Messages

Date:5/29/22

Series: Acts

Passage: Acts 2:1-13

Speaker: Jeff Thompson

Jeff walks through the miraculous events in the Upper Room on the Day of Pentecost, explains the differences between being saved, regenerated, and baptized with the Holy Spirit, and discusses what happened when Jesus breathed on the Disciples in John 20:22.


Transcription (automatically-generated):

Well, do you know that every single person is a theologian? Every single person, whether they're a Christian or not, every person is a theologian because theology is your set of beliefs about why the world is the way it is, why reality is what it is. So everyone is a theologian. Some are terrible theologians, some are more informed theologians, some are less informed theologians. But today, especially as it is every time we gather in the Word. But today especially, we want to grow in our theology and understanding of the Holy Spirit. And that's what we're going to be doing this week and next week especially as well. And this is a theme that's going to come up a lot through the Book of act. So as always, let's just take that posture of asking the Lord to grow our understanding by the power of the Holy Spirit as we get into the Word today. Acts Chapter two is a monumental chapter in the Bible. It documents the birth of the Church and the moment the Holy Spirit entered the followers of Jesus for the first time. The contents of this chapter are, whether you know it or not, incredibly controversial within evangelical Christianity.

The issues raised in Acts Chapter Two have split churches and even denominations for over a century. Here at Gospel City, we are not committed to any denominational position. Our goal always is to discern what the word of God says itself as best we can. We belong to a denomination, but we don't hold any specific piece of theology because our denomination does. We are part of the denomination. We are because they hold a lot of the same theology that we do as well. But our goal is simply, what does the Bible say? What did Zeus want us to understand by it? And that's our goal today in Acts Chapter Two. So we genuinely endeavor to leave our biases, our desires, our opinions at the door when we approach the Scriptures. And if we ever must change our theology in an area where we realize we've been wrong, we will, because the word of God has authority over all of us. So we're going to work through Acts Chapter Two over the next couple of weeks methodically doing our best to bring clarity while being honest. When we run into mystery and ambiguity in today's message, each subject I discuss is going to build upon itself.

In other words, we'll need to understand each subject before we move on to the next. And this will continue into next week's study. So if it ever seems like I'm taking a wild left turn, just hang with me because my reasons will be clarified later in the study. And if we discuss anything that raises questions for you, just know there's a good chance I'll address them in next week's study. But you can also write any questions you have about the Holy Spirit on your connection card, and I'll be able to see them before next Sunday as well. So don't miss next week. Do not miss next week. It's going to be an amazing week of Church together. So let's start by talking about what it means to be saved. Write this down. It's your first filling. To be saved means to be rescued from eternal death by faith in God. To be saved means to be rescued from eternal death by faith in God. It is the gift of Salvation earned by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. But how were people saved before the life, death and resurrection of Jesus? How were Abraham and Moses and David saved?

Why does the word Salvation show up over 100 times in the Old Testament? They were saved just as we are today by faith. They were placing their faith in God and trusting that he would provide a means of Salvation in the future. We are saved by placing our faith in God and trusting that he has provided a means of Salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Zeus. Their faith was in what God would do. Our faith is in what God has done before the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The spirits of all those who died with their faith in God descended to the paradise side of Hades, where they waited for the day when God would provide payment for their sins, allowing them to ascend to the presence of God in heaven. Jesus alludes to this reality in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke chapter 16. They could not yet ascend to heaven because their sins had not yet been paid for. That moment arrived when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave. And at that time Jesus led all those old Covenant Saints out of Hades and into the presence of his Father in heaven.

