Summary: The true Spirit
OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT
1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. 5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs--we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God."
Before I even say anything about this passage, I just want to make you aware of the fact that I am not without experience, concerning the gift of the Holy Ghost we are speaking about here. I only mention this so that nobody will think that I stand here as a “dry” Lutheran, without experience, one who only has half of the Gospel, who some people claims we have.
There are enough of them, - and today more than ever, - who claims to have the Spirit more than others. It is pure pride that is showing, and we should not put up with that, but thank God for what His Word teaches us, exactly that whoever has Jesus, has everything. Everything that he “needs for heaven and earth.” The Father gave you everything when He gave you Jesus! – Do not let anybody limit this gift for you, so that you think you must have something else or more. Just be open for the gifts of the Spirit He will equip you with. And do not be like those who say: No, I cannot do that or that. No, there is no one of us who can do anything, when it comes to the Kingdom of God, but He can! As we read earlier: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”(v.4). Yes, as the Spirit was giving the utterance!
We also read this in a testimony about the gifts of the Spirit from Paul, he has mentioned certain gifts of the Spirit and then he writes further: “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:11-12).
Yes the body is a good picture for that, one limb cannot do another limb’s work! We do not need to go into detail with this I should think, it is pretty obvious. Even as obvious concerning the gifts of the Spirit, but we mess it up, by our flesh. We would rather have something extraordinary for ourselves to be seen. Jesus speaks about the greatest in His kingdom, which is the least! – If you really are going to make a “career” in the kingdom of God, you have to become one of the least. Would you like that? Would you like to be one of those who are not visible at all? You probably feel that it is shrinking up inside just by thinking about it! But you and I are not capable to carry any gift of the Spirit the right way, if we are not of the right mind; that is the case.
The gift of the Spirit that is especially mentioned here is not meant to be shown on stage with shouting, so that everybody can see how spiritual you have become. It has a totally different purpose, which all of the other gifts has, exactly to build God’s kingdom; - something you and I are not able to do with anything in ourselves. It is something God alone can do, and He uses people in His favor. - But then again, we are not able to do anything in ourselves. That is why He has given us His Spirit, to keep and edify us as believers, and to serve each others, and to spread the Kingdom of God. It is in this context you have to see this gift of the Spirit, which is shown so clearly in this passage.