The following is a suggested sermon outline for Pentecost Sunday (May 23, 2021) written by Pastor Mark Turney, Assemblies of God Missionary in Africa.
Sermon Purpose: To convince believers that they need the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and help prepare them to receive it.
Text: Acts 19:1-12
I. THE PRIORITY OF THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
- Paul’s first question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?
- Question implies it is possible to be a disciple of Christ and yet not have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Salvation and Spirit baptism are separate experiences.
- Question also implies that it is a priority for a Christian. Paul wanted to know for sure they had been filled with the Spirit.
- This is not the only place in the book of Acts where we see the priority of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Samaria – Acts 8
- If you have received Jesus Christ as your savior then you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The early church made it a priority and we should to.
II. THE PURPOSE OF THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT – POWERFUL WITNESS
A. Why was Paul so concerned that these 12 men in Ephesus needed to be filled with the Spirit? Because of God’s purpose in giving the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 1: 4b-5; 1:8 Jesus’ priority. The disciples should not go anywhere until they received the Holy Spirit because they needed POWER TO BE WITNESSES.
- The purpose of the gift of the Spirit was not for personal benefit and blessing. It was to fill their lives with the power of God so that they could serve God and his mission.
B. God has a great purpose for your life. He wants you to live as a powerful witness for him so you must be filled with the Spirit and learn to walk in the power of the Spirit every day of your life.
C. The result that happened when these 12 men in Ephesus were filled with the Holy Spirit.
- They were filled with the Spirit and the result was they began to speak in tongues and prophecy under the influence of the Spirit. Vs. 6
- But that was not the only result. As a result of the outpouring of the Spirit a powerful witness went forth in that whole region. Acts 19:8-10
D. Paul had a plan to spread the Gospel to all of Asia from Ephesus.
- Vs. 9-10 imply that Paul was not the only one preaching and being used by God.
- There are several churches in this region of the world that are mentioned in other places in the N.T. that were started during this time of ministry by Paul in Ephesus. (Colosse, Hieropilas, Laodicea)
- Paul had a reason for making the Baptism in the Spirit a priority when he went to Ephesus. Because he was planning to reach all of Asia through the witness of Spirit filled believers.
- Paul was following the plan that Christ himself gave to the church. Be filled with the Spirit and be a witness.
E. The plan has not changed. God is still calling the men and women of His church to seek the power of his Spirit so that we can BE WITNESSES.
III. THE PREPARATION FOR RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. The first step of preparation is repentance from sin.
1. The men in Ephesus had already taken that step. They had heard and accepted the message of John the Baptist which was first of all a call to repent from sin.
B. The second step is faith in Christ as Lord and savior.
- These men were called Disciples in vs. 1. At first Paul thought they were disciples of Christ and so he asked them if they had received the Spirit when they believed.
- When they answered that they had not even heard of the Holy Spirit Paul asked them what Baptism they had received?
- When they replied that they had been baptized under John’s Baptism. Paul realized they had only heard the message that prepared people to believe in Jesus Christ. So he explained to them that the one that John the Baptist had come to prepare people for was Jesus.
C. When Paul explained this to them they believed because they had believed John’s message.
1. John the Baptist preached two things. Luke 3:3, 15-16
- Repent of your sins so that God will forgive you because the Kingdom of heaven is very close.
- He also preached that there was one coming after him who was the lamb of God and would take away the sin of the world. Jn 1:29-31
2. When Paul told them about Jesus they realized this was what John had been preaching about and they put their faith in Christ. Acts 19:5
D. The third step is to believe that Christ will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
- The message of John the Baptist also included the promise that the one who would come after him who was greater than John would baptize people with the Holy Spirit. Luke 3:16
- The men believed the message that Jesus was the one that John the Baptist had foretold would come and baptize people with the Holy Spirit. And so it says in vs. 6 “When Paul placed his hands on them the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”
- The power of God came upon them because they believed. HALLELUJAH.
E. If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ then you are a candidate to receive the Holy Spirit. All you have to do is to believe that this gift of God is for you and ask the Lord to give it to you and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit just like they were.
F. In John 7:37-39 Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.”
How can you prepare to receive the Holy Spirit like these men in Ephesus did? Open your heart to God and believe that this is what you need in your life. Believe that this is what God wants to do for you. Believe and ask God to do it for you.
– Mark Turney