sending fired to the mountain; And, Jesus promised that we’d be “baptized with fire.” 

Fire is Powerful, Purifying, Beautiful, and Dangerous.

Fire reminds us that the closer we get to God the more refining and dangerous it is.  We want the comfortable warmth of God but not purifying furnace.  God refines us and God can call us to “dangerous” things.  Not only that, He makes us dangerous.

Why don’t people like to get  THAT close to God?

Are you willing to get close enough to God to let Him reveal your sin and refine you? 

The last quality we see in the fire of God is that it never runs out. The burning bush burned and burned, but it didn’t extinguish.  This is the power of God in us!

The Pentecost means that the fire of God lives in you and therefore you cannot be extinguished.

TONGUES OF FIRE

In this passage we see that God sent “tongues as of fire” to enable people to speak languages they couldn’t otherwise speak so that all people hearing the message could do so in their native tongues.  It would be like you speaking French but having never so much as ventured into a French restaurant, let alone walked the streets of Paris. God is showing His heart for all people when He sends these tongues of fire.

Pentecost shows God’s desire for His message to be delivered to everyone, everywhere. 

Not only does Pentecost illustrate that God desires everyone to hear the message of Jesus, but it also shows that God doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done.  He can still chose to use you powerfully in His kingdom. The Apostle Peter was a complete coward before he received the Holy Spirt.  He denied that he even knew Jesus. But, upon receiving the Holy Spirit he becomes Billy Graham and preaches about Jesus to thousands!

The Pentecost shows that not only is the message of God for everyone, God will use anyone and everyone to spread His message. 

Have you every thought that someone in your life is “too far gone” and out of reach of the Gospel?  How does the Pentecost give you hope?

Do you think you have what it takes to be a “prophet” for God?  If not, what is it that makes you not believe it when the passage says that “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy”?

ARE THEY DRUNK? 

This passage says that everyone was amazed, but apparently not everyone could hear what was really being said because some accused those who were speaking in other tongues as being drunk.  Either they didn’t understand it or they didn’t want to believe it, but for whatever reason they didn’t receive the message.  Peter assures them that since it was only 9 am that they weren’t drunk! (Maybe later they would be? :))

But, even today people think Christians are crazy for thinking about marriage they way we do. People think our views on relationships and sex are out of touch and out of date.  In other words, people think we Christians are “drunk!”

But, the Bible teaches us that:

18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  1 CORINTHIANS 1:18

The fact is not everyone will receive the message, but it is our jobs to continue to teach the truth about who Jesus is and the mighty works that He has done.

Have you every thought that someone in your life is “too far gone” and out of reach of the Gospel?  How does the Pentecost give you hope?