“But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”’” – Acts 2:14-21
On the day of Pentecost, there was great excitement and great power, as well as great confusion. For those who had not heard Jesus speak of this coming Holy Spirit, there would be many questions as to what was happening. As usual, there were the skeptics who doubted and denied the power and presence of God among his people. These were the people who accused the disciples of being drunk. Then there were those who truly wanted to understand and who likely longed to be part of this community. They marveled at how everyone could hear in their own language while the words spoken were only by these simple Galilean men (Acts 2:7).
Peter stepped up to be the rock Jesus had declared him to be. Boldly, he spoke about Jesus Christ being the promised Messiah and the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures. These Old Testament Scriptures continued to be fulfilled through this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In the days of the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit was only given to the prophets and the kings. The Spirit was given for specific purposes and times. However, the Lord spoke of a day when all people would be filled with the Holy Spirit. Just as the Spirit had broken the barriers of language, he now broke through the barriers of gender, race, and ethnicity: “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (v. 21). This was truly a miracle! The Gentiles were invited into the kingdom of God. Women were invited into this inner community and given full access to the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit. There was no age discrimination. In fact, there was not any discrimination through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit. God saw children and opportunities for more children.
Standing in the audience that morning were Jews, Gentiles, men, women, and children. There were those who knew Jesus Christ as the Messiah sent by God as well as those who arranged to have Jesus arrested and crucified. Through the grace of God, all were invited into this new community of the church; all were invited into a relationship with the triune God; and all were invited to receive the Holy Spirit. Later in this chapter, we read that 3,000 people were added to the church that day.
The once-timid Peter became the appointed spokesperson. Every person standing there was now anointed and appointed to share this good news about Jesus Christ. The church was just beginning and would continue to expand through the teaching of the Apostles and the Gospel proclamation by the children of God. God’s Spirit was poured out on all who believed and would continue to be poured out on all who came to believe.
The Lord still wants to grow his church through the outpouring of his Holy Spirit. He still wants us to share the good news and to invite people to come into fellowship with him and with the body of his church.
Reflect & Respond:
Are you part of this expansion of God’s church? Are you inviting all people to come and hear what God has done and to experience this outpouring of the Holy Spirit? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small-group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!
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