The Apostles who were assembled in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost may have been reflecting on the words that Jesus had spoken to them days before. He had told them not to depart from the city, and they were to wait for the ‘Promise of the Father’. He had said, “John baptised you with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5) The women and Mary the mother of Jesus, along with His brothers were also there praying. (Acts 1:12-14; 2:1)
What did it mean to be baptised with the Holy Spirit? They were about to find out! All of a sudden they heard a sound of ‘a rushing mighty wind’, and at the same time they saw what looked like tongues, as of fire, resting on them. Then by the Spirit’s enabling they spontaneously found themselves speaking in foreign languages according to the Spirit’s leading. (Acts 2:1-4)
At that time there were devout Jews from every nation dwelling in Jerusalem. (Acts 2:5) They also, heard the sound of the rushing mighty wind, and with others they came to find out what it was all about.
On arriving at the scene, these people from Parthia, Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia and many other countries, heard them speaking in their own languages, and they were utterly amazed, (v 12) but some thought they had been drinking and mocked them. (v 13)
With this great crowd assembled, Peter, compelled by the Spirit, stood up and proclaimed that what they were seeing and experiencing was the fulfilment of Joel’s prophesy: ’And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams, and on my menservants and on my maidservants I will pour out my Spirit in those days.’ ………….. “In the awesome day of the LORD ….. whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (vs 17-21)
Transformed and emboldened by the Holy Spirit, Peter couldn’t stop himself from explaining to the people how God had sworn to king David He would raise up Christ to sit on his throne. (v 30) He would be raised from the dead, never to die again; Peter and the others were witnesses of this selfsame Christ Jesus. They had clearly seen Him, been with Him, (John 1:14) even touched Him, (John 20:26-29) and witnessed His ascension. (Acts 2:32) Furthermore, that day they were recipients of the promised Holy Spirit. (v 33)
Christ had been crucified and raised alive. With this knowledge the people were ‘cut to the heart’, and they asked what they should do. Peter said, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children, and to all who are afar off, as many the Lord our God will call.” (vs 38, 39)
From these words it is evident that the pouring out of the Spirit continues today, not as it did in the formative days of the Church with spectacular displays of the Spirit, and demonstrations of His power, but we do see the Spirit transforming the lives of those who are in Christ. Those who have truly been transformed reveal His presence in their lives. As they live in the Spirit they bring forth His fruit. They have crucified the flesh, and live in the Spirit, and walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-26)
This is the mighty ongoing POWER of the Spirit who transforms people and brings newness of life.
‘Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)