Lesson 3 – The Foundation of the Church
Key Verse – Ephesians 2:19-22
Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God- And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of Godthrough the Spirit.
The word “Church” means to be “called out”. The church is also the “Bride” of Christ and the “body” of Christ. Today, the Spirit is seeking out a people called by His name.
Acts 15:14, “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.”
Jesus Gives the Apostle Peter the Keys to the Church
Before Jesus ascended into the heavens, He gave instructions to the Apostles concerning the establishment of His church. In fact, He gave Peter the “Keys to the Kingdom” and Peter would be the Apostle that would preach the Gospel and open the “door of the Church” to the Jews (Acts 2) and to the Gentiles (Acts 10).
Throughout this lesson we will see that three elements (repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost in-filling) of salvation continue to come up in the teachings of the apostles.
Matthew 16:17-19, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
There is a true church, or body of Christ, in the world today that is identifiable by its doctrines, teachings, and power. Any movement or organization has a clearly defined vision, purpose, bylaws, slogan, logo, or set of teachings that give the company its identification and recognition.
The Bible tells us that there would be many false prophets and teachers who handle the Word of God deceitfully, to build their kingdom of power and money (Matthew 7:15-16, 24:11-12 & 24, 2 Corinthians 4:2, 2 Peter 2:1-4). We can identify a false teacher if they teach any other Gospel or doctrine than the founding fathers of the church taught.
Gal 1:8-9, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospelunto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
The same is true with the church today. We can identify the church today by it’s doctrines, purpose, and practices. We do this by going back to the New Testament to see what the “first” church believed and taught about salvation and living for God. That is the purpose of this lesson. We will establish what they taught, and compare it to what the church is teaching today. We should teach the same message they did.
You must be born again… (John 3:1-5), Jesus taught that we must be born again and that through this “new birth” we would become the habitation of God, through the Spirit. The Spirit of God actually dwells in us! This is what the church is all about.
I Corinthians 6:19-20, “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? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
This will change the way we live. We will live, think, act, and talk differently than before. We are now the temple of the Holy Ghost and we should model true Christianity to the world. The word “Christian” actually means to be Christ-like.
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. We will discuss more concerning this “New Birth” of the water and Spirit in a later lesson.
There is one more critical point to note before moving further into this lesson: The coming of the Messiah, His suffering, resurrection, and the “Church Age”, was foretold by the Prophets. They did not see the church in full, but they did see certain aspects of it.
God told the Prophets certain things concerning the coming of Christ, so those alive during that period of time would recognize Him when he arrived. In other words, God pre-announced His coming and gave them enough details that they should recognize Him.
One example of this is when John the Baptist was in prison. John sent word by his followers to ask Jesus if He was the one (Messiah), “…that should come, or do we look for another?” Jesus did not answer by just simply saying that He was the One that should come. He could have said that, but it would not be proof to John. So Jesus said unto them, “…Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.” (Matthew 11: 1-5)
The things they saw and heard were the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah, because He did those things prophesied by the prophet. (Isaiah 6 1: 1)
Not only would pre-announcing His coming give evidence to them of His arrival, it would also prohibit an impostor from assuming the role of a false Messiah. So we can see that God has also given us word, by the prophets, things concerning Christ and the Church so we will be able to identify the true church.
THE EXPERIENCE IN THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS
We have already seen in lesson two things about the New Testament Church that the Prophets did not see. They did tell us that there was coming an experience with God that was different than theirs. They foretold what they did not completely understand.
THE PROPHET ISAIAH
Isaiah 28:10-12, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” That this pertains to the New Testament Church is clear. In Acts 2:4, we see the fulfillment of this and another reference in I Corinthians 14:2 1. (Also Read Isaiah 40:3 -5 & Mark 1: 1-8, John 1:23)
Also, a study of the book of Hebrews will reveal that the “rest” of the New Testament Church is an experience with God or a place we can reach in God. Note that the Prophets spoke of “another day” in which we would find rest in God. (Hebrews 3, 4: 1 -11)
THE PROPHET JOEL:
Joel 2:28-29, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
This is fulfilled in Acts 2:14-18. Peter plainly said, “…this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.”
