6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Learning how to be the church in today's world through learning from the book of Acts.

[Fighting falling fence/wind during hurricane story.]

You know, when that wind gets blowing, it’s going to move things to wherever it’s going. In today’s passage we’re going to see the ‘wind’ of the Holy Spirit blow through the early church and move the disciples out into the world . [2] Like a rushing wind the Spirit came and gave the disciples the power and the love to be the church in their world. Likewise today, we have that same Spirit within us who will give us the power and the love to be the church in our world. The question is, will we let that rushing wind blow through our temple?

Remember what Jesus told the disciples about the Spirit before He ascended to Heaven?

[Read Acts 1:4-8.]

He tells them to stay together in Jerusalem and wait for the Spirit to come. And they did just that.

[Read Acts 1:12, 14.]

As we saw last week, 120 disciples were together and were continually devoting themselves to prayer. [3]

Now while the disciples were doing this, something else was going on there in Jerusalem. It was the time of year when Jews would come from all over the world to celebrate the Feast of Weeks. This was held every year in celebration of the first fruits of the wheat harvest. It took place fifty days after Passover and that’s why it was also referred to as Pentecost which means “fiftieth” in Greek.

So while the city is abuzz with disporia Jews coming back to Jerusalem from all over the world to worship during Pentecost, the disciples are all together in one place.

[Read Acts 2:1.]

Just like we saw last week, the disciples were together and of one mind in complete devotion to the Lord. Instead of getting caught up in the religious practices of their former spiritual life, they stayed together to pray and wait on the Spirit to come.

Now Jesus really didn’t give them much of an idea of what to look for when the Spirit came. He did tell them what the Spirit would do in their lives, but He didn’t tell them when or how it would happen. He just said they’d be baptized with the Spirit.

Now they knew what that meant. Baptism meant to be fully immersed in a pool of water in order to show others your new life in Christ. But how does that translate into the coming of the Holy Spirit? How do you get dunked in the Spirit? What does it look like? What does it feel like? How will they know it happened? They had no idea.

So they just kept praying! And that attitude of submission mixed with anticipation prepared them for what was about to happen. You see, they were in a place spiritually where they could experience all that God had for them.

[4] So when the time was right, the Spirit arrived in tongues of fire upon all the disciples who were gathered in that room together.

[Read Acts 2:1-2.] [5]

[Read Acts 2:2-3.]

They never could have imagined it happening quite like this. But I bet it soon made sense to them why God so dramatically brought the Spirit to them. You see the wind and the fire were such vivid demonstrations of the power and presence of God.

Rushing wind: First of all, I don’t think there was actually any wind blowing that was making this noise. I think the Spirit coming simply sounded like a violent rushing wind, but without the breeze.

[Read Acts 2:2a.]

It sounded like a tornado was upon them, but the air remained still. You see the sound was because of the power of God ‘breathing’ the Spirit upon them. The Greek word for Spirit is “pneuma” which is closely related to the Greek word “pnoe” used for wind or breath. The sound of the wind represented God breathing the Spirit upon the disciples.

This is a theme that runs throughout the entire Bible:

- In the book of Genesis we see God breathing life into Adam and Eve

- In the book of Ezekiel we see God breathing life into the field of dry bones

- In the book of John we see Jesus breathing the Holy Spirit upon the disciples

[Read John 20:19-22.]

Jesus gave them a temporary filling of the Spirit that would help them through the days until the fullness of His Spirit came upon them. Here on the day of Pentecost, the fullness of the Spirit came in all His power to baptize or indwell the disciples.

The noise of the wind displayed God’s power and the tongues of fire displayed God’s very presence. Another biblical theme that the disciples would have immediately recognized.

- The burning bush

- The pillar of fire

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