Nate Loucks


Nate Loucks is the pastor of State Street Community Church and the President of the Pax Center in downtown LaPorte, Indiana. These are thoughts on faith, social entrepreneurship, and the beauty of life.

Posts tagged acts
Sermon at State Street: Acts 2:1-41

Over the next few months at State Street, we are going through Acts 1-8 in our weekend gathering times. This last Sunday was our second week; Acts 2:1-41. Here's my outline: 

TEXTLuke 2:1-41 [Kingdom New Testament]
1When the day of Pentecost had finally arrived, they were all together in the same place.2Suddenly there came from heaven a noise like the sound of a strong, blowing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3Then tongues, seemingly made of fire, appeared to them, moving apart and coming to rest on each one of them. [unique, this won't happen again] 4They were all filled with the holy spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the spirit gave them the words to say.

5There were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem at that time. 6When they heard this noise they came together in a crowd. They were deeply puzzled, because every single one of them could hear them speaking in his or her own native language. 7They were astonished and amazed. “These men who are doing the speaking are all Galileans, aren’t they?” they said. 8“So how is it that each of us can hear them in our own mother tongues? 9There are Parthians here, and Medians, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judaea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya that belong to Cyrene; there are people from Rome, 11proselytes as well as Jews; there are Cretans and Arabs. We can hear them telling us about the powerful things God has done—in our own languages!” 12Everyone was astonished and perplexed. “What does it all mean?” they were asking each other. 13But some sneered. “They’re full of new wine!” they said.

14Then Peter got up, with the eleven. He spoke to them in a loud voice. “People of Judaea!” he began. “All of you staying here in Jerusalem! There’s something you have to know! Listen to what I’m saying! 15These people aren’t drunk, as you imagine. It’s only nine o’clock in the morning! 16No, this is what the prophet Joel was talking about, when he said,

17‘In the last days, declares God, I will pour out my spirit on all people. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy; Your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams;
18Yes, even on slaves, men and women alike, will I pour out my spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy.
19And I will give signs in the heavens above, and portents on earth beneath, blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and glorious day.21And then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 

22“You people of Israel,” Peter continued, “listen to this. Jesus of Nazareth was a man marked out for you by God through the mighty works, signs, and portents which God performed through him right here among you, as you all know. 23He was handed over in accordance with God’s determined purpose and foreknowledge—and you used people outside the law to nail him up and kill him. 24“But God raised him from the dead! Death had its painful grip on him; but God released him from it, because it wasn’t possible for him to be mastered by it. 25This, you see, is how David speaks of him:

‘I set the Lord before me always;
Because he is at my right hand, I won’t be shaken.
26So my heart was happy, and my tongue rejoiced,
And my flesh, too, will rest in hope.
27For you will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption.
28You showed me the path of life;
You filled me with gladness in your presence.’

29“My dear family, I can surely speak freely to you about the patriarch David. He died and was buried, and his tomb is here with us to this day. 30He was of course a prophet, and he knew that God had sworn an oath to him to set one of his own physical offspring on his throne. 31He foresaw the Messiah’s resurrection, and spoke about him “not being left in Hades,” and about his flesh “not seeing corruption.” 32This is the Jesus we’re talking about! God raised him from the dead, and all of us here are witnesses to the fact! 33Now he’s been exalted to God’s right hand; and what you see and hear is the result of the fact that he is pouring out the holy spirit, which had been promised, and which he has received from the father. 34“David, after all, did not ascend into the heavens. This is what he says:

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
35Until I place your enemies
Underneath your feet.’

36“So the whole house of Israel must know this for a fact: God has made him Lord and Messiah—this Jesus, the one you crucified.”

37When they heard this, the people in the crowd were cut to the heart. “Brothers,” they said to Peter and the other apostles, “what shall we do?” 38“Turn back!” replied Peter. “Be baptized—every single one of you—in the name of Jesus the Messiah, so that your sins can be forgiven and you will receive the gift of the holy spirit. 39The promise is for you and for your children, and for everyone who is far away, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 40He carried on explaining things to them with many other words. “Let God rescue you,” he was urging them, “from this wicked generation!” 41Those who welcomed his word were baptized. About three thousand people were added to the community that day.

At the beginning of the sermon, I use statistics from this book: The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries by Rodney Stark. 

Question we're asking during this series:  The question all must ask in a post-resurrection, Christo-centric yet broken world; What now?

look at the Galilean reputation: 

Acts 4:13 KNT 
13When they saw how boldly Peter and John were speaking, and realized that they were untrained, ordinary men, they were astonished, and they recognized them as people who had been with Jesus.

Galileans as "Boorish dolts in the eyes of sophisticated Jerusalemites." 

John 1:46 KNT
46“Really?” replied Nathanael. “Are you telling me that something good can come out of Nazareth?”

POINT 1: In our story, God does beautiful and redemptive things in the most unlikely places, often times in the places you’d least likely expect Him. 

POINT 2: Salvation is found in who you call "Lord".

POINT 3: Baptism calls people to death, so we might live. Baptism is the proper response to those that are witnesses to resurrection. Baptism engenders a new community of love, resurrection, and justice.

O Lord our God,
you know us better than we know ourselves.
As we come before you now,
believers and doubters alike,
we all share a deep need,
for we are all lost without you.
Search us, O God, and know our hearts,
test us and know our troubled thoughts.
Give us true repentance.
Forgive us of our wrongs.
Transform us by your Spirit to live for you each day,
to learn to serve each other
and, through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord,
to come at last to the age to come. 

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