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What's the Big Deal

For some reason the book of Acts is somewhat controversial in the eyes on the American church. There are denominations walls that are built around the theology that is contained in this book. It is a powerful book that reveals to us the Holy Spirit which is now available to all who seek it.

So let’s first ask the question, what changed on the day of Pentecost. The day the Spirit fell, which is recorded in Acts 2 was not the Holy Spirits birthday! The Holy Spirit was present at creation: Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

So where was the Holy Spirit before Acts 2? There are many references where the Holy Spirit would empower specific believers in the Old Testament to do God’s work. Lets look at a few examples:

when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came on him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him. 11 So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.

Another example of the Spirits work is found in Numbers 11:24-27

24 So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.

26 However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

Here we see evidence of Spiritual gifts that are later reference in the New Testament, but it’s also the evidence that the Holy Spirit operated in a different manner than He does today. Then we come to the prophet Joel who writes in Joel 2:28-29:

“And afterward,

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your old men will dream dreams,

your young men will see visions.

29 Even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

So the same Spirit that empowered the great men and women of God recorded in the Old Testament, the patriarchs of Israel, the judges who saved the nation, the kings who ruled like David and Solomon, the prophets who recorded the ancient texts, this same Holy Spirit would be poured out on all people!

Now lets step back into Acts 2:2-4 where we spent most of our time last week.

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues x as the Spirit enabled them.

This event is significant because it is the fulfillment of one of Jesus’ promises. He told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for this event! Why? So that those in the Upper room, and eventually the rest of the church would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to accomplish God’s work. The Holy Spirit hasn’t changed, the mission has evolved as God’s plan has unfolded, through the nation of Israel, to the birth and life of Jesus Christ, to His death and resurrection, to the new age of the church (in which we live) The Holy Spirit has been active and present.

There is a key detail that shouldn’t get lost in this study, I mentioned it last week but Paul’s writing is clear, along with the evidence found in Acts, the Holy Spirit isn’t just for one group of people. The Holy Spirit is available to all people regardless of race or gender! Paul writes in Galatians 3:28-29,

28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

This along with the incredible discovery of this truth found in Acts

But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

So to close out this message, Do we need the Holy Spirit? Absolutely, in order to do what God has called each of us to do, we need to be empowered by and filled with the Holy Spirit.

To close out tonight we’re going to spend some time in His presence and I encourage you to seek the Holy Spirit, our leaders are available to pray and to seek with you!

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