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Lesson 5: The Promise Fulfilled *

Introduction: Would you like the Holy Spirit to come in power into your life? How about coming in power to your church? Our lesson today is about the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus made to His disciples of the gift of the Holy Spirit. How did they get ready for Him? How did the Holy Spirit come? Let's dive into our study and find out!

  1. Ready for the Gift?

    1. Read Acts 1:3-5. Was anything required of the disciples in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?

      1. If so, what preparation do you find in Acts 1:3? (At a very fundamental level you have to believe that Jesus is the Messiah who died for our sins and who was resurrected as proof that He defeated sin and death.)

      2. What preparation do you find in Acts 1:4? (They were directed to stay where they were and wait.)

        1. I thought waiting was a pain in the neck. Could it be preparation for something?

    2. Read Acts 1:12-14. What did they do while they were waiting? (They were in constant prayer.)

      1. What should we conclude about prayer and preparation for the gift of the Holy Spirit?

      2. What do you think they were praying about?

      3. Notice a "life" tip here. Because I travel in connection with my work, I fairly often find myself waiting. Waiting is a good time to pray. It turns wasted time into productive time.

    3. Notice that in Acts 1:4 & 12 Jesus tells them to wait in Jerusalem. Would the right location be a "preparation" for receiving the power of the Holy Spirit?

      1. If so, why? (God can have a specific place for us to work. Here, Jesus was very clear with the disciples. Jesus desired that the gospel be preached first in Jerusalem, and then spread from there. Luke 24:46-47.)

    4. In Acts 1:15-26 we read that Peter takes the lead in selecting a replacement for Judas. Is this a waste of their time, or is organization part of the preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit in power? (This shows that organization is important.)

    5. Let's review. In preparation for the great gift of the Holy Spirit we find that Jesus leads in the following steps:

      1. Conversion of the heart to believe Jesus is the risen Messiah;

      2. Following the directions of Jesus as to the location of the work;

      3. Prayer while waiting on God; and,

      4. Organization for work.

    6. Before we leave this area, let's look at one important footnote. Read Acts 1:6. What is not required for the gift of the Holy Spirit? (Perfect theology. Perfect understanding of the mission. We sometimes look at fellow Christian believers and refuse to join in their work because their theology is not "up" to our exalted standards. This is not how we see the Holy Spirit working. The disciples obviously had some fundamental misunderstandings. That was one reason they needed the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.)

  2. Promise Fulfilled

    1. Read Acts 2:1-4. Were they obedient? (Yes, they were in "one place" as directed.)

      1. What accompanies the Holy Spirit? (Noise, visuals, action.)

        1. Why the sound of a "violent" wind from heaven? (Read John 3:6-8. Wind is a common representation of the Holy Spirit. See also Ezekiel 37:1-10.)

          1. Was it actually a violent wind? (No. Acts 2:2 says it was a sound "like" the blowing of a violent wind. This means it was not actually a violent wind, it just sounded like it.)

        2. Why do you think tongues of fire came with the sound of the wind? (Read Exodus 19:18 and Exodus 3:2-5. Fire is a common representation of God.)

          1. Was it actually fire that came to rest on them? ( Acts 2:3 says it was "what seemed to be tongues of fire.")

    2. According to Acts 2:3-4 how many of those present were filled with the Holy Spirit? (All of them.)

    3. We discussed last week the idea of the Holy Spirit coming after Jesus left. Some pointed out that the Holy Spirit was already present. What does Acts 2:1-3 suggest in answer to this question of what it means for the Holy Spirit to come? (God has been "with" humans since the very beginning. But, there are times in history when God manifests Himself in power. The giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai comes to mind. Acts 2 is the Holy Spirit coming in power. We can see times when God wants there to be no doubt about when He is present and ready for business!)

    4. Read Acts 2:5-6. My mental picture of this event is Peter standing up in some public arena explaining what is happening. But, Acts 2:2 tells us that they were in a "house." How loud was this sound like a violent wind? (It sounds like you could hear it a long way off, if not throughout Jerusalem!)

    5. Let's look at Acts 2:4-8 to understand the nature of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. What was the purpose of the gift of the Holy Spirit? (Last week we discussed the fabulous miracles that came with the power of the Holy Spirit. I think it is significant that the first work of the Holy Spirit when He came in power was to help the believers better communicate the gospel.)

    6. Review again Acts 1:4-8. Recall that the disciples were looking for the power of God to give them authority and glory in the physical realm. Jesus told them that He would give them power to be witnesses. Friend, will you pray that the Holy Spirit will come on you in power to be a better witness?

    7. There is, to my mind, a significant debate about what it meant to have the gift of tongues in the early church. What does Acts 2:7-11 reveal is the gift of tongues? (The description of this event is very clear: the gift of tongues was the ability to speak in foreign languages.)

      1. Why was that gift important for witnesses of the gospel? (Read again Acts 2:5. Assembled in Jerusalem were Jews from every nation. This is the perfect way to begin to spread the gospel of Jesus, the resurrected Messiah.)

      2. Would a gift of incoherent language promote the gospel? (I'm far from sure that the "tongues ... of angels" ( 1 Corinthians 13:1) is a foreign language. But, what logic is there in being given the gift of a language which cannot be understood? The power is to used to witness. Speaking a language no one understands seems an odd witness. See, 1 Corinthians 14:6-12.)

    8. Read Acts 2:13-16. When the Holy Spirit comes in power in your life, will there be doubters?

      1. Did the criticism make sense? (Peter not only attacks the logic of the criticism, but he uses the Bible (Joel 2) to show this is a fulfillment of prophecy.)

  3. The Message

    1. Read Acts 2:22-24. What is the message of the Holy Spirit?

      1. Recall what we discussed were the steps to prepare for the Holy Spirit coming in power? How does this message relate to the preparation? (The first step was conversion of the heart to believe Jesus is the Messiah. We see that this is the prime message of those powered by the Holy Spirit.)

    2. Read Acts 2:37. What is the response to hearing a Spirit-filled message? (Repentance.)

    3. Friend, would you like to have the power of the Holy Spirit in your life? Pray today for the gift to be a powerful, Spirit-filled witness.

  1. Next week: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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