And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:2-4a)
As the 120 followers of Jesus gathered according to the command of their Savior, something remarkable happened. The “baptism with the Holy Spirit” that Jesus promised in Acts 1:5 came upon them. We read they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
It’s important to remember that this was not the first experience the disciples of Jesus had with the Holy Spirit. They were not strangers to the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
– The disciples continually saw the Holy Spirit at work in the ministry of Jesus.
– The disciples experienced something of the power of the Holy Spirit as they stepped out and served God (Luke 10:1-20).
– The disciples heard Jesus promise a new, coming work of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-18).
– The disciples received the Holy Spirit in a new way after Jesus finished His work on the cross and instituted the New Covenant in His blood (John 20:19-23).
With all of that, there was still more for them to receive and experience in regard to the work of the Holy Spirit – and they received more here in Acts 2.
Acts 2 tells us a lot about the filling of the Holy Spirit.
– The filling of the Holy Spirit is promised to us.
– The filling of the Holy Spirit is worth waiting for.
– The filling of the Holy Spirit comes as He wills, often not according to our expectation.
– The filling of the Holy Spirit can come upon not only individuals, but also upon groups (see also Acts 2:4, 4:31, and 10:44).
– The filling of the Holy Spirit is often given as God deals with our flesh and there is a dying to self.
It’s also important to see what Acts 2 does not tell us about the filling of the Holy Spirit.
– The filling of the Holy Spirit is not given according to formula.
– The filling of the Holy Spirit is not earned by seeking it. It is always God’s freely given gift.
No one can deny that this was a good thing. In the gospels we see a lot of weakness and wavering in these disciples as they followed Jesus. After this filling of the Holy Spirit, they were different people. They were not perfect; but they were different.
This coming and filling of the Holy Spirit was so good, so essential for the work of the community of early Christians, that Jesus actually said that it was better for Him to leave the earth bodily so He could send the Holy Spirit (John 16:7).
This filling of the Holy Spirit is for you (Luke 11:9-13). Ask God for it today.