A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
Study 4: EVANGELISTIC PREACHING WITH THE SPIRIT’S POWER
The baptism with the Holy Ghost has a definite purpose stated by Christ Himself. “But ye shall receive POWER after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). The Apostles and the disciples of Christ (about 120 in number) had just received the outpouring of the Spirit, the Pentecostal baptism. The immediate active ministry was the preaching of the saving Gospel in the power of the Spirit. The baptism with the Spirit empowered the believers to boldly and courageously proclaim the message of salvation to the world in the irresistible power of the Spirit. The sinners’ hearts were pricked and pierced, convicted and made willing to repent, believe, submit and surrender to Christ and receive Him as Saviour and Lord.
We must always keep the purpose of Pentecost in mind. The Holy Spirit comes to fill, indwell, comfort, empower, teach, guide and envision us to fulfil Christ’s ministry through us. He equips and enables us to preach, pray and prevail on men, moving us along as with a mighty wind in the unstoppable proclamation of the Gospel.
PROPHETIC PERSPECTIVE ON THE PENTECOSTAL BAPTISM
Acts 2:14-21; Joel 2:28-32; Proverbs 1:23; Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Matthew 3:11,12; John 7:37-39 ; Acts 1:4,5,8; Numbers 11:29.
Peter, who had denied the Lord with oaths and curses about fifty days earlier now boldly bore witness to the death, resurrection and exaltation of Christ. No longer fearful, timid or vacillating, he preached to the multitude of religious Jews with conviction, courage and compassion. The Lord had promised to give him the keys of the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:18,19) and here we see him using the keys of Gospel- preaching to open the door of faith for multitudes to enter into the Kingdom.
As thousands of Jews gathered, wondering about the sight and sound they saw and heard (Acts 2:33), he arose to give the true and scriptural explanation that the Spirit of God had been poured out on the followers of Christ as spoken by the prophet Joel. The baptism with the Holy Spirit gave the recipients illumination, inspiration, revelation, interpretation, power, courage, wisdom, zeal and single-mindedness. Peter spontaneously quoted from Joel and the Psalms and gave the interpretation as it relates to Christ and then applied the Word with persuasive and penetrating impact.
POWERFUL PREACHING WITH THE PENTECOSTAL BAPTISM
Acts 2:22-36; Luke 24:44-49; John 3:2,3; Acts 3:13-15; 10:39-43; Psalm 16:8-11; Romans 1:3,4; 2 Timothy 2:8; Acts 13:32-39; Philippians 2:5-11.
The Apostle closed the previous quotation with the gracious assurance that “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). Calling on the name of the Lord, that is, turning away from sin and trusting Him as the only Lord and Saviour grants us pardon, remission of sin, justification and salvation. But who is the Lord to whom we turn for salvation? Peter affirmed that He is Jesus Christ, the One they crucified, who God raised from the dead. Speaking confidently and convincingly, he reminded them of the life and ministry of Christ (Acts 2:22), the betrayal, crucifixion and death of Christ (Acts 2:23), the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:24,32), the ascension, glorification and exaltation of Christ (Acts 2:33-36).
Peter emphasized that Christ’s substitutionary death and supernatural resurrection happened by “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). And David, the king “being a prophet” (Acts 2:30) saw and prophecied that God “would raise up Christ.” In conclusion, he laid the guilt of their sin before them. “Ye crucified” “Christ, the Lord of glory” (Acts 2:36; 1Corinthians 2:8).
PERCEIVED PRE-REQUISITES BEFORE THE PENTECOSTAL BAPTISM
Acts 2:37-40; John 16:7-11; Acts 16:29-34; 3:19-26; 17:30,31; 20:20,21; 2 Corinthians 6:17,18; Revelation 18:4,5; Mark 16:15,16; 2 Peter 1:3,4.
So irresistible was the convicting power of the Holy Ghost that there was an immediate response. They cried out, “what shall we do” to be free from guilt and to escape everlasting condemnation and eternal punishment? The answer rings loud and clear throughout the whole Bible: Repent - Ezekiel 14:6;18:30; Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14,15; Luke 13:3,5; 24:47; Acts 3:19,26; 17:30,31; 20:20,21; 26:20; Revelation 2:5,16; 3:3,19. True repentance is known by the accompanying fruits – “save yourselves from this untoward (perverse, crooked, sinful) generation” (Acts 2:40). The truly repentant people were to separate themselves from all the sinful practices and lifestyle of their community.
After repentance and faith in Christ as their Saviour, they were to be baptized in water (Mark 16:15,16). Water baptism does not save, neither does it wash away sin. Only the blood of Jesus washes away sin and only Jesus saves when we repent and believe on Him. By baptism, they declared their separation from the nation that crucified Christ and proclaimed their identification with the risen Lord. Submitting to Christ in obedience and continuing steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine, many precious promises will be theirs, including “the gift of the Holy Ghost”.
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