Development of a New Community #1
Good Questions by Josh Hunt
1. 1 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? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs--we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine. "
Peter Addresses the Crowd
14 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.'
Acts 2:1-21 (NIV)
2. One of three major Jewish feasts also called the Feast of Weeks. The name "Pentecost" is derived from the Greek word meaning "fifty." Pentecost occurs in the month of Sivan (May/June), 50 days after Passover, and celebrates the end of the grain harvest. The Pentecost that followed Jesus' death and resurrection was the occasion on which the Holy Spirit was given to believers in Jerusalem.--Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
3. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. Acts 1:4 (NIV)
4. What a lesson for us... wait. Don't rush off into ministry unprepared. Don't carry on the Lord's work in the strength of the flesh. The only way we can fulfill Christ's command to witness is to be under control of the Holy Spirit who energizes us for service.--Holman New Testament Commentary
5. If this had happened today, there would have been technical difficulties. Peter would have been yelling at the guy at the sound booth, "Cue the sound of the rushing wind!" ;-)
6. Most evangelical scholars believe the tongues of Pentecost were genuine languages, not the ecstatic sounds Paul dealt with at Corinth (1 Cor. 14:1-12). Two arguments rise strongly to emphasize that these tongues represented languages not previously learned. First, the use of the word dialek-tos in verses 6 and 8 can only refer to a language or dialect. Second, the paragraph that follows (vv. 5-12) specifically emphasizes the fact that people of different languages understood the message of the Christians in their own language.--Holman New Testament Commentary
7. Jewish people from throughout the Roman and Parthian worlds would gather for the three main feasts (Tabernacles, Passover and Pentecost). Because Pentecost was only fifty days after Passover, some who had spent much to make a rare pilgrimage to Jerusalem stayed between the two feasts. Pentecost was probably the least popular of the three pilgrimage festivals, but Josephus attests that it was nevertheless crowded--Bible Background Commentary
8. Have you ever heard drunk people articulate in languages they have never heard?
9. Peter had been an unstable leader during Jesus' ministry; he had even denied that he knew Jesus (John 18:15-18, 25-27). But Christ had forgiven and restored him (John 21:15-19). This was a new Peter, humble but bold. His confidence came from the Holy Spirit, who made him a powerful and dynamic speaker. Have you ever felt as if you've made such bad mistakes that God could never forgive and use you? No matter what sins you have committed, God promises to forgive you and make you useful for his kingdom. Allow him to forgive you and use you effectively to serve him.
--Life Application Bible Commentary
10. Peter launched into a recitation of Joel 2:28-32 reproduced by Luke from the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint. No doubt Peter saw this passage fulfilled at Pentecost, at least in part. Men and women, young and old who gathered in Jerusalem after the ascension had experienced the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and subsequently proclaimed God's wonders. Are we to understand that Peter thought the wonders in the heavens of verses 19 and 20 had also been fulfilled at Pentecost? The context implies that the remainder of Joel's prophecy, the full experience of cosmic wonders, would await the full repentance of God's chosen nation. Nevertheless, it is part of the passage in Joel, so he thunders on to get to his major theme, And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.--Holman New Testament Commentary
12. We are never commanded in the Bible to be indwelt or sealed or baptized with the Spirit--these are all gifts from God to the believer at the moment of salvation. We are commanded, however, to be filled with the Spirit (Ephes. 5:18). To be filled with the Spirit means for believers to allow the Spirit who lives in them to control their lives. This is a matter of continuous surrender of the believer's life to the Spirit's control.--Evangelism and Church Growth
13. The first step to Spirit power is desire. You begin by wanting to be filled with the Spirit. God will not force His Spirit on you or anyone else. Just as the old adage maintains that "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink," the same is true of the Christian. The filling of the Spirit will not be forced upon you.
1. Thirsting. When you desire the filling of the Spirit, it is the same as thirsting. Jesus described the process: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. This He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive" (John 7:37, 39).
2. Yielding. This is the surrendering of the will to the Spirit. When a young girl receives a proposal of marriage, she says yes if she wants the man. But that initial yes doesn't guarantee marital happiness. The couple must work at it. Both she and her husband must daily submit to the demands of marriage.
3. Asking. If you want God's power, you must ask for it. Jesus spoke the parable of the pleading neighbor who came at night when his friend was in bed. Jesus commands us to "ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Luke 11:9). Then Jesus explains for what we should pray: "How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:13).
--Evangelism and Church Growth
14. How long does it take to fall in love?