THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BOOK OF ACTS
A. HUMOR: MY COMPUTER GUY
1. I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Harold the computer guy, to come over. Harold clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. He gave me a bill for a minimum service call. As he was walking away, I called after him, "So, what was wrong?"
2. He replied, "It was an ID ten T error."
3. I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, "An, ID ten T error? What's that ... in case I need to fix it again?"
4. The computer guy grinned.... "Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?"
5. "No," I replied.
6. "Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out." So I wrote out ........ I D 1 0 T
7. I used to like Harold...
B. TEXT & THESIS
1. Tonight we’re on our 6th installment on a series on the Holy Spirit. Tonight we’re moving into the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, but which more appropriately could be called, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.”
2. We’re covering the ministry of the Spirit in the life of the Early Church. It all started just 50 days after Jesus’ crucifixion when after waiting 10 days in prayer, the Holy Spirit fell on the early disciples in power.
3. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4.
4. We’re looking tonight at the repercussions of this great event “The Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts.”
I. HOW N.T. OUTPOURING DIFF. FROM O.T.
A. NOW CAME INSIDE
1. While Jesus was still on Earth, the Holy Spirit was WITH the disciples, and after His resurrection would be IN the disciples (“the Spirit of truth…he lives with you and will be in you” John 14:17; 7:39).
2. In other words, the disciples weren’t “Born Again” until after Jesus rose from the dead. The Age of the Spirit wasn’t possible until after the Atonement at the Cross, so that our bodily Temples could be cleansed & then indwelt permanently.
3. The first thing Jesus did after rising from the dead was to breath on the 12(11); “And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Jn. 20:22.
4. This was the renewal of the original creative act of God when He made Adam & Eve and “breathed” His Spirit into them (Gen. 2:7). God did it again in the N.T.
5. This very clearly outlines the difference between the O.T. dispensation of the Spirit, and the N.T. operation of the Spirit after Christ’s redemption.
B. FILLING PROMISED TO ALL
1. In the whole O.T. period, only 26 individuals and 2 groups had the Spirit come INTO them. Each was only a temporary visit.
2. The universality of the promise is announced by Joel (2:28-29) “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
3. Now not a few could be filled, but everyone! Acts 2:38-39.
C. NOT A TRICKLE, BUT “POURED” OUT
1. There were only sprinkles or trickles of the Spirit in the Old Testament, but now the floodgates were thrown open and the Spirit poured out.
2. Isa. 32:15, “till the Spirit is poured on us from on high.” Isa. 44:3, “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” Zech. 12:10, “And I will pour out…a Spirit of grace…”
D. STAY WITH US PERMANENTLY
1. Instead of coming when the need arose – like on Samson – and the leaving, over & over again, the Spirit will come on believers to stay permanently.
2. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever” John 14:16.
E. WAS SUPERIOR IN RESULTS TO THE O.T.
1. The dispensation that relied on obedience to the Law to justify did not give the follower power to keep it.
2. “…through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the [Mosaic] law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did…” Rom. 8:2-3.
3. God’s solution to our weakness was prophesied by Ezekiel (36:27), “And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
II. SPIRIT BAPTISM NOT SAME AS SALVATION
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not to be confused with salvation. The Holy Spirit has different ministries for different purposes.
A. EXAMPLES OF THE DIFFERENCE
1. It is clear from Luke 10:20 that the apostles were saved before the day of Pentecost, and that Jesus had even breathed the Holy Spirit on them in regeneration (John 20:22).
2. At the Samarian revival (Acts 8:5-18), the people heard the Word preached (6), believed on Christ(12), were baptized in water (12), and later were baptized in the Holy Spirit (17).
3. In Acts 19: 1-7 Paul specifically asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit since they "believed." He obviously saw a difference between “believing” on Jesus and “receiving” the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
B. REGENERATION VERSUS EMPOWERING
1. The Samarians “heard” (8:6) the Gospel, “believed”(8:12) on Christ, and were baptized(8:12). They were saved, born again.
2. Then why did the Apostles think they still needed something? So the Holy Spirit might “fall” (Gr. epipipto- intensified or hard ‘fall’) on them.
3. The same descriptive word was used of the Spirit’s falling at Cornelius’ house (10:44) and on the apostles at Pentecost (11:15). It was used of the crowd “pressing” on Jesus in Mk. 3:10.
4. When you get saved, the H.S. comes in and does a regenerating work. But there’s another work of the H.S. foretold about by Jesus (Lk. 24:49, Acts 1:4-5): a work of empowering. We still need that!