THE PROPHET JOHN
Matthew 3:1-3, “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Note Isaiah 40:3-5, Luke 7:28)
Matthew 3:1 1, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: ”
Luke 7:28, “For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
The Old Testament Church believed in God. God was with them, but He was not in them, as He is in us today. If all we do is believe, we do not have any more than the Old Testament people, nor do we have more than the devil had; “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19) As we will see, there is an experience, past believing, that we can have today.
THE EXPERIENCE ACCORDING TO THE APOSTLES
The Apostles took the Gospel to the whole known world (Acts 19:10), establishing churches everywhere they went. When we read the words of the apostles, we find out what they told people about the Gospel, WHO HAD NEVER HEARD IT BEFORE. In other words, they went to people who did not know Jesus, and told them how to be saved.
In Acts one, we read that about 120 followers of Christ (including His mother and brothers) went to the upper room, at the demand of Jesus, to wait for the “Promise of the Father.” (Luke 24:49). Acts chapter two tells us what happened when the Holy Ghost came.
Before the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, no one had ever received the in-filling of the Holy Ghost like they did then, or like we do today. Only those in the New Testament Church are Spirit-filled. Nor will anyone receive the Holy Ghost after the Church is gone.
Acts 2:1-4, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance- ”
Many people did not understand what had happened. Some even thought that they may be drunk! So they questioned the Apostles about it.
THE EXPERIENCE ACCORDING TO THE APOSTLE PETER:
Acts 2:14-18, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, (Joel 2:28) And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”
Right off, we notice that Peter said that what had just happened fulfilled the prophecy of Joel. He also said that it was the outpouring of God’s Spirit. What just happened was God’s work, so it had to be God! How could it be bad or evil, if it was from God?
Acts 2:33, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”
Peter also said that the initial outpouring of God’s Spirit was something that was seen and heard. What did they see? Tongues of fire and a demonstration of worship.
What did they hear? A sound of a rushing mighty wind and speaking in tongues AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UTTERANCE!
Acts 2:37-39, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
We need to remember at this point that Jesus had given Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. That is why the Apostle Peter first preached to the Jews–he had the keys that unlocked the door to the church! (Matthew 16:18-19)
That is also the reason Peter preached to Cornelius in Acts 10, who was the first Gentile to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 10 tells us how God brought Peter and Cornelius together. As instructed by God, Peter went and preached to the household of Cornelius. This happened thirty-three (33) years after the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
Acts 10:44-46, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.”
Note that verse 45 says that they received the Holy Ghost and verse 46 tells us how they know— “…for they heard them speak with tongues.”
Until Cornelius received the Holy Ghost, no Gentile had ever received it. At first, the Jews did not want to accept that Gentiles would receive the same promise as they would. So they called Peter on the carpet in Jerusalem to give an account of what had happened.
Acts 11:1, “And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God ”
Peter called what he told Cornelius and his household, “the Word of God.” What did he tell them? Repent, be baptized in Jesus Name, and filled with the Holy Ghost! If it was the word of God then, why isn’t it the word of God now? Of course, it is.
Acts 11:13 -14, “And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”
Acts 11:15, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.” When was the beginning? On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Note what happened then.
Acts 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord (Jesus), how that he (Jesus) said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Peter said that what had happened to Cornelius was the fulfillment of the words of the Prophet John! They were baptized with the Holy Ghost. Jesus said this would happen!
Here again, how can something Jesus did be wrong or evil?
Acts 11:17, “Forasmuch then as God gave them (Gentiles) the like gift as he did unto us (Jews), who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?”
Note here that Peter called it the “gift of the Holy Ghost.” Please read Acts 2:38, 10:45. What is the gift? The Holy Ghost! Surely, no one would refuse a gift from God.
