Summary: The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost enables us to fulfill the great commission and our mission in the world.
Acts 2: 1 – 21 / What Does This Mean?
Intro: Have you ever had one of those Hmmmm experiences? You know, one of those experiences that makes you wonder and say hmmm? A lady took her rather expensive watch to a jeweler to have it repaired. She told the jeweler that she keeps winding her watch but it just won’t run. What do you think this means? / You are given your 10 year service pin by your boss and it comes with a resume writing kit. / The love of your life gives you a ticket to Paris, France because they know you’ve always wanted to go there; but, the ticket is one way. / When you go to pick up your car at the repair shop and the mechanic hands you the bill with an application for a home equity loan attached to it.
I. This story from the book of Acts is another of those HMMMM stories. In fact, in verse 12 it says “All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?”
A. The writer of Acts is sharing a story about “Shavuot” or the “Feast of Weeks” It is a Jewish holiday sort of like Thanksgiving w/o the football, celebrated 50 days after Passover to celebrate the giving of the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Name is derived from the Greek word PENTECOSTOS meaning 50.
B. We tend to think of Pentecost as a Christian thing --- the birthday of the church.
C. What actually took place that day long ago was the release of the law of the Spirit of life, replacing the old covenant of law of sin and death.
II. VS 2 & 3 – “sound LIKE the blowing of a violent wind” & “What SEEMED to be tongues of fire” It does not say that the Holy Spirit IS wind or fire.
A. Fire (PYR) was frequently used by Jews, Greeks and Romans as a metaphor for what happens to an inspired prophet when they prophesy. --- (ie: cartoon lightbulb) – “She’s on fire!”
B. Wind (pneuma) often used to represent God – symbol of uncontrollable power. God’s instrument in overcoming chaos.
C. VS. 6 – 12 – Here we see the crowd gathered in bewilderment – WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
III. In an effort to explain what they are witnessing, Peter uses Joel 2: 28 – 32 to explain what is happening.
A. Peter says the events about which Joel spoke are happening right before their very eyes. The power of the Holy Spirit of God is now available to humanity.
B. In W. Texas during the depression Ira Yates had a lot of land and a lot of debt. He was in danger of losing his ranch like many ranchers at that time who had to live on a government subsidy. A seismographic crew came through his area and told him there might be oil on his land asking permission to drill a well. At 1,115 feet they struck oil and Mr. Yates owned it all yet he had been living in poverty. The problem was he didn’t know the oil was there even though he owned it.(Pentecostal Wind and Fire by Peter Langerman, SermonCentral.com)
C. The people Peter addressed and often we too are like Mr. Yates. We are heirs of a vast treasure and yet we live in spiritual poverty. We are entitled to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and its energizing power, and yet we live unaware of the potential.