Empowered to Advance

This Sunday we’ll be reading Acts 2:1-13 as we continue our study of the Ragamuffin Revolution.

It’s interesting that this passage begins with everyone together – united in one place, yet nothing has polarized the Evangelical church in the last century like this passage. Jesus commanded his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received power from the Holy Spirit to enable them to advance the Kingdom of God on this earth. Here in chapter 2 events take an exciting turn as that promise is fulfilled.

Luke tells us that this happens on the day of Pentecost. If you follow the previous link to learn about Pentecost/Shavuot, what significance can you discern about God choosing that day to fulfill his promise of the coming Holy Spirit?

Three distinct phenomena accompanied the coming of the Holy Spirit – the sound of a rushing wind, light which appeared like fire flickering over the heads of those present, and the recipients began to speak in languages that were unknown to them. All of these become significant representations of the nature of this new covenant we now have in Christ. The noise and fire correspond with the events surrounding God’s appearance on Mount Sinai in Exodus 19:16-20. The idea of wind corresponds with the creation account, where God breathed into Adam to give him life. Fire is often the representation of purification and righteousness. New covenant, new life and purification; these are the attributes of this new covenant. How does the Holy Spirit advance this in your life?

Speaking in tongues is a dicey subject for some people. There are a lot of people who act almost embarrassed that Acts 2:4 is even in the Bible. Have you ever experienced this phenomena or been in an environment where others practiced it? What was the experience like – positive or negative? There was a specific reason for this happening in the account in Acts 2, what was it? Paul mentions speaking in tongues later on in 1 Cor 14:14-15 and indicates that the experience is valuable for him, so its hard to think that this experience has no relevance in our modern church. What do you think – is this intriguing to you, or not?

The section finishes up with some people mocking the disciples, saying that they sounded drunk. Not everyone will appreciate what God is doing in our lives and in the world around us. What can we learn about the way we are treated by some in this world?

Well…it should prove to be a provocative study…hope to see you then!

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