Acts 11:1 8, “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life”
It was not until after they had received the gift of the Holy Ghost that it was said that they were, “…granted repentance unto life.” That means before they received the Holy Ghost, they were spiritually dead! There are only two options here–alive or dead!
Remember that in Acts 10:1, we read that Cornelius was a devout man, a praying man, a giving man, and he feared God. Was he a believing man? Yes. Did he love God? Yes. Did he receive the gift of the Holy Ghost? Yes.
Acts 11:14 tells us that even though Cornelius was a believing man before he received the Holy Ghost, he was a lost man. Acts 11:14: Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” If you are not saved, you are lost. Right?
So we see that beforehe received the Holy Ghost he was spiritually dead, or in other words he was in a lost condition. Afterhe received the Holy Ghost, he was saved.
In Acts 15 we find this matter being debated again and Peter is explaining one more time what happened:
Acts 15:6-8, “And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;”
Why was Peter the one God chose to preach to the Gentiles? He had the keys! Peter also called what he preached to Cornelius the Gospel. What did he preach? Repentance, baptism in Jesus Name, receiving the Holy Ghost. If that was Gospel then, why isn’t it the Gospel now? Of course, it is. According to Scripture, we must obey the Gospel in order to be saved. (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Peter 4:17)
Note also that they received the Holy Ghost after they believedPeter pointed out that God have them the Holy Ghost like He did the Jews. Showing us again that there is an experience past believing.
THE EXPERIENCE ACCORDING TO THE APOSTLE PAUL:
Acts 19:1-6, “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” When they heard this, they wanted it.
Again note that Paul found disciples or believers in Corinth, but they were not filled with the Spirit. Paul re-baptized them in Jesus Name and they received the Holy Ghost and spake with tongues.
NOWHERE in the Bible do the Apostles ask anyone if they have accepted Christ as their personal Savior. That is not a Bible question concerning salvation. But Paul did ask them, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?”
If Paul came to preach in our Church today, what question do you think he would ask us about our salvation? Would he preach a different message? Would he ask you if you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior?
It is highly doubtful that he would change his message or ask a different question. If we did not have the Holy Ghost, he would want us to receive it.
Gal 1:8-9, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
How did Paul know to ask them if they had received the Holy Ghost? Was that a question he made up on the spot, or did he have a reason for asking it? We will find the answer to this in the words of Jesus. (Luke 24:49)
THE EXPERIENCE ACCORDING TO PETER AND JOHN.
In Acts 8, we find that Philip went to Samaria to preach to people there. We will see that he preached baptism in Jesus Name baptism and, receiving the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8:12, “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized,both men and women.”
Acts 8:14-17, “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
So what has happened these people so far? They believed and were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.
Again we see that they were believers but they were not Spirit filled. Peter and John prayed for them that they “..might receive the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 8:15-17 “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”
THE EXPERIENCE ACCORDING TO JESUS CHRIST.
Luke 24:44-48, “And he (Jesus) said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.And ye are witnesses of these things.”
First we see that Jesus reaffirms that His Gospel was foretold by the prophets. Then He said that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name to all Nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
There is a difference in forgiveness and remission of sin. Jesus said that repentance and remission of sin, should be preached.
When we confess and repent of our sin, we are forgiven. I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Jesus also said, “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Repentance is a subject that continues to come up through out the New Testament.
The word “remission” means “to pardon”. To have our sins remitted, means that we do not have to pay the penalty for our sin. Our sins are forgiven at repentance, they are remitted at baptism. Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
An example to show the difference in forgiveness and remission might be someone who breaks the law of the land. For instance, if you rob a bank, you could clear your debt to society by going to prison. You are forgiven, but you had to pay the penalty.
But God forgives our sin when we repent, and he remits our sin, or pardons us, when we are baptized in Jesus’ name. This means that we do not pay the penalty for our sin. Jesus paid the debt for us at Calvary.
