When the Holy Spirit Came
Fifty days after Jesus Christ rose from the dead, His followers were all together in one place celebrating the Day of Pentecost. This exact day was not an accident. This Feast of Pentecost followed 50 days after Passover, and this was the day the Holy Spirit came to call out a body of believers—the birthday of the church. (See 1 Corinthians 12:13.)
On that day, many worshippers from all corners of the Roman Empire were gathered together in Jerusalem. They spoke dozens of languages. The apostles from Galilee couldn’t speak these other languages, but when the Spirit filled them, they began to shout about God’s magnificent works—and everyone heard them in their own language! “What’s happening? Are these guys drunk?” Then the worshippers realized God was at work.
No one could see the Holy Spirit, but He made His presence known by what they saw and heard. It was spectacular! The sound from heaven, like a rushing mighty wind, filled the house. Tongues that looked like fire rested on each of them.
These things happened just as the Lord Himself said (Acts 1:4-5). When the Holy Spirit came that day, it was God at work, giving every believer in Jesus Christ His Spirit, to live in you, becoming the most intimate part of your life, making you a pledge in expectation of the day you are fully His. And He places you into the church, His body, by the baptism of the Spirit.
There is now a church because the Holy Spirit has come. He indwells believers and fills us with His love, power, and blessing for service. Thank God, He is in the world, convicting the world, restraining evil in the world. We don’t have to seek Him; He is living in us who know the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, how we need the power of the Holy Spirit today.
Back at the gathering, Peter steps up, standing with the eleven other disciples. “Listen up, men of Israel,” he said. And who did he bring up? Jesus.
“You remember Him? The One who did miracles, wonders, and signs?” Then, with clarity and courage, Peter confronts the men who were directly involved in the crucifixion plot. “You took Jesus,” he said, “whom God made Master and Messiah, and you pinned Him to a cross. But God raised Him up, having loosed the pains of death” (2:23-24). The first sermon ever preached in the church age was an Easter sermon. And his simple message on the resurrection of Jesus Christ brought conviction to the crowd.
These worshippers had the Word of God, they knew the prophecies. But even though they had a God-given religion, they were headed away from God. Peter tells them now to repent—turn around and come God’s way.
The crowd was overwhelmed with joy and believed what Peter said. More than three thousand people responded in faith. These were genuinely born again believers.
This is the birthday of the church.
Next, what happened when the apostles did miracles . . .