Encountering the Spirit

Key Verse: “Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
—Acts 2:38

Selected Scripture:
Acts 2:1-8, 38-42

SHORTLY BEFORE JESUS ascended to the Father, forty days following his resurrection, he instructed his followers to remain in Jerusalem and wait for “the promise of the Father,” that they would be “baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” (Acts 1:4,5) True to this promise, ten days later, on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon those gathered together. The manifestation of the gift of this holy power of God was made evident to all by a miraculous sound coming from heaven of a mighty wind which filled the house, even though there was no actual wind blowing. (chap. 2:2) Additionally, the appearance of fiery tongues came upon the eleven apostles, who immediately began to speak and be heard in all the many different languages represented at the gathering, and not just their native Hebrew tongue. (vss. 3-11) These were clear indications that this mighty power had come from none other than God himself, through the agency of his faithful Son, now exalted in the heavens.

Although the outward manifestations of the giving of the Holy Spirit were powerful and unmistakable, yet it was the inward effect, especially as evidenced in the eleven apostles, which was of far greater and lasting importance. The greatest example of this is shown in the Apostle Peter. Just a short time before, Peter had considered leaving the ministry of his Lord to go back to the fishing business (John 21), and did not understand the reasons for Jesus’ death, the purpose of his resurrection, or what the future held for those who had been his followers. Now, though, as a result of the revealing power of the Holy Spirit, all the pieces of the puzzle came together for Peter. Not only so, but he was intent on sharing this message of Truth to all those gathered there. He gave a sermon, speaking clearly and in great detail, as to the purpose of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, quoting from the Old Testament as it foretold of these very events.

Peter concluded his sermon with these words, “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus … both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36) Many of those gathered there, having heard Peter’s powerful sermon, were touched in their heart and asked, “What shall we do?” (vs. 37) Peter responded with the words contained in our Key Verse. Paraphrasing, he stated that if they were truly touched in their hearts, had repented of sin and accepted Jesus Christ as their only means of remission of sins, had given themselves wholly in consecration to God and desiring to be baptized into Jesus Christ, they would then be recipients of this same Holy Spirit as had been evidenced in Peter and the other apostles. Peter further said that this promise was not only for those there, but would be for “even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (vs. 39) This includes those, even today, who take the same steps of repentance, faith in Jesus’ blood, full consecration and baptism into his death. These too, even now, receive of the same Holy Spirit—power and influence of God—which guides their lives in service to him.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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