So we see that according to Jesus, we should repent to have our sins forgiven, and that we would be baptized to have our sins remitted.
Beginning at Jerusalem
Jesus said that, “…repentance and remission of sin should be preached “in His name” to all nations “…beginning at Jerusalem ”
Acts chapters one and two give us the record of what started at Jerusalem. It was at Jerusalem that people firstspoke in tongues when they filled with the Spirit, and were baptized in Jesus name.
Jesus had said in Luke 24:49, “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.”
That is why believers could not receive the Holy Ghost before the day of Pentecost. That is also why no one received the Holy Ghost as we do today during the earthly ministry of Jesus or John the Baptist. It had not yet been given!It was not even available to be received, until the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two.
Those who were saved beforethe day of Pentecost, such as the thief on the cross, were saved before the Holy Ghost was given. Today, the Holy Ghost has been given and should be received by all believers.
Jesus spoke of a time to come when we would receive the Holy Ghost
John 7:37-39, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
So we see in the words of Jesus that He tells us about something we should receive afterwe have believed. Please note that Jesus said “should” not “could.”
The Holy Ghost was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. In other words, He had not yet died and rose again, so the “Comforter” could come. Jesus had promised us a Comforter, which He said was the Holy Ghost (John 14:26). But, He said, the Comforter cannot come, except, ‘…I go away.” (John 16:7)
A ghost is the spirit of a departed one. You cannot be a “spirit” or “ghost” until you die. So the Comforter could not come until Jesus was crucified, rose again, and ascended on high. The Holy Ghost came afterJesus ascended.
Jesus is the Comforter, the Holy Ghost!
Jesus also had this to say about the indwelling of His Spirit in us … John 14:16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
In the book of John, Jesus makes another reference to receiving the Holy Ghost, “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” (John 20:21-22).
This is called “promised prophecy” because Jesus had not yet been glorified, so the Holy Ghost had not yet come. This prophecy would be fulfilled in Acts 2.
THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER:
Jesus is the first one to tell His disciples to go to Jerusalem and receive the “Promise of the Father”. What is the “Promise of the Father”? How do we know if we have received it? Should we receive it today? These are important questions.
There are many promises of God given to mankind. However, there is only ONE PROMISE of the FATHER! This is the promise of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is Christ in us! Let’s take a look at it…
The Promise given by Jesus:
Luke 24:49, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Fatherupon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
This prophecy of Jesus (Luke 24:49), and John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1 1), was fulfilled in Acts 2 when they received the Holy Ghost!
The New Testament Church is built upon the foundation of the prophets, the apostles, and Jesus Christ.. the Chief cornerstone!
The Promise received on the Day of Pentecost:
In the first part of Acts, the writer Luke, is telling us about the events immediately after the resurrection of Christ. He reminded them of the words of Jesus… (Acts 1:4-5) “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
We must remember that they are in Jerusalem because Jesus told them to go there and wait for the promise – He also said that they had heard that of Him. Where had they heard that? In Luke 24:49.
He had told them (Luke 24:49) that something would happen in Jerusalem that would give them power–Acts 1:8, “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.”
So we see that what happened on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) was the fulfillment of the words of Jesus. It was the “Promise of the Father.” It was not said that they had power until after they received the Holy Ghost.
We also know that there were 120 in the upper room, which included the Apostles, Mary, and the brothers of Jesus. It would be safe to say that they were believers! We see that they received the Holy Ghost afterthey believed.
Evidence that the Promise had come:
After the Holy Ghost came, the Apostle Peter said… “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost,he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:33).
What did they see? People praising and worshipping God! There was such a demonstration that some people thought they were drunk (Acts 2:13). They saw cloven tongues like as of fire, sit upon each of them.
What did they hear? A sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind! They heard people speak in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance!
The Promise is for you and me:
Acts 2:39, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children,and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
Many people say that the Holy Ghost baptism is not for us today; but we see that in Luke 24:49, Jesus promised it. In Acts 2, the PROMISE came. In Acts 2:39, Jesus said that the Promise is for you and me. From Jesus, to Pentecost, to us!
