Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Jesus’ Resurrection at our five Easter services. I’m still amazed at the work the Lord did in people’s lives. About 2500 people attended. About 56 people responded to the saving power of Jesus and then 40 people were baptized in water! What a great weekend.
On that weekend I taught out of Acts 2. I want to revisit that passage and give some expanded thoughts.
Acts 2 captures a powerful event that took place during Pentecost. The Holy Spirit poured out upon those that gathered in the Upper Room. Imagine the stir that made. I was quite a moment in history.
And it didn’t go unnoticed.
The Bible says that a “multitude” of people had gathered in Jerusalem for the festivities. When they heard worshipful utterances in recognizable and unrecognizable languages, we read on that they were bewildered, amazed, astonished, and perplexed. In other words: there was massive confusion.
Many asked, “What does this mean?”
Others mockingly said, “They are drunk.”
Quite often spiritual things can be confusing. Those that are not familiar with what happens in church gatherings, such as exuberant worship, prayer, spiritual gifts and the teaching of Scripture often scratch their heads in wonderment. There is a lot of mystery in spirituality. Not everything can be summed up in quick, little formulas. For example, try to simply explain, say, The Trinity. Good luck.
In most every crowd like this you’ll have pockets of believers, doubters, and mockers. Believers experience the presence of God. Doubters are bewildered by it. Mockers choose to put it down. Thus the need for people like Peter.
On the Day of Pentecost Peter brought clarity into the confusion. He stood, lifted his voice and addressed those that had gathered: believers, doubters and mockers alike. He brought affirmation to the believers and points of adjustment to those that didn’t understand or stood in opposition. Confusion became clarity.
His words in Acts 2 continue to give us clarity about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives today. We find how this amazing event was rooted in history (i.e.: Book of Joel). Peter also drew attention to the Father’s promise and to Jesus’ role in the outpouring of the Spirit. As well, Peter called for a point of response.
“Now 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?’ Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:37-38
In all, over 3000 souls responded to the message of Christ that day.
I love how the Holy Spirit works like that.
He uses real people to comfortably move within the mysterious. That can be you. God invites you to stand, lift your voice and address the confusion, with the goal of bringing clarity into people’s lives.