Summary: There is a dynamic difference between believers who are not fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit and those who are. We see evidence of this on the day of Pentecost.
Please open your Bibles to Acts 2:1-13 which we will read in a few minutes.
Last Sunday we took a brief look at the Ascension of Jesus to Heaven and how that act was a critical part of the plan of redemption that was put into place before the beginning of time.
We took a look at how the great parts of God’s perfect plan of salvation were executed at just the right time in order to bring salvation to a world of people lost and dying in sin.
We saw how God’s great love for us draws us to return that love to Him and out of that love flows a life that is pleasing to the Lord in our actions as well.
Today we will see how the gift of the Holy Spirit enables us to live out our lives of obedience to Jesus in ways that would not have been possible before the coming of the Holy Spirit.
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read Acts 2:1-13
(Now go through the verses again and this time comment on certain aspects)
Vs 1 – all together in one place (in obedience to Jesus’ commands)
Vs 2 – sound of wind but no mention of an actual, physical wind
Vs 3 – tongues of fire – natural fire aimlessly seeks out combustible materials
– this fire targeted individuals – no left over fire – just enough
Vs 4 – They were all filled with the Holy Spirit
Vs 4 – They all began to speak in languages they had not previously been able to use
Vs 4 – At this point we don’t know if these are common earthly languages or not
Vs 5 – There are many devout followers of Judaism in Jerusalem at that time. Why?
- Pentecost! The festival of the Feast of Weeks or Shavot
- one of the three Jewish pilgrimage festivals
- Celebrates the beginning of the wheat harvest
- Celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments by the Lord to the nation of Israel fifty days after their exodus from Egypt
Vs 6 – The Jewish pilgrims from many nations heard the sound of the wind and the
sounds of 120 people declaring the wonders of God in many languages
They all heard in their own language no matter which disciple they were standing
Vs 7-11 – Galileans (thought to be lacking in observing Jewish law)
“Declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues (languages)”
Vs 12-13 – the event was amazing, perplexing and yet provoked mockery
In the Scripture we read last week from Acts 1 we saw that the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples were, “…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Up until this point we have not seen any eagerness on the part of the disciples to be witnesses of Jesus. They have seen Him perform many mighty miracles, they have met with Him multiple times after He had risen from the dead and yet they were NOT His witnesses.
Then came the Holy Spirit who filled them with courage and the miraculous gift of speaking in languages unknown to them as a proof to those who came to the Feast of Pentecost that another mighty miracle was taking place.
From that time on the disciples could not be shut up!
They were indeed changed from inactive disciples to active evangelists!
Even when threatened with death they would not shut up!
What caused the change? They were filled with the Holy Spirit, that’s what!
What was the result? Well, if you read through the book of Acts you will see that not only were 3,000 saved on that very day but the disciples eventually went to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, throughout the Roman Empire and beyond preaching the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus and establishing churches in almost every town.
OK. Reality check! Right?
One of the most amazing, astonishing, God-Events in all of human history, before or after, has just taken place.
Given the circumstances what would we expect to take place?
Try to imagine this taking place in America today.
The 120 disciples are all together praying, tongues of fire come and set on their heads, they start speaking in languages that are unknown to them, they are filled with the Holy Spirit!
What would we do? What we might very well do is this; we might run outside and start shouting, “Did you hear that? Did you hear that sound of a mighty, rushing wind but there was no wind? And, you can’t believe what happened next! There was what looked like fire sitting on each of our heads but our hair did not catch fire! And, then we started speaking in languages we didn’t even know! Wow! What an experience! Let’s go back inside and see if we can get it to happen again! Wow! Come on in! Check it out!”