The church of Jesus has been born out of the presence of God and was created to gather around His presence continually through the Holy Spirit. In the book of Acts, we see that, within a few short weeks, the crowd in Jerusalem went from saying, “Crucify Jesus” to “What must we do to be saved?” What changed? Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit changed everything. And so, He can and must change us. People should see a difference in us as easily as they notice clothing. This message has an urgency today – the church has tried to do things in its own strength and experienced very weak and human results. We all need a personal Pentecost today and, like Jesus’ original disciples, we must wait actively and expectantly for God to change us. Pray for this with shameless persistence – celebrate what God gives you and share the fire you have been given.
Jesus promised His disciples that He would send them the Holy Spirit if they waited for it. Then on Pentecost He delivered on the promise and sent the Holy Spirit for all believers. In the promise that Jesus gives in Luke 24:49 there is some really interesting grammar in the Greek that is important for us to understand, because it helps explain much about the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2 we see the promise of the Holy Spirit fulfilled, as well as some more interesting grammar that again explains the Holy Spirit.
Seek First: Pentecost (Luke 24:49 & Acts 2)
Luke 24:49 Jesus starts out by saying “stay here.” In Greek, it’s actually the verb “to sit.”
• The verb is in the active form which means the subject of the verb does the action.
o It’s their job, or action to sit still and wait.
• Then Jesus says “clothed.” This word has an interesting meaning, “the sense of sinking into a garment.”
o We wear the Holy Spirit; it becomes our comfortable identity.
o Then this is what is really interesting, this verb is in the passive form.
o Which means the actions happens to the subject with no volition on the part of the subject.
• Then the next word is power, “until you are clothed with power.” This is the word dunamis
o But the word also means strength, ability, super natural power, power to perform miracles,
Acts 2:1 Notice what they see and hear is different.
• Then it says that the fire came to rest on each of them.
o The verb “to rest” here is the same verb “to sit” we saw back in Luke 24:49
But this time it’s the tongues of fire that are doing the sitting.
Verse 4 Notice it says All of them were filled. So, this can be our expectation for today.
• The verb here filled is in the passive form.
o So, the disciples have no part in the filling, it is just happening to them.
Verse 5 Jesus prophesied that the Gospel would go to all nations in Luke 24:47 this is confirmation of that.
Verse 6 The sound here in verse 6 is different than in verse 2.
o There the sound filled the whole house, here the sound fills the whole city.
• The Spirit came, heaven spoke, and people responded.
Verse 7-8 But this isn’t about the tongues this is about the nations and the work of the Spirit.
Verse 11 This is a prophetic statement that every people and group must hear the Gospel in their own language.
Verse 12 The word translated as perplexed has as its first definition, “to be entirely at a loss”
Verse 13 Fear and misunderstanding cloud the minds and hearts of many people. See 1 Cor 2:14
So what do we do? How do we prepare for a move of the Spirit?
1. Repent: Lively cleanly before the Lord by being quick to repent.
2. Receive forgiveness from Jesus
3. Actively wait (Don’t think, “If the Lord wants to give it to me, He knows where to find me.”)
4. Plan for it. (Prepare in advance for what will come.)
5. Receive (Remember the disciple and the people in Jerusalem didn’t understand it either.)
6. Work it (Steward what you do have well and He will give you more.)
7. Celebrate what you do have
8. Keep it simple (It’s about Jesus and His ministry)
9. Spread the fire (Take what you have and spread it.)