The Act of the Holy Spirit: A Sermon Series Introduction

The Acts of the Holy Spirit?

The main character of the Acts of the Apostles isn’t one of the apostles. The apostles preach, baptize, travel, heal the sick, and raise the dead. They are beaten, stoned, imprisoned, shipwrecked, and martyred. We must learn from them. We rightly hold them in esteem for their faithful witness – often unto death. But this story isn’t about them.

This is the story of how the Holy Spirit founded the Church of Jesus Christ.

This is the story of how the very Spirit of God, the same Spirit who hovered over the waters at creation, spread the good news of Jesus Christ “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Derek and I will be preaching through Acts this season after Pentecost. We hope to show you that the many spectacular movements of the apostles are one act of God by the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world.

We hope you will join us. We hope you will learn from the example of the faithful apostles. But most of all – we pray that you will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus Christ in everything that you do and everywhere that you go.

 

Some Notes First

Below, you’ll find what was the planned outline of our series in full. Reality changed it a bit. Before we get to that, it’s helpful to clarify a few things.

  1. This is the raw outline Derek and I developed for our use. We thought we’d share it with you, and we hope you’ll find it accessible enough. If you don’t, please comment, and we’ll try to clarify. (NOTE: This is not a historical record. Some special services were deleted. Most of the readings were shortened. Sometimes, chapters were combined. The preaching schedule was adjusted. We are leaving this here because it still serves as a good overview of this series, but it is not accurate in all of its details.)
  2. We highly recommend the new commentary by Willie James Jennings. We like it so much, it’s formed much of the structure of this outline, and you’ll see sections from Jennings below. In addition to reading Acts in between sermons, we highly encourage you to read Jennings along with us. (No, you don’t have to have a seminary degree to do it! He’s easy to read, relatively short, and powerful in his witness.)
  3. Derek and I identified 85 movements in the book of Acts that are part of the one act of the Holy Spirit. We did this through the highly scientific process of counting ESV section headings. These movements will form the basic outlines of our sermons. If you follow along with the sermons in HCPC’s pew Bibles (or any ESV Bible), you already have the movements written out for you.
  4. In addition to Sunday mornings, we’ll have three special times of worship in conjunction with our fellowship meals. These will happen about every other month starting in July.
  5. We’ll be posting sermon transcripts, manuscripts, and notes on this blog  in case you want to review (or if you miss a sermon). Why are we posting something written instead of a recording or a video? Well, the answer to that probably deserves its own post! The short answer? Derek and I believe that sermons are occasional acts. That doesn’t mean we believe that sermons should be done every once in a while! It means that there is something special about the occasion when the sermon is preached. The Holy Spirit is at work in a unique way on Sunday mornings when the faithful are gathered in community to hear the Word of God proclaimed. As helpful as they are – and Derek and I watch recordings of other preachers a lot! – recordings can’t replace the real thing. We hope that written records will help you recall what was said (or catch up) with the reminder that these aren’t substitutes for the real thing.

Series Outline – The Act of the Holy Spirit

(Trinity Sunday, 6/11 – Reign of Christ, 11/26)

 

Jennings: 1:1-4:37 “THE REVOLUTION IS HERE!”

 

Sunday, June 11 – Trinity Sunday 

(1st S.A. Pentecost; 10th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 1:1-26
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 1:1-12: “The Death of Nationalist Fantasy” (pp. 13-23)
    • 1:13-26: “Grasping for the New” (pp. 24-26)
  • Movements 1-3
    • Movement 1 (1:1-5) “The Promise of the Holy Spirit”
    • Movement 2 (1:6-11) “The Ascension”
    • Movement 3 (1:12-26) “Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas”

 

Sunday, June 18

(2nd S.A. Pentecost; Proper 6 (11); 11th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Sherrad
  • Sermon Text – Acts 2:1-47
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 2:1-13: “The Sound of Intimacy” (pp. 27-32)
    • 2:14-36: “Speaking in the Spirit” (pp. 33-35)
    • 2:37-41: “A New Response” (pp. 36-37)
    • 2:41-47: “A New Reality of Giving” (pp. 38-39)
  • Movements 4-6
    • Movement 4 (2:1-13) “The Coming of the Holy Spirit”
    • Movement 5 (2:14-41) “Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost”
    • Movement 6 (2:42-47) “The Fellowship of the Believers”

 

