Sermon in a nutshell: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit!” (Acts 2:1-13)

Sermon in a nutshell: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit!” (Acts 2:1-13)
(1) God loves you and me. (2) Jesus died for everybody and whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. However, (3) it is the Holy Spirit, who teaches us those two wonderful spiritual truths.
Do you know what happened when Jesus died on the Cross? Everybody ran away to save his or her life! Even Peter, one of the disciples, denied Jesus three times! Even though all the disciples followed Jesus for three years and lived with him, listened to all of his teachings and witnessed all of his miracles, they did not have faith in Jesus and did not keep their ties with Jesus at the critical moment. That is human nature. You and I are the same. When we lose a personal benefit, we betray Jesus unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit!
Jesus knew that and promised that he would send the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Without receiving the Holy Spirit, nobody can accept Jesus as his or her savior. (1 Corinthians 12:3). With the teaching of the Holy Spirit, we can be assured that God loves us because it is the Holy Spirit who knows “even the deep things of God”(1 Corinthians 2:10).
Do you know anybody who suffers low self-esteem? Do you know anyone who wants to prove his or her worth by adding riches or getting new titles? We humans, by nature, want recognition and love. However, the world gives us recognition and love by merit. There is no unconditional love in the world. Everything is conditional. That is why we cannot satisfy our desires. When we achieve one thing, there is another hurdle to go over to prove our worth. However, God’s love is unconditional. When we accept God, we are freed from competing, achieving things, and proving our worthiness. We are already worthy and loved by our Creator! The Holy Spirit confirms this in our heart! That is why everybody needs to accept the Holy Spirit. Without the assurance of the Holy Spirit, we are always miserable. The founder of the UMC, John Wesley, experienced that. He was a professor of the Oxford University. He was a methodical practitioner of his religion. However, he did not have the assurance that Jesus had died for him. He was not confident that anybody, not to mention God, loved him. However, when he received the Holy Spirit, his heart was strangely warmed and he understood that Jesus had died even for him! From that time on, everything changed and he experienced a new life.
That is why Jesus commanded his disciples not to leave Jerusalem and to wait for the Holy Spirit. When they first experienced the Holy Spirit, they did not understand what had just happened. Somehow, they could understand everybody. This is exactly the reversal of the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. When people tried to make their own names be known and to build the Tower that could reach heaven, God confused their languages and they could not understand each other. However, in Acts 2, when they lay down their personal agenda and focused on God’s mission, all of them could understand each other!
When the Holy Spirit comes, we do not only understand God’s love and the grace of Jesus, but we also understand each other. We can love one another. We can support each other. We can actually build a community of unconditional love! Today, we will listen to the music that physically and mentally challenged people are going to perform. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we will understand the music and the people! Because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Love, we can experience God’s love when we receive the Holy Spirit. People become generous in giving when they receive the Holy Spirit. People become forgiving! But some will make fun of us and say, “They have had too much wine”. Not so! Our hearts are filled with joy and the unconditional love of Jesus Christ!
Brothers and sisters, I want all of us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I want you to experience this unconditional love of God. I want you to be free from all the restrictions that bind you. I want you to know that Jesus died for you and saved you. If you just open your heart and accept Jesus, all this is yours.
1. What makes you think that you need to do something to prove yourself?
2. When you experience the Good News that you deserve God’s love, with whom do you want to share this love?

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