Don’t forget the Holy Spirit

February 28th, 2015

In our Bible reading plan we are reading through Acts 2-6 this week. As I have been reading one thing has really jumped out at me. How things changed after the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.

Today I thought I would share some of the things about the difference the Holy Spirit made and how important it is to rely on Him in all we do. I will share four separate passages and then comment briefly on them to show how things changed after the coming of the Holy Spirit. I will finish with some things we need to remember.

1. People heard in their own languages

Acts 2:1-8 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?

Once the Holy Spirit came the believers spoke in languages that they did not previously know. The text tells us that there were tongues of fire that rested on each of them. Imagine that happening in our church today. Those who came to see what was going on were aamzed. Then they realised they could understood what was being said (v7-8). Some made fun of them, but many were converted as a result. This is an amazing miracle that took place at the birth of the church as we know it.

2. Peter preaches a powerful sermon

Acts 2:14-24 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

The same Peter who denied Christ several weeks before was a changed man. He had seen a resurrected Jesus and now he was filled with the Holy Spirit. His preaching became powerful and it cut through. He did not pull any punches. He told them straight what had happened and 3000 plus were added to the church (v41). There was a new boldness and power with Peter and all the other Apostles. The Holy Spirit changed things dramatically.

3. The believers had a new unity

Acts 2:41-47 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

After the Holy Spirit came we see a deep sense of awe came over the believers and they met constantly together in homes and the Temple. They became one like never before. Acts 2:42 says they devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching, fellowship, sharing the Lord’s supper and prayer. The were unified and devoted to the things of God. The KJV says here they “continued stedfastly” to these things. The Greek word here is devoted is pros-kar-ter-eh’-o. It means to be earnest towards, that is, (to a thing) to persevere, be constantly diligent, or (in a place) to attend assiduously all the exercises, or (to a person) to adhere closely to (as a servitor): – attend (give self) continually (upon), continue (in, instant in, with), wait on (continually). The presence of the Holy Spirit changed how they related to God and to each other. It was amazing.

4. Peter and John had a new boldness and power

Acts 3:1-10 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

We see that as Peter and John went to the Temple they found a man who was lame from birth (v2). When they spoke to the man he thought a gift would be in the offing. But that is not what Peter and John were thinking about. We see that they healed the man in Jesus name (v6). He no longer needed to beg. In an instant he was made whole. Another great miracle. One that I can relate to very much with my healing from Rheumatoid Arthritis. In a moment Jesus healed me. In a moment this man was healed too. Acts 3:11 tells us that everyone was in awe at what happened. In chapter 4 we see that Peter saw this was an opportunity to preach the Gospel. Well will look at this is my next message on these passages. Yet again we see the difference the Holy Spirit made.

Reflections on these passages

As I have been reading these chapters I was reminded at how often the Holy Spirit was present in what they did. In fact He was the One who provided the power, the inspiration, the awe, the words and the conviction! He was entwined and wrapped up in all they did.

I wonder for us as Christians we forget about the Holy Spirit and the power and help that is available to us and is in us. How often do we try to do things in our own strength and not rely on His promptings, power and enabling?

I know personally there are times when I have forgotten all I have in the Holy Spirit and I relied too much on my own strength, abilities, training and experience. How about you?

We need to remember

We need to remember that everything Jesus did was by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was conceived by the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit and raised to life by the Spirit.

We need to remember verses like Romans 8:11 that tell us “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”

We need to remember 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”

We need to remember Acts 1:8 “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.”

We need to remember Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

We need to remember Romans 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

The Holy Spirit empowered the early church. He is here today to empower us too. Let us not neglect the Holy Spirit. Let us not forget the Holy Spirit. As we have seen today it is just so vital if we are to be all we are meant to be in Christ and if we are going to reach this world for Christ.

I will finish with the words of the old Keith Green song “There is a redeemer”…

Thank You oh my Father for giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit ’til the work on Earth is done

Let us pray