The first New Testament Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2 changed the world. The promise that Jesus had made to His disciples had been fulfilled. The One who was with them had now come to live in them. The disciples lives changed in an instant and the world has never been the same since that amazing morning.
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29 NIV)
Around the world today believers remember and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. There will be sermons about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. There will be sermons about the Great Commission and the power and grace of God to take the gospel to the world. There will also be sermons that marginalize the events of Acts 2, relegating them to the experience of First Century Christians only. Regardless of which message you may have heard today I would like to look at the end of Acts this Pentecost Sunday and focus on the results of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon all flesh.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 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, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47 NIV)
A new community had been created. This new church was truly the Ekklesia of Christ. They had been called out of the world and assembled together as those born again from sin into a wonderful new kingdom, the kingdom of God.
They spent their time learning from the Apostles. They spent their time in fellowship with one another; not in simply attending meetings together but in truly becoming a vital part of each others lives. They broke bread together. This was normal meals but this was also Communion, remembering the Lord Jesus as He asked us to do. They also spent time in prayer. This new community that arose out of Pentecost was both horizontal and vertical. Their faith in Christ had connected them to heaven allowing them to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and as a result of this new connection to the Lord they had all been connected to each other. They truly became the Body of Christ.
As we continue to read the passage we find that they took care of each other. They met one another’s needs by sharing the resources they possessed freely and gladly. We also read that the Holy Spirit supernaturally worked miracles, signs and wonders through the Apostles and that this caused awe, wonder and even reverential fear to come upon all of the believers. We read that this continued in their homes, in the temple and everywhere they went. The result was powerful, they had the favor of the people and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
I truly believe that the Lord wants to work in the 21st Century in the same manner that He did in the 1st Century. Our world needs to see a power supernatural demonstration of the power of the resurrected Christ accompanied by a growing community of believers that are truly the body of Christ.
The event of Pentecost was the supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon those who had placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The immediate results of this outpouring were 3,000 people joining the original 120 believers. the ongoing effects of Pentecost were the events of Acts 2:42-47 as described above.
My prayer for our church on this Pentecost Sunday is that we would experience both a powerful demonstration of the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit and that we, the believers, would truly become the Body of Christ. We cannot have one without the other.
The power of the resurrection is testified to by the life transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives in the new birth as well as through the demonstration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The power of the new birth is testified to through our love for one another.
“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.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35 NIV)