Sunday, June 25

(3rd S.A. Pentecost; Proper 7 (12); 12th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 3:1-26
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 3:1-11: “A New Gaze” (pp. 40-41)
    • 3:12-26: “History in the Making” (pp. 42-44)
  • Movements 7-8
    • Movement 7 (3:1-10) “The Lame Beggar Healed”
    • Movement 8 (3:11-26) “Peter Speaks in Solomon’s Portico”

 

Sunday, July 2 – Communion

(4th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 8 (13); 13th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 4:1-37
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 4:1-37: “The Criminal Disciple Emerges!” (pp. 45-51)
  • Movements 9-11
    • Movement 9 (4:1-22) “Peter and John Before the Council”
    • Movement 10 (4:23-31) “The Believers Pray for Boldness”
    • Movement 11 (4:32-37) “They Had Everything in Common”

 

Jennings: 5:1-9:43 “THE STRUGGLE OF DIASPORA”

 

Sunday, July 9

(5th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 9 (14); 14th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 5:1-42
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 5:1-17: “The Death of the Sovereign Couple” (pp. 52-60)
    • 5:18-42: “The Unity of Suffering” (pp. 61-63)
  • Movements 12-14
    • Movement 12 (5:1-11) “Ananias and Sapphira”
    • Movement 13 (5:12-16) “Many Signs and Wonders Done”
    • Movement 14 (5:17-42) “The Apostles Arrested and Freed”

 

Wednesday, July 12 – Fellowship Dinner

  • Preacher – Sherrad
  • Sermon Text – Acts 6:1-15
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 6:1-15: “The Pain of Diaspora” (pp. 64-67)
  • Movements 15-16
    • Movement 15 (6:1-7) “Seven Chosen to Serve”
    • Movement 16 (6:8-15) “Stephen Is Seized”

 

Sunday, July 16

(6th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 10 (15); 15th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 7:1-8:3
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 7:1-8:2: “A New Storyteller” (pp. 68-74)
    • 8:3 (3-25): “The Scattering and the Saving” (pp. 75-76)
  • Movements 17-19
    • Movement 17 (7:1-53) “Stephen’s Speech”
    • Movement 18 (7:54-60) “The Stoning of Stephen”
    • Movement 19 (8:1-3) “Saul Ravages the Church”

 

Sunday, July 23

(7th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 11 (16); 16th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 8:4-40
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • (Cont.) 8:4-25 (3-25: “The Scattering and the Saving” (pp. 76-80)
    • 8:26-40: “A New Sight of Love” (pp. 81-89)
  • Movements 20-22
    • Movement 20 (8:4-8) “Philip Proclaims Christ in Samaria”
    • Movement 21 (8:9-25) “Simon the Magician Believes”
    • Movement 22 (8:26-40) “Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch”

 

Sunday, July 30

(8th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 12 (17); 17th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Sherrad
  • Sermon Text – Acts 9:1-43
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 9:1-19a: “Disrupting Life” (pp. 90-94)
    • 9:19b-30: “The Diaspora in Faith and Fear” (pp. 95-97)
    • 9:31-43: “The Repetition of Jesus” (pp. 98-101)
  • Movements 23-28
    • Movement 23 (9:1-19a) “The Conversion of Saul”
    • Movement 24 (9:19b-22) “Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues”
    • Movement 25 (9:23-25) “Saul Escapes from Damascus”
    • Movement 26 (9:26-31) “Saul in Jerusalem”
    • Movement 27 (9:32-35) “The Healing of Aeneas”
    • Movement 28 (9:36-43) “Dorcas Restored to Life”

 

Sunday, August 6 – Communion

(9th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 13 (18); 18th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 10:1-48
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 10:1-23a: “The Revolution Comes to Us” (pp. 102-108)
    • 10:23b-48: “This Is What Intimacy Sounds Like” (pp. 109-114)
  • Movements 29-32
    • Movement 29 (10:1-8) “Peter and Cornelius”
    • Movement 30 (10:9-33) “Peter’s Vision”
    • Movement 31 (10:34-43) “Gentiles Hear the Good News”
    • Movement 32 (10:44-48) “The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles”

 

Jennings: 10:1-15:41 “THE DESIRE OF GOD EXPOSED”

 

Sunday, August 13

(10th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 14 (19); 19th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Sherrad
  • Sermon Text – Acts 11:1-30
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 11:1-18: “The Transgressing God” (pp. 115-120)
    • 11:19-30: “The World according to Antioch” (pp. 121-124)
  • Movements 33-34
    • Movement 33 (11:1-18) “Peter Reports to the Church”
    • Movement 34 (11:19-30) “The Church in Antioch”

