Sun, Nov 06, 2022
Teacher: John Dimmick Series: The Acts of the Apostles Scripture: Acts 2:1-41
In Acts 1, Jesus made two promises to His disciples.
4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
In Acts 1:8 Jesus made a 2nd promise.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
Pentecost was the 2nd of the 3 great harvest festivals of Judaism and referred to as the Festival of Weeks or Festival of the Firstfruits. The day of Pentecost was, more than likely by common time keeping, exactly 50 days after the 1st day of Passover. The day of Pentecost was a day of “solemn assembly” such that the Jews would have the day off so that they could go to the Temple to present their offerings. Lastly, more pertinent to what we what to think about today and our topic, the Holy Spirit Unleashed, the day of Pentecost was 10 days after Jesus gave His disciples their final instructions and then ascended into heaven, Acts 1:1-11.
2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
From this day forward in the Book of Acts whenever the gospel is preached the Holy Spirit is unleashed. Notice what happened on the Day of Pentecost as Peter gave this invitation to his preaching:
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
In Acts there are different expressions of this experience and in every case the Holy Spirit is unleashed creating a positive response to the gospel. Here are a few examples:
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
The conversion of the Apostle Paul, Acts 9:17
So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, The Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The conversion of Cornelius and his household, Acts 10:44-45
While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.
It really doesn’t matter how the conversion experience is described – “being filled with the Spirit;” “being baptized with the Holy Spirit;” “receiving the Holy Spirit;” “the Spirit being poured out;” “the Holy Spirit coming down or upon people” – the Holy Spirit is the power source behind the experience of being saved. Receiving the Holy Spirit happens the moment you are saved. He indwells you and unleashes in you the power to live a new life, a new life that grows and develops into the likeness of Jesus Christ Himself.
The Holy Spirit unleashed not only changes the life of a believer but it also impacts the lives of others who witness this change in us.
So the multitude of Jews living in Jerusalem, as well as those who were pilgrims attending the harvest festival, heard a miracle: 120 disciples of Jesus Christ “speaking forth” words inspired by the Holy Spirit in the various dialects of those gathered at the Temple.
This is about God manifesting His presence and power in nature and now in people.
4 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.[b] 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Luke uses the same word that he used in 2:4 to describe Peter’s address to the people. Peter is speaking forth, prophetically, a word of explanation of what has just happened.
The Holy Spirit Unleashed in Peter’s life helps him take a step of faith he has never taken before. He is going to stand before a multitude of people – some questioning and some mocking – explain what God is doing and he is going to use Scripture to do it. This is his first time but it won’t be his last.
The Holy Spirit Unleashed in Peter’s life on the day of Pentecost resulted in a life-changing message to the nations of the world and this life-changing message is centered on Jesus.
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus,[c] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him,
“‘I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;
26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
my flesh also will dwell in hope.
27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
35 until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now Peter gets to the heart of his sermon – Jesus crucified, resurrected and exalted at the right hand of the Father is both Lord and Christ.
It is because Jesus is exalted at the right hand of the Father, having already received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, that the Holy Spirit has been “poured out” in the way that they are seeing and hearing.
The purpose for the Holy Spirit unleashed on this day, the day of Pentecost, is to give you undeniable proof that Jesus is both Lord and Christ. The very person that you had rejected and crucified God has raised from the dead and exalted at His right hand, and you will have to answer for that.
The Holy Spirit was unleashed on the day of Pentecost. That day was a day of decision for everybody. 120 disciples of Christ went forth witnessing empowered by the Holy Spirit. Peter took a step of faith and preached the gospel empowered by the Holy Spirit. 3000 people were moved by the Holy Spirit and responded to the gospel invitation.
Whenever the Holy Spirit is unleashed with the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, people will wake up to the realization that Jesus is Lord and Christ.
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