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT THE WRITER LUKE HAD TO SAY.
Acts 1: 1-3, “The former treatise have I made, 0 Theophilus, of all that Jesusbegan both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God”
Luke says he is writing about things (Luke and Acts) that JESUS STARTED — things Jesus did and taught. The outpouring of the Holy Ghost, speaking in other tongues, baptizing in Jesus Name, were things Jesus started. If Jesus started it, how can it be bad or evil? How can we reject it?
Luke also said these were things that pertain to the Kingdom of God. Isn’t that what we are trying to be part of?
The events recorded in Acts chapters one and two, fulfill the prophecy of Jesus (Luke 24:49), “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.”
The events of Acts 2, fulfill the prophecy of the Prophet John… “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5, Matthew 3:11).
The bottom line is that Jesus started all of this! We could not have known about receiving the Holy Ghost if Jesus had not mentioned it.
Romans 3:3-4, “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar…”
BELIEVE, THEN RECEIVE THE EXPERIENCE:
According to the Scriptures, we are not Spirit filled at the moment we believe. In fact, the gift of the Holy Ghost is an experience to be received after we believe.
Jesus said in John 7:39, “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
Paul said Acts 19:1-2, “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.”
We also see in the Scripture mentioned before that the Apostles prayed for people that had already believed to receive the Holy Ghost (Acts 2, 8, 10, 19). If they were filled with the Holy Ghost when they believed, why did they pray for believers to receive it?
Ephesians 1: 13, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, ”
We must also remember that Jesus said in John 7:38, “He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said.. ” So when we believe as Jesus has said, we will go on to receive the Holy Ghost, or God’s Spirit, which is Living Waters.
This study has shown us that our experience differs from that of the Old Testament people in that we have God in us, through the baptism of the Holy Ghost, while they only had God with them. What a difference!
Receiving “The Experience” is something that happens, not just imagined
Something happens when you receive the Holy Ghost. You do not have to guess so or hope so–you will know. It is more than a mental exercise!
Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receivethe gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 4:3 1, “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”
Acts 5:32, “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him ”
Acts 8:15, “Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:”
Acts 8:17, “Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 9:17, “And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 10:44-46, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.”
The Gospel: The Death, Burial, and Resurrection ofChrist
The word “Gospel” means “good news.” There is no doubt that what the Apostles preached to the unsaved was the Gospel. They were not promoting a product or organization. They preached a Gospel that would save.
The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is the Gospel, a type of our own Born Again experience. It does not do us any good if Jesus died and rose again, if we do not die and rise again. In other words, the Gospel is a plan to be followed and not just believed-
John 3:3-6, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdomof God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Jesus is not talking about natural birth at all. He plainly says that he is talking about spiritual things. The birth of the water is baptism, the birth of the Spirit is the infilling or baptism of the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ diedfor our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried,and that he roseagain the third day according to the scriptures:”
Romans 6:3-5, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life – For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”
Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Death is a type of repentance. Baptism is a type of burial. Infilling of the Holy Ghost is a type of resurrection.
REPENTANCE A TYPE OF DEATH..
Luke 13:3, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Luke 24:47, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Gal 5:24, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
Romans 6:6-8, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:”
When we repent, we die out to the “old man” of sin. We also receive forgiveness of sin when we repent… I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
BAPTISM, A TYPE OF BURIAL…
Romans 6:4, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life,”
Colossians 2:12, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
I Pet 3:21, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”
When we are baptized, our sins are remitted … Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Luke 24:47, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
We baptize in Jesus Name because that is where we receive remission of our sins. Remission means to “remit” or to do away with the penalty. You can be forgiven for a crime and still be expected to make restitution.
However, God forgives our sin when we repent and remits them, or does away with the penalty, when we are baptized.
RESURRECTION, A TYPE OF THE HOLY GHOST..
Romans 6:4-8, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:”