Today I spoke on the subject of Church Life in Jerusalem. Well I was meant to – in fact I talked about it being a church full of people filled with Holy Spirit, so it is more a very very simply study on the ways the book of Acts describes disciples and their relationship with him
1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The Holy Spirit and the believers in Acts – receiving him
Four preliminary points:
They were already believers
It was a definite experience
It is a gift of God – promise of the Father
A response is required
Is your experience of the Holy Spirit intellectual?
“The Spirit of God acts with considerable disturbing effect. It is part of his nature to do so.”
Donald Guthrie, NT Theology
“The work of the Holy Spirit is to manifest the active presence of God in the world, and especially in the church”
Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology
A number of words are used in describing the action of the Holy Spirit in entering into and then affecting the life of the disciples:
Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
…was spoken through the prophet Joel:
‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon 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 upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:16-18
The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
Acts 10:44 NKJV
Acts 8:12 – they were born again
For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4
It is not properly being baptized by – after all Jesus is the one who baptizes us
We are baptized into
Thus we are enveloped, plunged under, drenched, saturated, soaked or immersed into the reality of the Holy Spirit
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Note that the house was filled first – 2:2 – so they were surrounded!
In other cases it is a filling of people who had been filled earlier
Peter – Acts 4:8, Disciples – Acts 4:31
Paul – Acts 13:9
Stephen – Acts 7:55
Barnabas – Acts 11:24
Jesus – Luke 4:1
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
be continuously filled – go on being filled
One of my concerns across the board in modern churches is that we do not respect the Holy Spirit – the following are simply injunctions to help us avoid complacency and irreverence in this.
Dangers in our fellowship with the Holy Spirit
Eph 4:30…And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption
How can we can grieve him?
Eph 4:31…Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice
Acts 5:3,4…Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?
…Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire
…do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good
You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!
Heb 10:29…Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot…who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?