Sermon = What essentially is missing (Acts 19)

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Sermon = What essentially is missing
Text = Acts 19
Sunday = Baptism of the Lord (B) or BaptismB

Presentation_Acts19_BaptismB_20180114

*** Introduction

    • Baptism of the Lord Sunday
    • Advent – our Lord and savior draws near
    • Christmas – Christ is born! Glorify him!
    • Epiphany – Coming of God as brilliant light
      • How God draws people of all nations + backgrounds
    • Now baptism – especially baptism of Jesus Christ
      • Not because he needs to
      • Important moment God reveals Godself as Trinity
      • And to provide example for us to follow
    • *** Baptism one of most important rituals of Christian church
    • Water -> pour or sprinkle or immerse
    • Words -> in name of Father Son and Holy Spirit
    • Represents new beginning
    • We become members of household of God
    • Seed of faith is planted
    • Parents… sponsors… family of believers nurture that seed
    • So we grow in love faith + knowledge of God
    • Many Christian groups observe confirmation
    • We reach a point when we profess faith in Christ
    • And take responsibility as believers
    • In our Scripture reading < Acts 19
    • Something is missing
    • *** Apostle Paul travels to Ephesus
    • Finds some disciples
    • Helps to look at end of Acts 18
    • Apollos of Alexandria comes to Ephesus
    • Speaks with enthusiasm concerning Jesus
    • Only knows baptism of John
    • Priscilla + Aquila take him aside
    • And explain way of God more accurately
    • Many become believers in Jesus the Messiah
    • Something is missing
    • Paul wants to make sure they understand enough of the gospel
    • Not simply so they know enough
    • So they experience + practice Christian faith more fully
    • What is missing?
    • Paul does not scold or criticize them
    • Begins with a question
  • Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?
  • No – we have not heard there is a Holy Spirit.

    • Leads to a short simple conversation
  • How were you baptized?
  • Baptism of John
    • *** Takes us to gospel reading < Mark 1
    • John the baptizer proclaims baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins
    • Baptism marks turning from sin toward God and washing of sin
    • John himself says
  • After me is coming one who is stronger than I
  • I baptize with water. He will baptize with the Holy Spirit.
    • Baptism yes
    • With water yes
    • Not just water
    • But also the Holy Spirit
    • These believers know about Jesus the Messiah
    • Something essential is missing
    • Paul asks… talks with them… teaches them
    • When they hear this they are baptized in name of Lord Jesus
    • Begin to speak in tongues… they prophesy
    • Both Scriptures are about baptism
    • Also about something else
    • Most essential thing
    • Ivan Motovilov asks Seraphim of Sarov
    • What is chief aim of the Christian life?
    • Chief aim of the Christian life is to gain the Holy Spirit
    • True for Jesus
    • Spirit comes down upon him like a dove
    • True for believers at Ephesus
  • Did you receive the Holy Spirit? No not even heard.
  • Spirit comes upon them
  • The Holy Spirit is most essential thing? Person? For the Christian life
  • No Christian life… no adequate knowledge + experience + practice of Christian life without the Holy Spirit
  • When these believers receive the Holy Spirit
  • Something happens
  • Changes that others can see
  • *** Speak on tongues (!?!)
  • “Worship of God for which words are not enough”
  • Worship beyond words
  • Prophesy
  • Speak on behalf of God
  • Am not saying + does not mean all Christians
  • Methodist or not should speak in tongues + prophesy
  • All Christian believers are invited to be at least a little pentecostal
  • Holiness + Pentecostal movements came out of Weslayan tradition
  • With our emphasis on work of Holy Spirit
  • Pouring out divine grace on us
  • Leading us in way of salvation
  • In this Scripture
  • This change comes through message and baptism of Jesus Christ
  • *** Something essential was missing
  • Story challenges us to ask if our understanding + experience + practice of Christian faith is enough
  • Is what it can and should be
  • Here Paul addresses what is missing
  • Through conversation and teaching
  • Followed by ritual act of worship
  • What some call a sacrament
  • Does not force God to act
  • Ways to make ourselves available to presence + power of God
  • To cooperate with work of the Holy Spirit
  • Spiritual practices such as worship / baptism + communion / study of Scripture / including and especially prayer
  • Preparing statistical report this week
  • Numbers for Christian Formation Groups
  • A lot of zeroes
  • A couple boxes
  • Kids for Christ and Bible study
  • Maybe that is enough
  • We must pause and ask
  • Are we practicing Christian formation enough
  • *** Yes smaller church with not a huge budget
  • The church in Rome was a collection of communities that met in homes
  • Am convinced we have more than enough
  • To know the gospel + to experience and practice good news of God about Christ Jesus
  • More deeply + fully
  • As pastor have prime responsibility
  • Each of us has
  • Together we have as family of believers
  • Grow in knowledge + experience + practice of Christian faith
  • A few ways we can together
  • Listen to / feast on teaching of God in Scripture
  • Regular prayer
  • And be present… show up (better way to phrase?)
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About Rickwright67

I am the pastor of a Methodist church, spent 18 years ministering with internationals, as an adjunct taught Hebrew Bible and Biblical Hebrew, husband and dad, love astronomy, space exploration, science-fiction, computers, animals, cinema, and more.
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