St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
335 Smyth Road, Manchester, New Hampshire
Pentecost Lord’s Day, May 24, 2015
Today is Pentecost Sunday. Today we also welcome you to our Worship Service in which we are receiving new members into membership of Christ’s Church, our Denomination and our congregation here at St Paul’s. All through the ages the Christian Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit have received new persons into its fellowship and membership. Those very first persons who joined with the apostles on that first Pentecost Day committed themselves to be new persons of Christ’s Church and undertook a new way of life.
In verses 41 and 42 of chapter 2 of the Acts of the Apostles we are told, “And those who believed Peter were baptized – about 3,000 in all. They joined with the other believers in regular attendance at the apostles’ teaching sessions and at Communion services and prayer meetings.” These were the first persons to become members of the Church -“the body of Christ” – at the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit.
The passage cites the marks of membership in the church: a) joining with other believers for fellowship, b) regular attendance at the apostles’ teachings, c) attendance at Holy Communion service, and, yes, d) meeting for prayer.
As delineated in the book of the Acts of the Apostles, 1: 1-21, these persons joined the body of Christ, the church, only after some things had happened:
a)Someone from the body of Christ was moved by the Holy Spirit to tell them of the wonderful story of salvation through Jesus the Christ.
b) Their hearts were moved by the Holy Spirit to believe the salvation story.
c) They were moved to testify concerning their new belief in Jesus Christ.
I invite all our members, new and not so new, to continue in a spiritual relationship with God in Jesus Christ through the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. Pray that the Holy Spirit will empower you so that you will be bold in the Spirit to invite others into salvation with Christ even as someone else had invited you.
May God continue to bless you and bestow on you the power of the Holy Spirit! Thanks for worshiping with us today. Please come again!
Ernest Belisle (Pastor)