I am doing a study with our Church's men's group that is, quite honestly, kicking my butt. I mean, it's challenging everything I believe, and it's really asking the question "You going to put up, or shut up, kid?" It's one thing to talk about Jesus, it's another to do as He says. And if we believe Him, if we love Him, we'll do as He says (John 14:15). The sad thing is, there are so many counterfeits out there, we follow a version of Jesus that suits us best, instead of seeking His word and following the Living, Resurrected Savior and Lord! So this begs the question: Is Jesus REAL to you or not? Is He your Jiminy Cricket, that little voice telling yo u to be good, but all together cartoonish in your imagination, or is He the real, living God, the Lord of all Creation, the Savior who sits at the Right hand of the Father? Don't worry, His disciples struggled with that on many occasions. Peter sank, Judas betrayed, and they all ran away. But when it comes down to it, 11 of the 12 found their reality in Jesus Christ. It's something we need to do as well. We need to fix our eyes on Him (Matthew 28 is clear on that, "Behold" isn't just there to get our attention, it's a command to get us to fix our gaze), and seek to do His will, and submit completely. If we're not doing that, we're creating an idol made in our image, as opposed to being conformed by the Holy Spirit in to His image!
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
1When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and resteda on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost
14But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.b 16But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
17“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 21And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
22“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23this Jesus,c delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25For David says concerning him,
“‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
29“Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35until I make your enemies your footstool.”’
36Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
The Fellowship of the Believers
42And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43And awed came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Footnotes: a 3 Or And tongues as of fire appeared to them, distributed among them, and rested b 15 That is, 9 a.m. c 23 Greek this one d 43 Or fear