Summary: When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives is there a radical change? Should there be a radical change? Is there a difference when the Holy Spirit infills and directs a church and when He does not? Let's see what the Bible says!
If you would, please stand as we say together our memory Scripture for this quarter:
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
And our memory refresher Scripture is …
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Please open your Bibles to Acts 2:1-21, 34-41 which we will read in a few minutes.
This past Sunday was the day that is generally designated as Pentecost Sunday on the church calendar.
It is also referred to as the day the church was born.
So, let’s set it up.
Jesus was crucified during the Passover Festival when all Jewish men were required to come to Jerusalem. During the Passover Festival the High Priest would sacrifice the Passover lamb and take the blood of the Lamb into the Most Holy Place of the Temple which was also called the Holy of Holies. To do this the High Priest would have to pass through a veil that was several inches thick and which weighed hundreds of pounds and this veil separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. This would only be done once a year on Passover.
On that same day when there were tens of thousands of Jews from all over that area of the world, Jesus the Great High Priest sacrificed Himself as the Perfect Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary for the forgiveness of the sins of humanity and the veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom as if God Himself had opened the way for us to enter into His presence.
And, indeed, that is what He had done.
After Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb the apostles hid in a room with the doors bolted and the windows locked.
Three days later Jesus rises from the dead with a glorified body and is greeted at the tomb by some women who had followed Him during His ministry and they run to tell the disciples who are still hiding in a locked room that Jesus is risen from the dead.
Other disciples are headed out of town saying, “we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel” while actually talking to the resurrected Jesus.
Over the next 40 days Jesus appears to as many as 500 disciples on multiple occasions.
And then after the 40 days are up Jesus ascends into Heaven and the disciples go to Jerusalem to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised.
At the end of the Gospel of Luke it says that the disciples, “stayed continually at the temple, praising God.”
So, now it is ten days later and once again Jerusalem is filled with tens of thousands of devoted Jews who have come from all over that area of the world for the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of the First Fruits.
And, this is where we pickup in Acts chapter 2.
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read Acts 2:1-21
At that point a great crowd has been attracted by the sound of a mighty, rushing wind and the incredible sound of 120 voices declaring the praises of God.
Then Peter launches into a sermon that starts out with a history lesson and ends with an accusation that brings conviction on many in the crowd.
So, let’s continue on by reading verses Acts 2:34-41
Now, just a side note here ... When it says in Acts 2:38, "And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit ..." it is NOT talking about any particular gift of the Holy Spirit. What it is actually saying is, "And you will receive the Holy Spirit as a gift ..."
We will receive the actual presence of the Holy Spirit within us. We will receive the Giver of all gifts Himself!
Praise the Lord!!!!!!
Sorry for the tangent but it was necessary to make that clear because there is a lot of misconception regarding that phrase.
Now ... back to Pentecost ...
Many of the devoted Jews who were there at Pentecost had also been there at the Passover Feast when Jesus had been crucified.
This crucifixion was not something that had happened in secret. As one of the disciples on the road to Emmaus has said to Jesus, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”