Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 2:2-13
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 2:2, 3
v2 (continued): We have no way of knowing what they heard, whether it was music or singing or angelic praise or the voice of God Himself (Ex 19:16, 19; Eze 1:24, 25; Lk 2:13; 1Co 13:1; Rev 5:8-14; 19:6), but they physically felt it come over them like a wind, and then they were enveloped by it. v3 Next, they saw a bright light like flames of fire dividing into portions and moving until a fiery light hovered over each one (lit: “it sat on each one”). Luke says, “And there appeared to them tongues of fire dividing themselves and a portion rested upon each one of them.”

Monday: Acts 2:3
v3 (continued): There would have been no mistaking the message: the Holy Spirit had come to dwell there. To Jewish believers, no symbol would have been more familiar than the pillar of cloud and fire which led Israel through the wilderness and rested over the tabernacle. The pillar of fire was God’s powerful presence manifested in such a way that all could see it. So when tongues like fire were distributed over each head it made a clear statement that this human body was now a “tabernacle” in which the Spirit of God dwelled. The pillar of fire no longer hovered over a tent or temple, but over the disciples of Jesus Christ. When Jesus Himself had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, John saw the Spirit come and rest on Him like a dove (Mt 3:16). Now, in the upper room, the Spirit appeared as a fiery light resting over each head.

Tuesday: Acts 2:4
v4: As the fiery light came to each one, Luke says, “…they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages just as the spirit gave them to speak out.” Jesus had assured His disciples that the Holy Spirit would someday live inside them (Jn 14:17), and this is the moment His promise was fulfilled, for the first time. It was the beginning of a new era in the relationship between God’s Spirit and His people. Never before had the Holy Spirit inhabited the sin-contaminated bodies of believers, even though people became righteous by faith (Mt 11:11; Heb 11:2, 7, 13, 39, 40). In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit was with God’s people, some at a remarkably intense level, but never before had He been in them. By responding and putting their faith in God’s mercy, the barrier of sin was removed for those who loved God in the Old Testament, but their bodies remained “unclean”, not suitable as a place of residence for His Spirit because the members of their bodies had been used as instruments of sin.

Wednesday: Acts 2:4
v4 (continued): But the death of Christ atoned not only the human spirit (our rebellion, independence, selfishness, pride…), but the human body as well (Ro 8:3, 4, 9-11), making it a suitable habitation for God. Only after God’s Son took on our sinful flesh, and the wrath of God fell on that flesh, could this inner baptism take place. Here on the Day of Pentecost we see the Ascended Christ bestow on His people, for the first time, not only the gift of forgiveness, but the gift of the indwelling Spirit who would grant them unlimited power for ministry and personal holiness.

Thursday: Acts 2:4
v4 (continued): When this infilling took place, a remarkable manifestation occurred. Every one of the disciples began speaking a language they had never learned. Luke says they spoke words that the Spirit gave them to speak out. Never before had there been any record of such a miracle taking place. There are numerous examples in the Old Testament of the Spirit coming upon people with the result that they spoke out prophetically in their own native language, but never in a new, unlearned language. Yet, as we read on in the Book of Acts, we discover this was not an isolated incident. Luke records the phenomenon, or indirectly refers to it, numerous times. Apparently it occurred again when Peter and John laid hands on Philips’ converts in Samaria (Ac 8:12-18). It is reasonable to assume it occurred when Anaias laid hands on Paul (Ac 9:17; 1Co 14:18). Luke specifically states it occurred when Peter preached to the household of a Roman centurion named Cornelius (Ac 10:44-48; 11:15-18), and also when Paul laid his hands on twelve disciples of Apollos in Ephesus, 26 years after this event on the Day of Pentecost (Ac 19:1-6). Furthermore, Paul indicated in a letter to the church in Corinth that he considered every one of them capable of speaking in an unlearned language and encouraged them to do so (1Co 14:5), however, he cautioned them to speak primarily in known languages when they gathered for a church service (1Co 14:1-12).

Friday: Acts 2:5-8
vs5-8: There was also another miracle which took place on the Day of Pentecost, besides speaking in tongues. It was a miracle of hearing. Luke says, “And there were Jews dwelling in Jerusalem, devout men (those who fear God and are careful to obey His Word) from every nation under heaven. And when this “voice” (sound of many voices) occurred, the multitude came together and they were confused because each one heard them (the entire group of disciples) speaking in his own dialect. And they were shocked (“beside themselves”) (v12) and full of wondering curiosity, saying, Behold aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans, then why do we hear them each in our own language in which we were born?” Please notice Luke’s wording. Thousands of Jews were present from all the surrounding regions, people who had undoubtedly learned to speak several different languages in order to function in that multicultural world (Greek, Latin, Hebrew, etc.) but Luke specifically says that each one, regardless of where he or she had been born, was hearing the whole group of disciples speaking in one language, which he or she personally understood because it was the language in which he or she had been raised as a child. So God was miraculously causing everyone in the multitude to understand everything that was being said by the disciples, though multiple languages were being spoken.

Saturday: Acts 2:9-13
vs9-11: To show us the extend of this miracle, Luke lists some of the distant places from which people in that multitude had come. There were Parthians, Medes and Elamites (Iran), Mesopotamians (Iraq), Judeans (Israel), Cappadocians (central Turkey, eastern part), people from Pontus (northern Turkey), Asia (western Turkey), Phrygia (central Turkey, western part), Pamphylia (southern Turkey), Egypt, and as far west along the North African coast as the city of Cyrene in Libya. There were visitors from Rome, both Jews and Gentiles who had converted to Judaism, people from the island of Crete to the west and Arabia to the east. Yet all understood what the disciples were saying because each person heard them speaking in his or her native tongue. And what they heard them saying was praise to God. They were declaring the great things God had done. Possibly they sounded like Mary (Lk 1:46:55) or Zacharias (Lk 1:68-75). vs12-13: And they were all frightened and confused saying to one another “What does this mean?” But others, mocking, said “they are filled with sweet wine.” As is so often the case when God does miracles, there were people present that day who recognized that God was doing something and honestly wanted to understand but there were others in the crowd who may also have understood that God was doing something but who quickly devalued what they saw, stripping it of spiritual significance, so they could avoid being accountable to God. 

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