 

Sunday, August 20

(11th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 15 (20); 20th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 12:1-25
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 12:1-25: “The Prison Returns” (pp. 125-131)
  • Movements 35-37
    • Movement 35 (12:1-5) “James Killed and Peter Imprisoned”
    • Movement 36 (12:6-19) “Peter Is Rescued”
    • Movement 37 (12:20-25) “The Death of Herod”

 

Sunday, August 27

(12th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 16 (21); 21st S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Sherrad
  • Sermon Text – Acts 13:1-52
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 13:1-12: “The Unambiguous Spirit” (pp. 132-133)
    • 13:13-52: “Between Diaspora and Antioch: The Christian Cosmopolitan” (pp. 134-135)
  • Movements 38-40
    • Movement 38 (13:1-3) “Barnabas and Saul Sent Off”
    • Movement 39 (13:4-12) “Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus”
    • Movement 40 (13:13-52) “Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia”

 

Sunday, September 3 – Communion

(13th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 17 (22); 22nd S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 14:1-28
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 14:1-18: “The Threat of Loss and the Promise of New Life” (pp. 136-137)
    • 14:19-28: “The Victory over Violence” (pp. 138-139)
  • Movements 41-44
    • Movement 41 (14:1-7) “Paul and Barnabas at Iconium”
    • Movement 42 (14:8-18) “Paul and Barnabas at Lystra”
    • Movement 43 (14:19-23) “Paul Stoned at Lystra”
    • Movement 44 (14:24-28) “Paul and Barnabas Return to Antioch in Syria”

 

Sunday, September 10 

(14th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 18 (23); 23rd S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 15:1-41
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 15:1-33: “The Antiochene Body and the Jewish Body” (pp. 140-148)
    • 15:34-41: “The Risk of Trust” (pp. 149-151)
  • Movements 45-47
    • Movement 45 (15:1-21) “The Jerusalem Council”
    • Movement 46 (15:22-35) “The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers”
    • Movement 47 (15:36-41) “Paul and Barnabas Separate”

 

Thursday, September 14 – Communion; Holy Cross

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 16:1-40
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 16:1-8: “The In-Between Disciple” (pp. 152-156)
    • 16:9-19a: “A Tale of Two Women” (pp. 157-160)
    • 16:19b-24: “Ownership and Discipleship” (pp. 161-162)
    • 16:25-40: “Shaking the Prison Foundations” (pp. 163-168)
  • Movements 48-52
    • Movement 48 (16:1-5) “Timothy Joins Paul and Silas”
    • Movement 49 (16:6-10) “The Macedonian Call”
    • Movement 50 (16:11-15) “The Conversion of Lydia”
    • Movement 51 (16:16-24) “Paul and Silas in Prison”
    • Movement 52 (16:25-40) “The Philippian Jailer Converted”

 

Jennings: 16:1-21:40 “THE SPIRIT AND THE END OF SEGREGATION”

 

Sunday, September 17

(15th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 19 (24); 24th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Sherrad
  • Se Sermon Text – Acts 17:1-34
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 17:1-15: “The Struggle between Text and Life” (pp. 169-174)
    • 17:16-34: “A Rhetoric of Desire” (pp. 175-177)
  • Movements 53-56
    • Movement 53 (17:1-9) “Paul and Silas in Thessalonica”
    • Movement 54 (17:10-15) “Paul and Silas in Berea”
    • Movement 55 (17:16-21) “Paul in Athens”
    • Movement 56 (17:22-34) “Paul Addresses the Areopagus”

 

Sunday, September 24

(16th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 20 (25); 25th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 18:1-28
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 18:1-11: “A Community in the Double Bind” (pp. 178-180)
    • 18:12-28: “A New Kind of Couple” (pp. 181-182)
  • Movements 57-59
    • Movement 57 (18:1-17) “Paul in Corinth”
    • Movement 58 (18:18-23) “Paul Returns to Antioch”
    • Movement 59 (18:24-28) “Apollos Speaks Boldly in Ephesus”

 

Sunday, October 1 – Communion

(17th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 21 (26); 26th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Sherrad
  • Sermon Text – Acts 19:1-41
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 19:1-20: “By Water and Touch” (pp. 183-187)
    • 19:21-41: “The City is Shaken” (pp. 188-189)
  • Movements 60-62
    • Movement 60 (19:1-10) “Paul in Ephesus”
    • Movement 61 (19:11-20) “The Sons of Sceva”
    • Movement 62 (19:21-41) “A Riot at Ephesus”

