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Acts 2:1-4 & 42-47

Acts 2:1-4 & 42-47


I. What does the narrator want to communicate from Acts ch. 2?

1. The coming of the Holy Spirit marks the beginning of God’s final restorative work, the faith community, through Jesus, the Lord and King (2:36)

2. This is a trinitarian passage: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work in unity

3. This is not a prescriptive (normative) passage for Christians today nor a passage about the Holy Spirit (verse 1 “they” refers to the Apostles. The Apostles were the receivers and performers)

4. The coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost is not a repetitive or reoccurring event but it is a onetime event

II. Some introductory remarks

1. The word “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word Pentecoste, meaning “fifty” (50 days after Passover)

2. For Jews, “fifty” is a number of Jubilee or liberation or a new beginning; Jews called it Asartha

3. It is the end of the cycle of deliverance and the beginning of the formation of a new nation (Passover and Pentecost)

4. The Pentecost is celebrated in mid-May or early June, always falls on Sunday (cf. Leviticus 23:15-21)

5. In the first century B.C., Shavuot came to be known as zaman matan Toratenu—the Time of the Giving of our Law (Jub 1:1, 6:1-21; 1QS 1:16-2:21)

6. On the Day of Pentecost, the Jews offered new grain of wheat to the LORD; with it the High Priest would bake two loaves of bread with yeast and offer it to the Lord

7. They would sing Psalms like 122 and 150 and read the book of Ruth, and it was a day of celebration

III. The Holy Spirit coming on the Day of Pentecost carries many significances: In fact, every word has an allusion to something significant

1. Example 1: Verses 2-3 have connection with Exodus 19:16-19 “On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. … 18 the Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.” THE WRITER DRAWS PARRALLES

2. Example 2: confusion of languages in Babel Gen 11:7 vs. understanding of languages 2:5-12

3. Example 3: “In the last days” verse 17

IV. Question: Why did the Holy Spirit come upon the disciples of Jesus on the day of Pentecost? It could have happened on any other day! Is there significance?

V. Two-dimensional Significance of Pentecost for Christians? (Acts 2)

1. Just as the nation Israel was born on the Day of Pentecost with the giving of the Ten Commandment, the Church was born on the Day of Pentecost by the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. Exodus 19:1 [vv.16-19] vs. Acts 2:1-4)

(a) Inauguration of a new age (Acts 2:17, 33; 2 Samuel 7:13 beginning of the reign of Jesus)

(b) The Holy Spirit is the New Covenant/down payment signifying fullness to come (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:14)

(c) Offering of two loaves and reading of the book of Ruth―Jews and Gentiles (breaking the racial and ethnic barrier—an allusion to Babel)

2. It is God’s empowerment of the followers of Christ to boldly proclaim the Gospel (Acts 1:8; cf. Luke 24:48-49)

VI. The arrival of the Holy Spirit brought about several changes in believers

1. Regeneration and Conviction of their sins “pierced in hearts” (2:37)
2. Repentance (2:38)
3. Baptism (2:38)
4. Separation from the world and association with the faith community (2:39-41)
5. Commitment to: apostolic teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer
6. As a result: the faith community had an influence on the society (2:43-47)

VII. Take Away

Because the Holy Spirit our Guide/Law, follow after Him

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at