Acts 2 describes the incredible start of the first church. Ten days after Jesus was taken
up into Heaven, all of the believers were gathered in the upper room. Then, the Holy
Spirit showed up in a MASSIVE way. Verses 2-4 say, “A sound like the blowing of a
violent wind came from Heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They
saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of
them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as
the Holy Spirit enabled.”
Wow, how remarkable is that? The Holy Spirit fell on the believers in that room and
empowered them to speak in other tongues. It was all the power of the Holy Spirit
working through them.
Now something interesting about the time frame of the day of Pentecost is that it was
during the Festival of Weeks. This is a festival of thanksgiving for the harvested crops
and is also called Pentecost. When this festival was held, Jews from all over the world
came together in Jerusalem to celebrate. When they heard all of the noise, they
gathered to see what was happening.
Verses 9 through 11 list all of the groups of Jews that were gathered and heard their
own language being spoken by the believers who were Galileans. All of the different nationalities
heard their own language being spoken! God prepared a way for the Gospel to spread
rapidly. Only in God’s timing would He pour out His Spirit at this time so all of those Jews
could hear and see it! The tongues they were speaking in were evidence of the Holy
Spirit’s power working in them. They were totally enabled by the Holy Spirit to do this.
Many of the Jews were not ready to accept this as being from the Lord. They assumed
they were drunk. So, Peter, empowered by the Holy Spirit, stepped out in boldness. The
man who had denied Jesus three times was now stepping into the role Jesus had for
him. This fulfills what Jesus spoke over him in Matthew 16:18 “And I tell you that you
are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not
Peter immediately begins to share the words of Joel that in the Last Days, the days
between Christ’s first coming and until He returns, God will pour out his Spirit on all
people. He begins to share the good news of Christ with them and 3000 people were
added to the church that day. Through this bold act, the church of God was established.
That’s what happens when the Holy Spirit shows up in our lives. We go from the timid,
fearful people that we are without the Holy Spirit, to bold and fearless. The Spirit God gives us “does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” as said in 2 Timothy 1:7.
Whatever we once were, we are no longer because of what Christ did on the cross.
And, we are empowered to do the things we are called to do because we are not relying
on our own power.
In verses 38-39, Peter replied, “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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom
the Lord our God will call.”
This gift of the Holy Spirit is for all who will accept Him. When we repent of our sins and
turn to Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth who speaks to us the
things of God. He is our advocate who teaches and reminds us of the Scripture. More
than that, He is for EVERYONE. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord can
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. No one has to keep trying to fulfill God’s will for their life in
their own strength. Just like Peter, we can be empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the
things God has called us to do.