 

Sunday, October 8

(18th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 22 (27); 27th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 20:1-38
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 20:1-16: “The Journey of Jesus, Again” (p. 190)
    • 20:17-38: “Communion or Counterfeit” (pp. 191-195)
  • Movements 63-65
    • Movement 63 (20:1-6) “Paul in Macedonia and Greece”
    • Movement 64 (20:7-16) “Eutychus Raised from the Dead”
    • Movement 65 (20:17-38) “Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders”

 

Sunday, October 15

(19th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 23 (28); 28th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 21:1-36
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 21:1-14: “A Jerusalem State of Mind” (pp. 196-197)
    • 21:15-36 (15-40): “The Anguish of Diaspora” (pp. 198-201)
  • Movements 66-68
    • Movement 66 (21:1-16) “Paul Goes to Jerusalem”
    • Movement 67 (21:17-26) “Paul Visits James”
    • Movement 68 (21:27-36) “Paul Arrested in the Temple”

 

Sunday, October 22

(20th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 24 (29); 29th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Sherrad
  • Sermon Text – Acts 21:37-22:29
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • (Cont.) 21:36-40 (15-40): “The Anguish of Diaspora” (pp. 201-202)
    • 22:1-29: “Dangerous Speech” (pp. 203-205)
  • Movements 69-70
    • Movement 69 (21:37-22:21) “Paul Speaks to the People”
    • Movement 70 (22:22-29) “Paul and the Roman Tribune”

 

Sunday, October 29 – Reformation Sunday

(21st S.A. Pentecost; Proper 25 (30); 30th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 22:30-23:35
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 22:30-23:35: “Between Rocks and Hard Places” (pp. 206-211)
  • Movements 71-73
    • Movement 71 (22:30-23:11) “Paul Before the Council”
    • Movement 72 (23:12-22) “A Plot to Kill Paul”
    • Movement 73 (23:23-35) “Paul Sent to Felix the Governor”

 

Jennings: 22:1-28:31 “THE DISCIPLE-CITIZEN”

 

Wednesday, November 1 – Communion; All Saints Day

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 24:1-27
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 24:1-23: “The Political is the Theological” (pp. 212-214)
    • 24:24-27: “The Assimilated Couple” (pp. 215-218)
  • Movements 74-75
    • Movement 74 (24:1-21) “Paul Before Felix at Caesarea”
    • Movement 75 (24:22-27) “Paul Kept in Custody”

 

Sunday, November 5 – Communion

(22nd S.A. Pentecost; Proper 26 (31); 31st S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 25:1-27
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 25:1-27: “The Citizen-Disciple” (pp. 219-225)
  • Movements 76-77
    • Movement 76 (25:1-12) “Paul Appeals to Caesar”
    • Movement 77 (25:13-27) “Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice”

 

Sunday, November 12 

(23rd S.A. Pentecost; Proper 27 (32); 32nd S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Sherrad
  • Sermon Text – Acts 26:1-32
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 26:1-32: “The King and I” (pp. 226-232)
  • Movements 78-79
    • Movement 78 (26:1-11) “Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa”
    • Movement 79 (26:12-32) “Paul Tells of His Conversion”

 

Sunday, November 19

(24th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 28 (33); 33rd S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 27:1-44
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 27:1-44: “A Common Journey and a Singular Faith” (pp. 233-238)
  • Movements 80-82
    • Movement 80 (27:1-12) “Paul Sails for Rome”
    • Movement 81 (27:13-38) “The Storm at Sea”
    • Movement 82 (27:39-44) “The Shipwreck”

 

Sunday, November 26 – Communion; Christ the King

(25th S.A. Pentecost; Proper 29 (34); 34th S.I. OT)

  • Preacher – Derek
  • Sermon Text – Acts 28:1-31
  • Sections in Jennings:
    • 28:1-15: “The Gift of Hospitality” (pp. 239-241)
    • 28:16-31: “The Calling of Hospitality” (pp. 242-252)
  • Movements 83-85
    • Movement 83 (28:1-10) “Paul on Malta”
    • Movement 84 (28:11-16) “Paul Arrives at Rome”
    • Movement 85 (28:17-31) “Paul in Rome”

 

Abbreviations

 

S.A. – Sunday After

S.I. – Sunday In

OT – Ordinary Time

 

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