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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Festival Of Pentecost
Series C

Option One: "Healing For Heart Pain"
Acts 2:37-42

Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

Introduction: A famous midwestern heart hospital has established a center for people with chest pains. If you’re having chest pains, their advertising invites you in for a check-up. It could save your life! There were sharp heart pains in Peter’s audience on the first Pentecost day, but the cure was spiritual, not physical. Let’s listen as Peter gives them and us healing for heart pain. 

Diagnosis: Vincents Word Studies: they were pricked (katenugeesan). Only here in New Testament. The word does not occur in profane Greek. It is found in the Septuagint, as Genesis 34:7, of the grief of the sons of Jacob at the dishonor of Dinah. The radical idea of the word is given in the simple verb nussoo, to prick with a sharp point. So Homer, of the puncture of a spear; of horses dinting the earth with their hoofs, etc. Here, therefore, of the sharp, painful emotion, the sting produced by Peter’s words. Cicero, speaking of the oratory of Pericles, says that his speech left stings in the minds of his hearers. 38) Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."


  I. Know that Jesus died for the forgiveness of your sins and rose from death--2:23-24

 II. Repent, separate yourself from the crookedness of sin--vv38-40

Repent ye (metanoesate). First aorist (ingressive) active imperative. Change your mind and your life. Turn right about and do it now. You crucified this Jesus. Now crown him in your hearts as Lord and Christ.

The word skolias has been taken over into medical terminology. A person with a crooked spine is said to have scoliosis. Jesus not only forgives sin, He straightens us out. Crooked (skolias). Old word, opposite of orthos, straight. Cf Luke 3:5, 9:41; Philippians 2:15.

III. Be a part of the "aftercare group," the visible Church, for as long as you live--vv41-42

The thrust is similar to AA, OA, NA and other 12-step groups. These groups make sure that the thinking is straight, knowing that a relapse will occur otherwise. They take responsibility for each other. There is genuinely unconditional love. They don’t leave it to the leader to do all the caregiving. These groups would fail if the leaders were expected to do all the unconditional loving and admonition, when necessary. See Col 3:16.

MacArthur's New Testament Commentary: Fellowship is the spiritual duty of believers to stimulate each other to holiness and faithfulness. It is most specifically expressed through the "one anothers" of the New Testament (cf Rom 12:10, 16; 13:8; 14:19; 15:5, 7, 14; 16:16; Gal 5:13; Eph 4:2, 25, 32; 5:21; Phil 2:3; Col 3:9, 13, 16; 1 Thess 4:9, 18, 5:11, 13; Heb 3:13; 1 Pet 1:22; 4:9, 10; 5:5, etc). The basic meaning of koinoônia (fellowship) is "partnership," or "sharing." Those who receive Jesus Christ become partners with Him and with all other believers (1 John 1:3). That fellowship is permanent, because our shared eternal life is forever. The joy associated with it, however, may be lost through sinful neglect of its duties.

For a Christian to fail to participate in the life of a local church is inexcusable. In fact, those who choose to isolate themselves are disobedient to the direct command of Scripture. Hebrews 10:2425 charges believers to "consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near." The Bible does not envision the Christian life as one lived apart from other believers. All members of the universal church, the body of Christ, are to be actively and intimately involved in local assemblies.

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Children's Message

Visual aid: charcoals and a pan big enough to make a small mountain, as one would before pouring the lighter fluid and lighting the coals.

I was on vacation last Sunday and I spent some time at a campground. We have a small fire pit that may be used either for firewood or charcoals. Since the firewood wasn’t staying lit, I decided to go back to charcoal. But I was a little rusty, so maybe you can help me here.

Now let’s see if I can remember how to do this. You open the bag and you pour out the coals into the grill, right? Okay, can we light them now? No? Oh, we have put the lighter fluid on. What’s that? I forgot something else? Oh, yes; we have to make a small mountain out of these coals before we pour the starter fluid on them. Oh, yes; I remember now. Then we have to let the lighter fluid soak in for a little while. Then we strike a match and the fire goes WHOOOOOOOOSH!

The fire burns for a few minutes and then we have to wait for the fire on the edges to burn the charcoals enough until they are gray on the outside and red on the inside. Then you can bring on your hamburgers, brats, or whatever else you want to make on this long Memorial Day weekend.

But wait a minute. I just noticed something. These three coals rolled off of the pile when the fire went WHOOOOOOOOSH! The other coals are red hot and ready to be useful for cooking, but these guys are way behind the game here. What happened?

They didn’t catch fire because they weren’t rubbing against the other coals while they were catching fire. You know what I think? I think Christians are just like this. It’s one thing to catch fire, but it’s quite another to stay on fire with the Spirit of God if you fail to keep in touch with God’s people. Your fire just might go out if you don’t keep in close contact with God’s Word and with God’s people.

What is true of charcoals is true of Christians. Here is one more "earthly story with a heavenly meaning."

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Option #2: "Basking In God's Glory Story!"
Genesis 11:1-9
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

The Point: we are one in the Spirit!

The Problem: language and other barriers causing division

The Promise: God causes and/or will one day cause all to speak a common "language": "Jesus is Lord!" (Php 2:9), uniting us with Himself and each other


1. laban {law-ban'}, v3: to be white; hiphil, to make white, become white, purify; to show whiteness, grow white; hithpael, to become white, be purified (ethical); qal, here, to make bricks. (Blue Letter Bible)

2. migdal {mig-dawl'}, v4: tower; elevated stage, pulpit; raised bed. (BLB)

3. chalal {khaw-lal'}, v6: hiphil, to let be profaned; to begin. (BLB)

4. And the Lord said, Behold the people is one, and they have all one language--and if they continue one, much of the earth will be left uninhabited, and these children of men, if thus incorporated, will swallow up the little remnant of God's children, therefore it is decreed they must not be one. (John Wesley)

5. The explanation of the name in verse 9 is a folk etymology. The tower is called "Babel" because there Yahweh "balaled," or confused, their language. The normal etymology of "Babel" is "gate of god." (Ralph Klein)

6. Martin, the son of Sigmund Freud, said it well: "I have never had any ambition to rise to eminence... I have been quite happy and content to bask in reflected glory... The son of a genius remains the sons of a genius, and his chances of winning human approval of anything he may do hardly exist if he attempts to make any claim to fame detached from that of his father." (Monica Goldrick & Randy Gerson)

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM