The Promised Holy Spirit

June 4, 2021 Preacher: Pedro Samuel Series: Acts - The Gospel in Motion

Topic: Christian Living, The Church Scripture: Acts 2:1–13

Acts 2 must be interpreted as a special historical event, signifying a new period in God’s dealings with His people. Pentecost signals the dawning of the age of the Holy Spirit. And the fulness of the Spirit in God’s people is to empower them for witness to all the nations. 

The meaning of Pentecost is God’s equipping His church with the power of His Spirit so that He will be glorified among the nations. The meaning of Pentecost was not to encourage believers to have an ecstatic experience for their own edification. The meaning of Pentecost was that God gave the Holy Spirit to His church so that they would bear witness to the nations for His glory.

The point of Pentecost is mission, and the goal of mission is that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14). If we properly understand this great historic event, our hearts will be enflamed with the purpose of seeing some from every tribe and tongue and nation bowing before the exalted Lord Jesus Christ. 

God’s purpose at Pentecost was to equip His church with the mighty power of the Holy Spirit so that we would be His witnesses to all the nations, resulting in His eternal glory. Ask yourself these questions as you think about this purpose:

(1) *Is my focus on God’s glory in all things? Did I even think about that as I went through my week? Did it determine how I resisted temptation or how I spoke to others?

(2) *Is my passion that the nations would glorify God through the gospel? If my heart is not on world missions, it is not in tune with God’s heart.

(3) *Is my daily life consciously dependent on the Holy Spirit? Would I have missed Him if He had withdrawn from me this past week? Do I lean on Him for purity of life and power to obey God?

(4) *Is my daily desire to bear witness of Christ to those who are lost and perishing? The power of the Spirit isn’t given just to make me happy. It is given to make me holy so that my life and my words bring glory to God as I bear witness to His saving grace. That should be the meaning of Pentecost for you and me.

Discussion Questions

  1. Does being a missionary require a special calling from God?
  2. How can a believer be filled with the Spirit? Give biblical support.
  3. How can a believer develop a passion for God’s glory?
  4. Is it wrong to seek to speak in tongues? Give biblical support.


Before we leave the subject of the power of the Holy Spirit, let me briefly deal with the question, “Should we seek to speak in tongues?” Some argue that the sign of being baptized with the Spirit is speaking in tongues and that if you have not done that, you are lacking a vital spiritual experience. This is a controversial subject; if you disagree with me, please try to set aside your emotions and reason with me from Scripture. As I said, there is no command to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, although we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. The main evidence of being filled with the Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit, which is godly character (Gal. 5:16-23Col. 1:9-12).

First, we need to be clear that the genuine gift of tongues is the ability to speak a foreign language that you have not studied. It is not, either in Acts or in 1 Corinthians, to speak “ecstatic utterances,” which is a nice term for gibberish. In Acts the disciples were speaking languages which the native speakers could understand, but which the disciples had never learned. In 1 Corinthians, the tongues needed interpretation because native speakers were not present. But you cannot interpret nonsense syllables; you can only interpret language that has fixed, objective meaning behind the sounds that are uttered. This criterion alone invalidates 99 percent of what is called speaking in tongues in our day.

Secondly, we are never commanded or encouraged to seek the gift of tongues. Rather, the Holy Spirit sovereignly distributes gifts as He wills (1 Cor. 12:11). When Paul says to earnestly desire the greater gifts (1 Cor. 12:31), he is talking to the church as a body, not to individuals. He means that the church should seek gifts that build up the body, not those, such as tongues, that may edify the individual.

Also, the miraculous gifts were given to the church during the early period to confirm the apostolic witness, but they faded as time went on. The author of Hebrews wrote to a second generation of Jewish Christians. He tells them how the word of the Lord was confirmed by the apostles through various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will (Heb. 2:3-4). If these gifts were present in the churches at the time he was writing, he would not have needed to refer to them as a thing of the past. Their purpose had been to confirm the apostolic message. After that purpose was fulfilled, they passed off the scene.

Finally, as I hope you can see from the context of Acts 2, the meaning of Pentecost was not to encourage believers to have an ecstatic experience for their own edification. The meaning of Pentecost was that God gave the Holy Spirit to His church so that they would bear witness to the nations for His glory.


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