The Spirit Comes

The Spirit Comes ( Acts 2 )

We live in a spirit world. People create a fake spirit world on television and frequently watch the shows fantasizing about witches, warlocks, and aliens. The “ ring ” in the Lord of the Rings and the “ force ” in Star Wars give supernatural abilities to the possessor. The Potter named Harry works his power as he wanders through life. People are bedazzled by Charmed or terminated by Buffy while seeking to be spirit filled.

The emptiness people have can be filled and the search can be ended when the true Spirit comes.

In Acts 2 we find several supernatural events caused when the Spirit comes. There is spectacular imagery of tongues of fire coming down upon the apostles. The apostles speak in languages they have never learned. Peter speaks with boldness and power, explaining the current events. Then there is a grand reception of the gospel message.

Background

The twelve apostles were in Jerusalem, waiting for the Spirit to come, just as Jesus had told them to ( Acts 1:4 ). God-fearing Jews from all over the world were there to worship God during the Feast of Weeks, one of the three annual feasts required by Old Testament law ( Deut 16:16 ).

It was the Day of Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus, when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles. It came in the form of tongues of fire. The tongues symbolize speech. Each time God communicated with man he used the language man understood. And he still does the same thing.

The fire symbolizes God’s purifying presence and magnificent power. Throughout Scripture we find God in fire power, in the fiery flames with Shadrach and friends in Daniel 3:25, in and on Mount Sinai ( Ex 19:18 ), and personally described in Heb 12:29.

When the Spirit Came

In Acts 2 we see three things happen when the Spirit enters the lives of the apostles.

First, the apostles were given the ability to speak in foreign languages. They spoke to people from all around the world who understood them in their own dialects. That is supernatural. The apostles could have spoken God’s message in Hebrew or Aramaic but instead were given the miraculous ability to speak in languages and dialects unique to their crowd. Why? So their audience could impact the people back home with God’s gospel message impressed upon them by this miraculous event. Within months, people all over the world would be talking about Jesus, the gospel message, and his resurrection they had heard about in their own language.

God wants us to reach people on their level, in their language, for his glory. Herein lies the motivation to send out missionaries to foreign countries and to preach the gospel to people in our own community when the opportunity arises.

When a person receives the Holy Spirit, does he have to speak in another language to prove the validity of the baptism? No. Could it happen? It happened in the Bible; I don’t see why it couldn’t happen again. We need to be careful to understand that this happened so that people would evangelize the world. God used the gift of speaking in tongues to rocket launch his church in the coming centuries. It was not done to impress people in a church worship service. This special gift wasn’t given to be envied by others. It was a practical but very extraordinary gift to spread the gospel. I don’t see the need for this even to happen in my community. However, if God wants to use this type of supernatural event to spread his gospel quicker and more clearly in a place where it makes sense, then so be it. It is just not necessary nor reasonable for this to happen every time someone receives the Spirit.

Second, the apostles were given boldness and power to speak God’s gospel message. Peter did not hold back in telling the people present that they were the very ones who killed Jesus, the prophesied Christ ( Acts 2:23, 36 ). Many of these people were there during the Passover and witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus. Peter preached using Scripture and events the crowd understood and were familiar with. We need to do the same and remember that we are given the spirit of power, not a spirit of timidity ( 2 Tim 1:7 ).

Third, the Holy Spirit affected the crowd to the point of a response. They were sorry and cut to the heart, and asked, “ What should we do? ” This is the question we all need to be able to ask of ourselves.

Peter replied, “ Repent and be baptized. ” We can’t modify the response Peter gave. His response should be considered with other responses to the same question that include faith, confession, and endurance. Some three thousand people were baptized that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. These activities should continue with those who respond to the gospel message when the Spirit comes into their lives.

Brothers and Sisters I ask ‘ Are you spirit filled ‘? ( Holy Spirit ).

evesadam

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