Summary: The Holy Spirit IS the Power of the Church
The Holy Spirit is Our Helper. As we noted last week, the Book of Acts is the record of the ministry and work of the Risen Lord through those He saves by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus, in JOHN 16:7-11, refers to the Holy Spirit as the Helper because that name describes His ministry in us as His people as well as in the world. Today we are going to hear about how the Holy Spirit arrives and how He helps both the disciples who were waiting for Him as well as those who were hearing the Gospel for the first time.
Acts 2:1-5: The Helper Arrives.
THE SETTING: “Pentecost.” The Helper came on a great day.
• Pente-cost: Literally means 50. The Day of Pentecost/Feast of Weeks (7 Weeks) occurs 50 days after Passover.
• First Fruit Offerings: During the celebration the Jews were to offer up to the Lord an offering of the first fruits of the wheat harvest.
• When the Jews, under the Old Covenant, were bringing their first fruit offerings of the ground, God was about to bring forth the first fruits of salvation when these 3000 were saved. Jesus planted the seed of salvation with His life, death, burial and resurrection and now God was about to begin the process of bringing in the harvest.
THE SOUND: “might rushing wind.” There was a great sound when the Helper came.
• Hurricane Ike. In 2010, for about 2-3 hours, we experienced hurricane force winds. Many of us remember that day for many different reasons. I remember it being noisy because the wind.
• Jesus, the Spirit and the Wind. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8).
• The Crowd Gathers At The Sound Of The Wind. One of the questions that we often deal with as a church is, “How can we encourage people to show up?” Here is a lesson for us to learn. When we see the Lord doing great things in and among us, others will be lured by His work!
THE SIGHT: “tongues as of fire.” There was a great sight when the Helper came.
Again it comes to us who know the story well as no surprise that the Spirit manifested Himself in both tongues and fire because when He filled the disciples their tongues were set aflame to proclaim with boldness the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Acts 2:5-13: Helping to Bring Clarity.
The crowd does not know what to make of all that they are seeing and hearing. There are two responses from the gathered crowd and both flow from confusion. One group was wondering what all this must mean. The could not deny the fact that something big was taking place and reasoned that this must certainly mean something. The other group, having had the same experience as the others, begins to mock the disciples and spews forth their accusations and derogatory comments saying that they were just a bunch of crazy drunks. Peter makes clear that their accusations were illogical and irrational but some people are so determined in their unbelief that they will accept the illogical and irrational conclusions of their minds rather than believe in the Person and work of God.
The Holy Spirit helps Peter respond to the critics and brings the prophecy of Joel is brought to Peter’s heart and mind to give explanation as to what is taking place in their midst. Peter quotes JOEL 2:28-32 and shows how what they are experiencing at this very moment is the fulfillment of God’s promise many years ago to pour out His Spirit on them. Previously the Holy Spirit was given to select people for a unique purpose. Now, however, the Holy Spirit has come upon the whole group of early believers to help them live out the call to which they have been saved. The last verse of Peter’s quote leads in to the sermon because in the day when the Holy Spirit is poured out salvation has come for all who call on the name of the Lord.
Acts 2:14-36: Helping the Preacher: The Gospel is Proclaimed.
The Holy Spirit helped the disciples in general to speak in the native languages and then helps Peter specifically to address the irrational accusations that have been made and to preach the first Gospel message recorded outside of the Gospels. Peter’s sermon goes as such: 1)Jesus was attested to them by His works which God did through Him; 2)It was God’s plan that He be handed over into the hands of His enemies; 3)YOU KILLED HIM!; 4)God raised Him back to life; 5)The great David prophesied about Jesus and His resurrection.