The New City – Gospel in Life
Sermon

The New City

Tim Keller |  June 1, 1997

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Topics:
  • The Holy Spirit
Duration:
43
Scripture:
Acts 2:1-12
SKU:
RS 75-9

Overview

You can’t really look at the whole gamut of Jesus’ life unless you also look at Pentecost. What is Pentecost about?

Back in Exodus 18-20, you have a mountain (Sinai), a ministry (the law of Moses), and a new people (Israel). That’s what the first Pentecost was. But that’s also what you have here in Acts. The sun rose that day. But by the time the sun went down, Pentecost meant something completely different. It meant something greater. It meant something infinitely beyond it.

What Pentecost means is there’s a new mountain, there’s a new ministry, and there’s a whole new people whom God has brought into being.

Acts 2:1–18

Pentecost was originally a time to celebrate the harvest after Passover, but later it became a time to remember when God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites on Mount Sinai, forming a new community. The first Pentecost was filled with fear and need for a mediator. However, the Pentecost we are talking about was a game-changer, bringing a new mountain, a new way of serving, and a new community created by God.

1. A new mountain

In Acts 2:1-4, we see that during Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down on the believers, symbolized by wind and fire, showing God’s power, purity, beauty and holiness. This special presence of God inside believers, which is unique to Christianity, changes us from the inside out, making our lives full of deep meaning and personal experiences with God. The Holy Spirit’s presence isn’t just an idea, it’s a real, life-changing experience.

2. A new way of serving

When comparing the first and second Pentecost, we see that the disciples started speaking about God’s deeds in different languages. This tells us that knowing God is not just about following teachings, but about recognizing what He’s done. This is the message that the early Christians spread, bringing change and helping those who were left out. The story emphasizes the importance of Jesus’ sacrifice, the Holy Spirit’s role, and sharing our faith in a respectful way, reminding us that all Christians can bring healing and challenge wrong ideas about church leadership.

3. A new people

The first Pentecost was the beginning of a new community, similar to when the nation of Israel was formed at Mount Sinai, but this time it happened through God’s work, not just teachings. The good news of the gospel, unlike the selfishness and disunity seen at the Tower of Babel, can heal our broken relationships, break down walls, and bring us together, reversing the confusion caused at Babel. Through the gospel, God is building a new community, and the beauty of God, received through Jesus’ sacrifice, cleanses us, protects us, and gives us the power to live in the light of these truths.

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February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.

February Book Offer

Put Your Hope Not in Lesser gods, But in the One True God

In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.