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Are We All Pentecostal?

Apr 18, 2021
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Are We All Pentecostal?
Acts 2:1-13
Pentecost came 50 days after Passover, and God gifted the Holy Spirit to believers. This pattern of 50 days reminded the Jews that God gave the law to Moses on Mt Sinai 50 days after the first Passover and escape from Egypt. In both cases, a rushing wind signified the presence of the Holy Spirit. We see in Acts 2:1-4 that  “they were all together in one place”, “and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” This was one of the 3 pilgrim feasts that required every male Israelite to travel to Jerusalem to worship at the temple.
The “tongues of fire” (v3) portray the presence of God, as He often displayed Himself in the form of flames (Gen 15:17; Ex 3:2-6; 13:21-22; 19:18; 40:38). In the OT, fire symbolizes:
1. His presence
2. His judgements (Isa 66:15-18)
3. Purification (Ex 3:2; Dt 5:4; Matt 3:11)
This tongue of fire was given to “each one of them”. There was no distinction made between Apostles or disciples; men or women.
Pentecost is the ultimate game changer because it unleashed the power, presence, and gifts of the Holy Spirit in every believer all the time…not with some believers some of the time. Without Pentecost, we are hindered to live a powerless religion rather than a powerful relationship.
Verses 5-6 show us that there were “dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.” This miraculous incident recalls the account of the Tower of Babel, which brought confusion of the languages due to human ambition and pride. These languages were different from Paul’s account of heavenly languages because they were known languages that did not need an interpreter. The “devout Jews” were astonished because the believers that were speaking were from Galilee, which was a very modest and under-educated people.
The purpose of these languages/tongues was intended to advance the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Although this was an astonishing experience, there were some that mocked and said that the people speaking were drunk. There are always skeptics around.
So, are we all Pentecostal? Yes AND No:
Yes, in that we live in the light of the historical day known as Pentecost.
No, in our complete theology. For example, we believe the Bible teaches that we are baptized in the Spirit at conversion, and are daily filled with His Spirit. This filling doesn’t mean that He leaves us and we must get Him back. Instead, it means that we are filled daily as we adjust our lives to Him. Pentecostals believe that there is a second blessing, which is described as the crucial blessing to be sought, the ultimate experience to strive for, and the greatest achievement of the Christian.
To Discuss Today:
1. The Holy Spirit was always there. He was there at creation. He was there at the resurrection. He was there at Pentecost. He is here now. He will always be. Do you know the third person of the Trinity the way you know the Father and the Son? Why?
2. The Holy Spirit empowers us to live beyond anything we can do in our own strength. How do you adjust your life so that the Spirit can work through you?
3. The people there at Pentecost could choose to believe and follow or be skeptical and mock. Do you find yourself believing in the supernatural power of God or one that is a skeptic? How does discernment play into this answer?