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Pentecost (Confirmation of x; Baptism of y)

St. Peter Lutheran Church

Acts 2:1-21

May 27, 2012

“No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit”


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ

(and especially you who today will confess the Name you called upon in Baptism and were saved;

And especially you who today bore witness as y called upon the name of the Lord in Baptism and was saved,)


Grace and peace to you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.


In the first Pentecost sermon, Peter quoted the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Isn’t that an odd thing for Peter to say to the people in Jerusalem who came and heard him?  After all, these were “Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.”  They were in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost, the feast of firstfruits, and also the day when God had given the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. 


How could it be that these men did not already “call upon the name of the Lord”?  Why would God go to all this trouble to work this sign of speaking in other tongues just to get them to “call on the name of the Lord”—since they were already people who knew who the Lord was and where He was to be found (the temple)?


Peter preached that they were in the last days.  If they were then, surely we are now.  But it doesn’t look like the last days, anymore than it has at other times, does it? 


And what is necessary to be saved through the last days?  Only to “call upon the Name of the Lord?”  But we’ve known about that since we were children.  And has it had the same kind of effect on us that it did on Peter?  Surely there must be more.


But no, calling upon the name of the Lord is not a small thing.  It is a great thing, and it is impossible for sinners to do it.  “No one can say, Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit,” Paul says in 1 Cor 12. 



  1. 1.       The ungodly do not call upon the name of the Lord.
    1. a.       They may know the name YHWH or Jesus or Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
    2. b.      But they do not call upon Him alone for salvation with assurance.
    3. c.       They go on trusting themselves.
    4. d.      Their bad conscience causes them to make up idols, even in the church.

                                                              i.      A nice god who can be controlled and sold.

                                                            ii.      And then it’s up to us to make this god successful. 

  1. 2.       The Church calls on the Name of the Lord and is saved in the last days.
    1. a.       Peter’s boldness.  (vs. earlier weakness.  Men of Israel, listen to me.  And the disciples are not locked in a room either.)
    2. b.      He had learned all too well what his resolutions resulted in.  NOTHING!  Denying the Lord, not calling upon Him.
    3. c.       The Spirit is given by Christ.

                                                              i.      He gets the people’s attention.

                                                            ii.      He gives Peter boldness and words to speak with power.

                                                          iii.      He makes Peter call on Jesus’ name with confidence.

  1. d.       The Spirit does as He wills, not as we will.
  2. e.       The Spirit has promised to work in us through Word and Sacraments.
  3. f.        He points to Christ

                                                              i.      Who has saved us from our self-trust,

                                                            ii.      From our idolatry

                                                          iii.      From our inability to free ourselves from idolatry.

  1. g.       We can do nothing…

                                                              i.      But He has promised that we are saved.

In this confidence we confess and call upon His name in prayer, and we let Him build us and the church.

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