5. Getting saved is like drinking a glass of water; being “baptized” with the H.S. is like jumping in a swimming pool. There’s quite a difference.
6. In 4 out of 5 instances in Acts (2:4; 9:17->1 Cor. 14:18; 10:46; 19:6), the common sign was speaking in tongues. Simon Magus “saw” something happen when the Spirit came on them. Most older commentaries believe it was their speaking in tongues; so do I.
7. We need this same anointing to do works of service and be used in the gifts of the Spirit. Jesus hasn’t changed. The Holy Spirit hasn’t left.
C. POWER REFILLINGS NECESSARY
Just like your phone needs to be re-charged, so do Christians. This happened frequently AFTER the Day of Pentecost!
1. Acts 4:8, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit…”
2. Acts 4:31, “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
3. Acts 13:9, “Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said…”
4. Acts 13:52, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
5. HUMOR. There was a young man who complained that whenever he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he was like a bucket with holes. The Spirit merely drained out of him. His friend said, "That may be true, but even a bucket full of holes can be filled with water if it is immersed in the river and left there."
III. SIGNS ACCOMPANYING THE SPIRIT’S COMING
A. INSTANCES BELIEVERS RECEIVING THE BHS IN ACTS
1. All the Apostles & close followers of Jesus, Acts 2:1-4 [they all spoke in Spirit-given languages]
2. Believers at Samaria, Acts 8:14-17. [Simon saw some physical phenomenon]
3. Saul(became the Apostle Paul) filled, Acts 9:17 [He said he spoke in Spirit-given languages, I Cor. 14:18]
4. Cornelius the Centurion, Acts 10:44-46 [he, friends & family all spoke in Spirit-given languages]
5. 12 disciples at Ephesus, Acts 19:1-6 [all spoke in Spirit-given languages]
B. SIGNS OF THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. Acts 2:1-4; Fire, Wind, Tongues
2. Acts 8:17-19; Something Visible
3. Acts 9:17-19; Saul spoke in tongues (1 Cor. 14:21)
4. Acts 10:44-47; Tongues (11:15-17) & praise
5. Acts 19:3-6; Tongues, Prophesy
CONCLUSION: Tongues are the common factor in five different experiences. Why tongues? Isa. 28:11 (1 Cor. 14:21).
C. ROUTINELY IMPARTED BY PRAYER & LAYING ON OF HANDS
1. Acts 8:17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
2. Acts 8:18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money
3. Acts 8:19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.
4. Acts 19:6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
SPIRIT-FILLING A REQUIREMENT FOR LEADERSHIP
1. Acts 6:3, “Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.”
2. Acts 11:24, “He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”
IV. RESULTS OF HOLY SPIRIT PRESENCE
A. HIGHER LEVEL OF ACCOUNTABILITY
1. Acts 5:3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
2. Acts 5:9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”
B. MIRACLES BECAME MORE COMMON
1. Acts 5:16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
2. Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.
C. THE SPIRIT GIVES WISDOM, ENCOURAGEMENT
1. Acts 6:10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.
2. Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
D. SPIRIT FORETELLS THE FUTURE
1. Acts 11:28, “One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world.”
2. Acts 21:11, “Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’”
E. SPIRIT DIRECTS THE EARLY CHURCH
1. DIRECT EVANGELISM. Acts 8:29, “The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it. Acts 8:39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.”
2. CALLS MISSIONARIES. Acts 13:2, “While they were
worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
3. SETTLES CHURCH PROBLEMS. Acts 15:28, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements”
4. DIRECTS OUR DIRECTION. Acts 16:6-7, “Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.”
5. CHOOSES LEADERS. Acts 20:28, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”
A. Know It's God's Plan For You!
1. Christianity without the power of the Holy Spirit, is like the shuttle without its booster rockets; the shuttle can't get into orbit without those rockets. It's the same with us without the Holy Spirit.
2. You must want it. Not passively, but actively.
Not if God wants me to have it, then just let Him give it to me. Does that argument work with salvation? Why should it work for the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
3. Don't expect someone else's experience! Some people experience lightning, flashing lights, and fireworks; others experience quiet and deep worship. Don't expect someone else's experience!
4. Anything that we receive from God is by faith – like that of a mustard seed.
B. THE CALL
1. ALL BELIEVERS ARE CANDIDATES FOR THE BHS
Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “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.
2. People will lay hands on you.
3. Words will come to your mind or well up within you. Speaks them and out in faith. God is not going to grab your jaw and make you talk. Act in faith.