July 9, 2023
“1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. 5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ “
Acts 2:1–12 (NASB1995)
He has made you a community of fire and Spirit
A Community of Fire and Spirit
I. He Make His Presence Plain to Us
“2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. “
Acts 2:2–3 (NASB1995)
This is one of the most incredible events in all of history – AND it happened with only 120 people in the room.
They heard something that was “like a violent wind”and saw something that was looked like “fire distributing and resting on each of them.”
When God made His presence clear and plain, it was through a supernatural experience of wind and fire. This is how God showed Himself plainly in the history of His people when He was doing a new thing. A new covenant; a new calling; a new reality.
When God opened the Red Sea in Exodus – it was through a supernatural wind from the East
When God revealed His presence to Job in Job 38 – He did it through a violent tornado.
When God told Ezekiel to speak to the valley of dry bones – God brought them to life from a strong wind that came from all four directions.
When God made His covenant with Abraham Genesis 15 – His presence was through a blazing torch.
When Moses met God in the desert – it was through a fire burning a bush, but the bush wasn’t consumed.
God’s presence led His people out of Egypt, and into the land of promise – by a pillar of fire.
At Solomon’s altar, and Elijah’s altar – the offerings were consumed by a supernatural fire.
...and He’s doing it in this scripture describing Pentecost – to show these people who knew the Old Testament and knew what this meant the real presence of God coming into their lives.
II. He Indwells and Fills Us
“3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. “
Acts 2:3-4 (NASB1995)
This was the Holy Spirit coming live IN the people of God. It’s a brand new reality. It is the ultimate effect of the New Covenant produced by the death and resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
Until this moment, never had God’s presence ever rested / resided inside the hearts of His people.
This was the promise of Ezekiel 36:
“25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols.
26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.”
Ezekiel 36:25–27 (NLT)
This is the supernatural thing that happens inside every person who genuinely put their faith in Christ.
The Spirit of God comes to dwell in us:
1. To be strengthened with power through His Spirit
“that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,”
Ephesians 3:16 (NASB1995)
2. To have His character qualities growing in you –
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;”
Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB1995)
3. To have His presence in us assuring us by presence that we are children of God – producing closeness with Him.
"15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children."
Romans 8:15–16 (NIV)
III. He Ignites a Heart of Devotion in Us
"They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. "
Acts 2:42 (NASB1995)
The Four Devotions
1. The Apostle’s teaching
They were learning the Word of God, its principles for living, it’s promises, it’s power to change their inner lives. It was alive and empowered and affecting their hearts and minds and wills.
The word Luke used was "Koinonia," but it’s the only time it’s used in Acts. By using it only once, Luke meant something really specific and unique.
It means to deeply share in something. We share with each other the life of Christ in us.
It deeply connects us together. It causes us to care for one another, and love one another in really self-giving and unexpected ways.
Our lives should be close to one another, and shared together.
3. Breaking of bread
It either means that they were constantly having their meals together or it means they were constantly sharing the Lord’s Supper or Communion together – an experience that helps us see Christ on the cross and His love, and mercy, and forgiveness toward us. It helps us recommit ourselves over and over to live for Christ and get rid of sin.
4. And to prayer
They were constantly getting together to simply pray together. It is prayer “in community” where faith is added to faith.
The power of all of these is that they were done in community with other believers.
You need to be in a group. A group of Christians. Otherwise spiritual growth is NOT very possible.
You need the wisdom of other spiritually-mature people to pour into you.
You need others who can see your weaknesses and still affirm that they see the life of Christ in you.
You need the care of others and you need the trouble of caring for others in order to grow spiritually.
You need the power of shared prayer where you pray in community.