This is one of my favorite chapters in the New Testament. It’s the birth of the church. Notice that they’re not called “Christians” yet. That comes later in the Book of Acts. Here they are just believers. We left them in Acts 1 waiting, being patient. Jesus promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit from God. They just didn’t know when. However, interestingly enough, God took advantage of a Jewish festival celebrated 50 days after Passover. In Greek, it’s called Pentecost. There were many Jews from other countries there for the festival. Consequently, the Holy Spirit gives all the believers a special power — a spiritual gift just to get the crowd’s attention. Let’s dig in….
The Holy Spirit Comes
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
5 At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. 6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
7 They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8 and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! 9 Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” 12 They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.
13 But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”
Peter Preaches to the Crowd
14 Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. 15 These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. 16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
even on my servants—men and women alike—
and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below—
blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will become dark,
and the moon will turn blood red
before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives.
21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved.’ [Joel 2:28-32]
22 “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. 25 King David said this about him:
‘I see that the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
26 No wonder my heart is glad,
and my tongue shouts his praises!
My body rests in hope.
27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead (Hell or Hades)
or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.
28 You have shown me the way of life,
and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’ [Psalm 16:8-11]
29 “Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. 30 But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. 31 David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.
32 “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. 33 Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. 34 For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
35 until I humble your enemies,
making them a footstool under your feet.”’ [Psalm 110:1]
36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”
37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” (Chosen)40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”
41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
Have Peter’s words pierced your heart?
What Peter explains here is the simplicity of salvation…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
It’s really that simple!
- Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died taking your sins away forever?
- Do you promise to repent of your sins and stop sinning?
- Will you invite Jesus into your heart?
Next, the believers join together… the church is born…
The Believers Form a Community
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.
43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.Acts 2 NLT
- Never stopped listening to apostles’ teaching — for us today that is listening to preachers who preach the Gospel Truth. Beware of false teachers! (What the Catholic Church teaches is a false gospel. They taught the people what the church leaders wanted them to learn — not the true Gospel.)
- Met daily to learn. Read the Bible Daily!
- Celebrated the Lord’s Supper or what we call communion, every day. Notice there’s nothing “magical” or “mystical” about communion. That whole Eucharist deal was invented later by Roman Catholic church leaders. Which does absolutely nothing to save you.
- Sold their property and things and shared with those in need. That is not socialism! That’s charity. The government has nothing to do with it. People share what they have with those less fortunate.
- Fulfilled in verse 47 what the angel said to the shepherds the night that Jesus was born: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14 NJKV)
And the church grew!
I found this prayer in one of the Bible studies in the free YouVersion Bible app by Shelly Hitz.
Let us pray…
Lord, today I want to thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit in my life. Jesus, You said You had to go away so that the Helper, the Holy Spirit would come. And now, because I have put my trust in You, this gift and access to the power of the Holy Spirit has been given to me.
I find it difficult to fully grasp and understand it all, but I thank You for equipping me and giving me the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is my Counselor, Helper and Teacher. The Holy Spirit empowers me with supernatural strength and power to do things that I could not do on my own.
I am so thankful that I am never alone. Jesus, You walk with me. My Heavenly Father is always with me and I am empowered by the Holy Spirit. Thank You, Lord, for providing for me in so many ways.
I am sorry for the times that I have grieved the Holy Spirit in my life and instead have tried to live out of my own strength and power. Please forgive me. Help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to obey Your promptings in my life. I am so thankful that I do not have to live this life on my own. Thank You for providing what I need today. Amen.Shelly Hitz