the big idea
Jesus’ resurrection changes everything. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives in us. Power is not passive; it is on the move and changes people’s status and lives from the inside out. Because he lives, we can be confident not only that our sins are forgiven and that we will one day be in Heaven with him, but also that we can trust him and his power to share his grace and truth wherever we go.
We will not be perfect this side of heaven. Because of our sin nature it is easy to forget about the power of the Holy Spirit and the resurrected Jesus in our lives and get wrapped up in the pressures of the world around us.
Even Jesus’ disciples, who saw the resurrected Jesus with their own eyes and watched him rise to Heaven, fell prey to the world around them. In Acts 2, we see them hiding in an upper room at the time of Pentecost, trying to figure out what to do now that Jesus was in Heaven. And then… something amazing! The Holy Spirit came to them, filled them, and empowered them to act for Jesus. Rather than cowering in fear for their lives, the disciples were changed to become bold advocates for Christ.
We too are changed by the Holy Spirit. Through God’s Word and the sacraments of baptism and Communion, we become aware of our status in Christ: forgiven children of God. This knowledge, combined with the Holy Spirit in us, empowers us to work together to change the world, the same way we were changed – through spreading the Gospel.
Guiding Text: Acts 2
May 5, 2019 (Confirmation): Changed through the Word
Reaching milestones in life, such as Confirmation, warrants celebration. But often, these milestones are just the beginning to a new journey. In the case of Confirmation, students may have completed their coursework to become communicant members of the church, but that doesn’t mean they’re done growing in faith. The Holy Spirit works through the Word to bring all of us along the path of maturity. Because of this, we grow in faith and our relationship with Christ every time we engage in God’s Word, making us stronger disciples of Christ and growing the church as a whole.
Scriptures: 2 Peter 2:1-10
Sermon Text: Acts 2:1-4
May 12, 2019 (Mother’s Day): Changed by Our Status in Christ
Jesus saw women as image bearers of God and so he treated them as such. Jesus met the woman at the well and appeared to the women first after his resurrection. Women played a significant support role in Paul’s ministry; Priscilla helped, supported, encouraged, and taught the apostle Paul. Here’s the bottom line: although men and women serve different roles in God’s kingdom, we are all one in Christ. Because we are God’s children, we are changed for eternity.
Scriptures: Luke 8:1-3
Sermon Text: Acts 2:17-21
May 17, 2019: Changed through Baptism
Baptism isn’t just ceremony; it is a sacred act in which God either brings a person to faith or strengthens faith, adopts the person into his family, forgives sins, makes a person a temple of the Holy Spirit, makes heirs of eternal life, and changes a person’s eternal destiny. Remember your baptism: it gives you power from God to say no to sin and yes to righteousness, a power to do what is right in the face of the pressure to be quiet or to do wrong. Baptism brings us our identity. Critics, culture, past sins, age, illness, job, etc. don’t define you; God does!
Scriptures: 1 Peter 3:18-22
Sermon Text: Acts 2:38-39
May 24, 2019 (Memorial Day Weekend): Change Agents for Christ
A church building may exist at a specific mailing address, but the Church doesn’t end when the property line does or after Sunday services. You are not only a recipient of reconciliation but an ambassador of Christ, to seek and save the lost. As we build relationships with family, community, culture, and even strangers, the Holy Spirit is there to make a change in people’s lives, just as light changes darkness and salt changes food. You want to make a difference? You want to be a part of something bigger than yourself? Welcome to the body of Christ! As we share Christ with others, our lives are constantly being changed as well.
Scriptures: Ephesians 2:19-22
Sermon Text: Acts 2:42-47