God’s Saving Word: Faith
Acts 2:1-21: Today marks the day when many Christians celebrate Pentecost. God sends the Holy Spirit to give power and courage to the apostles. They begin to tell the good news about Jesus, which people hear in many different languages. Some people are happy and excited, while others make fun of the Lord’s followers. Peter repeats the words of the prophet Joel regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
2 When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. 2 Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
5 There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world. 6 When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because all of them heard the believers talking in their own languages. 7 In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! 8 How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages? 9 We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia; from Pontus and Asia, 10 from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene. Some of us are from Rome, 11 both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia—yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things that God has done!” 12 Amazed and confused, they kept asking each other, “What does this mean?”
13 But others made fun of the believers, saying, “These people are drunk!”
14 Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose; it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 Instead, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about:
17 ‘This is what I will do in the last days, God says:
I will pour out my Spirit on everyone.
Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message;
your young men will see visions,
and your old men will have dreams.
18 Yes, even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will proclaim my message.
19 I will perform miracles in the sky above
and wonders on the earth below.
There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke;
20 the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will turn red as blood,
before the great and glorious Day of the Lord comes.
21 And then, whoever calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.’
Today’s Key Verse: Acts 2:4
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
How is the coming of the Holy Spirit described? Reread verses 16-21. (You may wish to compare these verses with Joel 2:28-32.) Where do you see the work of the Holy Spirit in the world today? In what ways can you share the good news of God’s salvation?
Sovereign God, the outpouring of your Holy Spirit fills me with joy and wonder. Empower me with your Holy Spirit to proclaim your message of love and salvation to those I encounter this day. May your Word go forth across cultures and in all the languages of the world so that people everywhere may learn of and experience your salvation. Amen.
Acts 2:22-47: Peter encourages his listeners to be baptized.