Text: Acts 2:1-4
Title: "Where is the Power?"
Subject: The Holy Spirit in the Church
Intro: The Bible says, "And when the religious rulers had set the
disciples in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye
done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, by the
Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from
the dead." Acts 4:7-10
My contention tonight is that the Baptist movement in general, and this
church in particular are not experiencing all that God wants to accomplish
with us because we do not understand the importance of being filled with the
Holy Spirit when we assemble in church. It is not enough that we meet here
3 times a week. It is not enough that the Bible is preached and taught
here. It is not enough that the music is Christ honoring. It is not enough
that we take up offerings for the ministry and to support missions. It is
not enough that things are done decently and in order. It is not enough
that we have a S.S., a Christian School, a tract society, a bus ministry,
and a seniors’ ministry, etc., etc. It is not enough that we have a staff,
and that we have other men, women, and teens who are faithful to their
church duties. It is not enough that we go through the religious motions
of our services, if the power of the Holy Spirit is not set free in this
place! And this can only come about by the assembling of Spirit-filled
believers who realize they have a greater responsibility than to just be
here, but have a responsibility to be here filled to the brim with the Holy
"By what POWER have ye done this?"
People often pray for speakers, "Lord fill him with the Holy Spirit," but by
then it is too late for the speaker, and it is just as important for the
listeners to be filled!! If I am Spirit-filled and you are not, this
message is going to fall on cold hearts. If you are Spirit-filled and I am
not, this preaching is going to come from a cold heart. All of us, everyone
of us, everybody here, each of us, speaker and listener alike, must be
filled with the Spirit of God when we assemble in church if we are going to
see supernatural things happen!
"By what POWER have ye done this?"
Wouldn't you like to be a part of a church, not with the best program, but
where the supernatural, superintending power of God was the norm? Where
folks are getting saved! Where lives are being changed, not for a moment,
but for good. Where young people, middle-aged people, and older people are
surrendering to serve God in some ministry, here or abroad. Where the old
songs of Zion bring tears to the eyes and a lump to the throat. Where
Christ-centered preaching draws our eyes to the Scriptures, our hearts to
the Saviour, and brings joy to our souls. Where visitors sense a spiritual
difference when they visit our church. Where even the offerings are "of
God," and we rejoice with favoring missionaries with showers of financial
blessings and spiritual encouragement. Wouldn't you like to be a part of a
church that is filled with the Holy Spirit, and operating in the same power
of that Spirit? So would I, and so I ask, "Where is the Power?"
2:1-4 -- "Where is the Power?" -- prayer
SCRIPTURAL REVIEW OF THE INDWELLING PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. Saved O.T. Jews Were Not Indwelt By the Spirit Except For Particular
Over and over the O.T. says, "And the Spirit of the Lord came upon...."
so that that person could accomplish what God wanted accomplished.
Pre Pentecost N.T. Disciples Were Not Indwelt By the Spirit Except For a
"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the
doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews,
came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, 'Peace be unto
you'. Then said Jesus to them again, 'Peace be unto you: as My Father hath
sent Me, even so send I you.' And when He had said this, He breathed on
them, and saith unto them, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost. And, behold, I send
the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,
until ye be endued with power from on high'."
Lk. 24:49; Jn 20:19,22
Note: The reason the Holy Spirit was given was so the disciples would stay
in Jerusalem, the city of crucifixion, persecution, and fear.
Post Pentecost Believers are Indwelt By the Spirit At Salvation.
1. Bible is clear that when a person puts his/her faith in Jesus Christ as
Saviour, that person receives the indwelling Holy Spirit.
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you?"
1 Cor. 3:16
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is
in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" 1 Cor. 6:19
The Bible is also clear that the Holy Spirit can be quenched ("extinguished,
suppressed") (I Thes. 5:19), and can be grieved ("offended") (Eph. 4:30).
The Bible reveals that without the power or control of the Holy Spirit,
believers can act like babes in Christ, or, much worse, like carnal, lost
men (1 Cor. 3:1-3), despite having the presence of the Holy Spirit in their
N.T. Believers are Commanded to Surrender and be Filled With the Holy Spirit
1. The Bible commands two additional spiritual decisions that a Christian
must make, after salvation, to experience the power from the presence of the
indwelling Holy Spirit.
a. Surrender, or presenting yourself as a living sacrifice
Rms. 12:1-2 (turn & read together).
1) This is a one time step of total commitment and obedience to Christ which
the old time preachers called the "second blessing." It is simply yielding
up and presenting yourself to God, unreservedly, for whatever He wants to
do with you, to you, through you. It is full acceptance and joy in His will
for your life.
b. Being Filled, or yielding yourself unreservedly to the Holy Spirit's
Eph. 5:18, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled
with the Spirit"
1) This is a command to be continuously under the authority and control of
the Holy Spirit by continuously being filled with the Spirit.
Note: While the "presenting of ourselves" is a once for all action, the
continual filling of the Holy Spirit keeps us as a living sacrifice unto
God. So, the missing ingredient in the life of our church is not the Holy
Spirit's presence, because He is here in every believer, but the Holy
Spirit's power which is manifested through the filling of the Holy Spirit,
and His control over our lives. What I am saying is that when we come to
church without being filled with the Holy Spirit, His work is quenched and
He is grieved, and, therefore, we hinder His work in this church and in our
lives. But if and when we came to church filled with the Holy Spirit (not
perfection, but a determined yieldedness), He is then unhindered from moving
among us and working upon us. I also believe that if we were filled as we
ought, there would be evidence of a special manifestation in our midst that
even the lost could not deny.
