The Arrival of the Spirit

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Open with story of debate between cricket and football with my landscaping foreman from New Zealand
Lots of time standing around in football
In between plays they will huddle up and get ready for what is next
Call the play, encourage each other, talk about dinner plans… etc.
As we pick up the story in Acts, the apostles are in a holy huddle
Calling the next play, encouraging each other, and probably even discussing dinner plans (and eating together)
They were preparing for what was next, but even they could never have imagined what was about to happen

The Story

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the apostles hunker down in Jerusalem for 10 days
Jesus had told them to wait for the Holy Spirit, which is exactly what they are doing
They used this time productively; prayerfully selecting Matthias to replace Judas as one of the 12 apostles
On the day of Pentecost, everything changed
Pentecost = Jewish festival called the “Feast of Weeks;” literally means “50th;” celebrated 50 days after the passover
Jesus was crucified the day before Passover; appeared resurrected for 40 days; now 50 days later, which means the apostles waited 10 days(ish)
Because there was an important Jewish festival, Jews from all over the known world had gathered in Jerusalem (becomes important)
Suddenly, the Holy Spirit arrives
Sounding like a mighty rushing wind from heaven
Wind is used in some theophanies (like Job)
pneuma = wind, breath, spirit
Looking like divided tongues of fire
Fire also used in some theophanies (burning bush)
Connected to John the Baptist’s claim in Luke 3:16 “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Not only does the Holy Spirit come, but He fills the apostles
As a result they are spiritually enabled to speak about the mighty works of God in other languages… not a “heavenly language” of tongues
Remember, Jews from all over the known world were gathered in Jerusalem for the festival
Listed by Luke in verses 9 - 11
They were all amazed that these uneducated Galileans were speaking in their native tongues
Not Koine Greek, or Aramaic, but their heart language
Remind about Cassidy and Gideon’s ministry
The skeptics tried to explain this away by saying that the apostles were drunk
Either that or something unexplainable was happening; “What does this mean?” (v. 12)
In the midst of the chaos, Peter lifts his voice and gives a truly inspired sermon
He starts by debunking the myth that the apostles were drunk
His reason? It’s only 9 in the morning! *It’s 6 PM somewhere!*
More importantly, he gives a positive explanation of what is happening: Fulfillment of prophecy
Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32 (read verses 17-21)
The pouring out of God’s Spirit is a sign of the last days
Still awaiting the final day (Day of the Lord)
Already but not yet
Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved
A reference to Yahweh for Joel; now a reference to Jesus (as we will see)
Peter then goes on to make the convincing argument that Jesus is both the Messiah (Christ) and Lord (speaking to a specifically Jewish audience):
He points to the resurrection of Jesus as a fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy given by David in Psalm 16:8 - 11 (read v. 25 - 28)
David couln’t be talking about himself because he died and remains buried
Instead, David foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is alive
And all the apostles are Spirit-filled witnesses
Not only has Jesus conquered death, but He ascended into heaven, which is a fulfillment of Psalm 110:1 (read v. 34 - 35)
Jesus is now exalted at the right hand of God
Absent but present
Because he is risen and ascended, Jesus is both Lord and Christ
All foretold through David
Jesus is the descendant of David that God promised would sit on the throne...
…and the people crucified him. The promised Messiah and the Lord who saves was put to death by His own people
And the gathered Jews listening were “cut to the heart” (v. 37)
They were convicted! The Spirit enabled Peter to make the truth about Jesus clear, and many of the listeners were rightly convicted
Their response was one of humility: “What shall we do?”
Read Acts 2:38 “And Peter said to them, “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.”
Repent = Confession of sins and turning towards God
Be baptized = Outward profession of an inward reality
In the name of Jesus = Those who call upon the name of the Lord [Jesus] will be saved [forgiveness of sins]
Receive the Holy Spirit = A gift given to true believers in Christ
Not just the apostles; not even just those intiallity listening and responding to the Good News, but “the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:39)
Notice the similarities between this verse and the Great Commision (expanding circles/ranges)
The Good News of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit are to go to the farthest ends of the earth
On that immediate day, 3,000 souls believed and were baptized
This is a pastor’s dream! It is an amazing start to the Spirit empowered church of Jesus Christ
I can’t wait to continue to explore what happens next! But where do we go from here?

The Good News of Jesus is For You

Peter made an incredibly winsome argument for Jesus to his Jewish brothers and sisters
Quoted Scripture, pointed to fulfilled prophecy, drilled down on the expected King from the line of David, etc.
At this point, Peter is not even considering Gentiles in the church of Jesus (that revelation and lesson comes later for him)
There are still compelling arguments to be made for believing in Jesus today in our own context
Start with brokenness (guilt, shame, pain and evil)
So many people trying so many different ways to overcome brokenness (success, substances, sex, family, etc.)
These things may help for a little while, but none can fix the root of the problem (sin)
Sin is the root cause of our brokenness, and it is unfixable in our own power
We are shackled by sin; unable to set ourselves free
We don’t have the power to overcome sin and brokenness and neither does the world around us
The ONLY permanent solution to this problem is Jesus
Why does He succeed where we all fail? Because He was perfect and sinless
How does this impact us? Because when Jesus died on the cross He didn’t pay the penalty for His sins, but for our sins (the sins of the world)
On the cross, the root cause of brokenness was perfectly dealt with. Our sins are forgiven. You are forgiven!
To escape brokenness is to trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, and to live in the freedom that He brings
We are no longer shackled by sin, we are free
The goal is to use this freedom to go and sin no more, leaving sin and brokenness behind
Do you believe? Does this argument for Jesus sound compelling? Familiar?
It is modern words on the same message from Peter: “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” (Acts 2:38)

The Gift of the Holy Spirit is For You

When you place your trust and belief in the name of Jesus, He gifts you with His Spirit
True for the apostles and all those who believed on the day of Pentecost
True for all who repent and believe today… this for you!
From that day foward the Holy Spirit dwells within you; nothing can take that away
The way Luke explains this is through the language of “pouring” and “filling”
The Spirit is “poured out” in Joel 2, and on the apostles in v. 33
The apostles are “filled” with the Holy Spirit in v. 4
God does the pouring, and we are filled (like a vessel with water)
While it is true that we receive the Spirit when we believe in Jesus (event), there is a true sense of being continually filled (process) as we live our lives
Cf. Ephesians 5:18.
Both Acts 2 and Ephesians 5 contrast the filling of wine vs. filling of Spirit
Greek = present imperative = continual filling of the Spirit
Christians are to keep their lives open to be filled constantly and repeatedly by the divine Spirit. So NEB ‘let the Holy Spirit fill you’.
Use closed, full and empty pitcher to make this point
Are you open to the Spirit? Are you empty of other distractions and influences? Believe and be filled today
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