Acts 2: The Holy Spirit-Filled Church

Acts 2: The Holy Spirit-Filled Church

ACTS 2:1-47

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

QUESTION 1: What is the significance of the Holy Spirit’s arrival being accompanied by the speaking of foreign languages?

QUESTION 2: Why “tongues of fire”?

QUESTION 3: What were the “many wonders and signs” taking place among the apostles?

QUESTION 4: Was Peter the only one who spoke to the crowd that numbered more than 3000 ordid some of the other disciples also present the Gospel?

QUESTION 5: 3000 plus people meeting in daily to study, pray, and eat together would have stirred up quiet some attention in the city. The disciples were Galileans, hence, NOT from Jerusalem, where did they all stay and where would a crowd of 3000+ have been able to assemble together?

QUESTION 6: How is the Corinthian spiritual gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:10, 30, 14:4, 39) different than what is happening here in Acts 2? 

QUESTION 7: Were these foreigners present in Jerusalem during the week of Jesus’ arrest and crucifixtion? Would they have know what or who Peter was refering to when he said, “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” (v.22-23)?

WHAT I LEARNED

INSIGHT 1: The day of Pentecost takes place 50 days after Passover, which took place on the evening when Jesusand His disciples ate the Passover meal in the upper room (Luke 22:7-8).

INSIGHT 2: The arrival of the Holy Spirit was loud and dramatic. It involved hurricane-force winds that somehow didn’t destroy building they were in; it involved fire that somehow didn’t burn them all to ashes; and it involved a sudden outburst of diverse languages being spoken. This visual manifestation of the Holy Spirit was encountered by all 120 disciples (Acts 1:15).

INSIGHT 3: In this instance, the “tongues” spoken by the disciples were actual foreign languages that were clearly understood by the foreign residents who individually recognized their own native dialects (v.9-11). This was an indication that the Gospel had broken ethnic barriers and was now available to ALL men from every nation and tribe. 

INSIGHT 4: The content of tongues in this context was to speak of “the mighty deeds of God.” (v.11)

INSIGHT 5: God timed the arrival of the Holy Spirit to sync perfectly with the arrival of  “Jews… from every nation under heaven” in Jerusalem (v.5) - “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs” (v.9-11). This powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit would reach just about every corner of the globe because God designed the Gospel to spread globally.

INSIGHT 6: Though the religious leaders, the crowds, and the Romans (Pontius Pilate) were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ, it was ultimately a predetermined plan of God that Christ would die on the cross at the hands of sinful men. “…this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of [u]godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held [x]in its power.”

INSIGHT 7: (verse 32-33) Upon his ascension to heaven and His sitting on the throne (the right hand of the Father), Jesus’ first task was to send His Holy Spirit to fill the hearts of His followers and to build His Church. This was a fulfillment of an earlier promise He made in John 14:16, “ I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” And John 16:5-9, “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;”

INSIGHT 8: Peter gave a much longer sermon than this lengthy speech recorded  – (v.40), “And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”

INSIGHT 9: Jesus promised His disciples in Acts 1:8 that they would, “…receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” In God’s sovereign wisdom, He had brought the nations to the apostle’s doorsteps for them to bear witness. They power they received through the Holy Spirit included boldness (v.14), a preaching gift that resulted in immediate transformation in the life of the hearers (v.37), and the supernatural workings of wonders and signs (v.43). 

INSIGHT 10: (Verse 37) The Holy Spirit through whom Peter delivered his powerful sermon is the same Holy Spirit in the crowd “wooing” to faith in Christ all the foreigners present in the city, for no man can come to the Father unless the Father (through the Holy Spirit) draws them (John 6:44). 

INSIGHT 11: The main task of the gathered Church was to learn and study “the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”