Paul Desired That the Church Be Filled With The Fulness of God
"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be
filled with all the fulness of God. Unto him (God) be glory in the church by
Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Ephes. 3:19, 21
want to share with you a church that was filled with the Spirit, and the
THE PLACE OF THE POWER
A. The Power was Manifested in the Assembled Church
Note: In Matt. 16: 16, Jesus said He would begin to build His church, or
called out assembly. He meant He would build the KIND of churches that
would continue down through the centuries, and the FIRST church of
Jerusalem, which was a Baptist church in faith and practice. Here we have
the original disciples, less Judas, plus 109 that constituted the first
church of Jerusalem.
church was assembled:
1. On one day (Pentecost, which came 50 days after the feast of Firstfruits,
a picture of Christ's resurrection (1 Cor. 15:23) For us it is the Lord's
Day, also a reminder of Christ's resurrection.
With one accord ("one mind, one passion; the blending of diversity into
unity"). Apostles, disciples, men, women, mother, brothers (Acts 1:14)
one place (assembled, not scattered), an upper room
prayer (glorifying God), supplication (asking God) (Acts 2:2)
preaching (Acts 1:15-22). Peter stood up to expound God's Word
transacting kingdom business (choosing of Matthias)
sensitivity to God's leading (Acts 1:24-26). Seeking God first
Note: These things were taking place with the Holy Spirit's presence, but
not His power. We can do the basics of kingdom living without the power of
the Holy Spirit, but how much better with the power!!
THE PURPOSE OF THE POWER
A. To Be Able to Rightly Divide the Word of Truth (Acts 1:6-7)
1. Context: Restoring the Kingdom
1. Context: Being worldwide witnesses (soul-winners here, missionaries
and/or mission minded to the uttermost)
Experience Supernatural Manifestations of God (Acts 2:4)
1. Context: Supernatural ability to speak a foreign language
Gain the Attention of the Lost
(Acts 2:5-8, 12-13)
1. Context: Those amazed at hearing the wonderful works of God in their own
language, and those who mocked
Experience Power in Preaching/Teaching/Telling (Acts 2:14)
1. Context: Peter's preaching on Pentecost which covered fulfilled prophecy,
things to come, salv., Christ's humanity, D.B.R., deity, exaltation, and
Cause Conviction in the Lost
1. Context: Reaction to Peter's preaching; "what shall we do?"
Speak the Word of God Boldly
(Acts 4:8, 10, 31-32a)
1. Context: Jewish leaders arresting Peter & John, and Peter speaking boldly
about Christ, and then the disciples speaking boldly to the multitudes.
Gain Freedom in Giving
1. Context: New believers holding everything in common for the needs of
I. To Give of Self in Service
1. Context: Choosing of six to serve in care of others
To Do Great Wonders
("something outside the normal course of life") Among the People (Acts 6:8)
1. Context: Stephen's abilities
Gain Irresistible Wisdom in the Face of Opposition (Acts 6:10)
1. Context: Stephen's disputing with the leaders of the synagogue
Be Able to Put the Worst Possible Circumstances in Their Proper Perspective
(Acts 7:54-55) Facing death.
1. Context: Stephen's death by stoning
Be Obedient to God's Word
1. Context: Ananias putting his hands on Paul, and Paul receiving his sight
and being baptized (identified with Christ & His church)
Be Glad at the Spiritual Success of Others ( Acts 11:20-24)
1. Context: Barnabas sent by the church at Jerusalem to the church at
Antioch to see firsthand the blessings of God
Rebuke False Teachers, Doctrines, and Especially Where a Soul Hangs in the
1. Context: Paul rebuking Barjesus, a sorcerer, when Sergius Paulus' soul
hung in the balance
Rejoice in the Salvation of Others, Especially Those Not of Your
(Acts 13:47-48, 52) (Missions-minded)
1. Context: The joy of the Jews at Gentiles being saved through the
preaching of Paul
Note: Is there anything in this list of 16 spiritual accomplishments that
you and I would not like to see active and energized at [your] Baptist
Church? Despite our depraved nature, don't we really want the best God has
My question was, "Where is the Power?" Why do churches like ours struggle
to make an impact on our society? First Baptist Church of Jerusalem turned
the world upside-down! It can be done! In fact, it must be done! And if
it is not done, the blame must be laid directly at the feet of individual
members who do not understand, or who have not been taught, or who are
deliberately disobedient to God's clear commands to "present your bodies a
living sacrifice," and "be filled with the Spirit." Where did you stop in
your service for Christ?
At salv.? You stopped to soon!
At baptism? You stopped to soon!
At church membership? You stopped to soon!
In my sermon on Revival, I state that revival was simply taking the next
step of obedience. Tonight it is time to take the next step, and cross the
line from nominal Christianity to Spirit-filled Christianity.
is the invitation:
1. If you have never placed your faith in Jesus Christ for salv., you come
2. If you have never submitted to believer's baptism, you come tonight
3. If you have never presented your body a living sacrifice, you come
4. If you have neglected the command to be continuously filled with the
Spirit, particularly before church services, you come tonight.