Interestingly, the disciples were almost certainly saved under the old coveting. During the Ministry of Jesus, they unquestionably demonstrated faith in God and belief that he would send a Messiah. But most compellingly during his Ministry, Jesus speaks about them as though they are saved. In Matthew 1247 to 49, all the verses today will be on your outline, hence the double outline we read. Someone told him, someone told Zeus, look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside waiting to speak with you. He replied to the one who was speaking to him, who is my mother and who are my brothers? Stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said'here, Are my mother and my brothers. Jesus refers to the disciples as my brothers. They were not his biological brothers. Jesus referred to the reality that they were part of his heavenly Father's family before his death and resurrection. To be saved is to be part of the family and Kingdom of God. It is to be rescued from eternal death and delivered into eternal life. But being saved does not, on its own result. Back then, in any fundamental earthly change to a person. Let me explain.

Their flesh would still be corrupted by sin as ours is, but their spirit would still be dead because of sin. And trying to follow God and walk in his ways with a corrupted body and a dead spirit was incredibly difficult, to say the least. It required extreme discipline, focus, and diligence, and almost nobody was able to do it under the Old Covenant for a lifetime. That's why we see Godly men do some very ungodly things across the pages of the Old Testament, David clearly loved the Lord, seemingly from the time he was a child. But his life was marked by some absolute train wrecks of sin and terrible judgment. And you can say the same thing about almost every central Old Testament character except Joseph and Daniel. And I'm not talking about sins before they were saved and placed their faith in God. I'm talking about catastrophic sins like murder and repeated adultery after serving the Lord for years and seeing him work incredible miracles. Part of the reason for that trend in the Old Testament is the reality that while those men were saved, they could not be regenerated. Regenerated this is your next feeling.

To be regenerated is to have the Spirit of God join himself to your dead spirit and bring it to life with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, transforming your body into a temple of the Holy Spirit. Let me say it again. To be regenerated is to have the Spirit of God join himself to your dead spirit and bring it to life with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, transforming your body into a temple of the Holy Spirit. When you've been regenerated, you are connected to God in a completely new way because your spirit is now as much his as it is yours. This was impossible for Old Covenant Saints because God's presence and spirit cannot cohabitate with sin. But when Jesus paid for our sins on the cross, he made a way for those who placed their faith in him to be made righteous, making it possible for the Holy Spirit to join himself to our dead spirit, bringing us to life with the abundant life that is found only in God. Regeneration is a onetime event. That's why Jesus described it to Nicodemus, who was already saved as being born again.

Regeneration is irreversible. God's spirit is now bound to ours, which is why Two Timothy 213 declares, if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself. Once you've been regenerated, God's spirit will never leave you because his spirit can't leave you. His spirit is so inexorably bound to yours that separation is impossible. That's why Paul tells Timothy, God can't deny you or abandon you any more than he could deny or abandon himself. God has adopted us. He has brought us into his family by joining his spirit to ours. He has put his spiritual DNA in us. If you could draw a spirit sample the same way you can draw a blood sample and run a spiritual DNA test the way you can run a physical DNA test. The doctor would say of you and me, the results show you are clearly a son of God. You are clearly a daughter of God. It's in your DNA. Isn't that just incredible? It's incredible. You don't have to hope that God will stick with you.

He can't leave you because he is part of you.

And in a mystical way, he has made you part of him. This is what Paul writes about in Romans Eight when he says, you received the spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, Abba Father, the Spirit himself, testifies with our Spirit that we are God's children. And if children then also heirs, heirs of Christ, heirs of God, and co heirs with Christ. Regeneration binds our Spirit to the Lord, brings us into his family, makes us his child, and establishes our relationship with our loving heavenly Father. You cannot be born again again. You cannot be born again and then be unborn again again. Regeneration is an irreversible one time event. Before the death and resurrection of Zeus, people could place their faith in God and be saved, but they could not be regenerated. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, every person who places their faith in him is saved and simultaneously regenerated. Let's talk about some of the benefits of regeneration. In John 16, Jesus told his disciples, It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don't go away, the counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you.

He's speaking of the Holy Spirit, and he makes an astounding claim. Jesus says, It's better for you to be regenerated and have the Holy Spirit than to have me in the flesh on the Earth. Why? Because when Jesus was on the Earth in a human body, the presence of God was confined to the geographical location of the body of Jesus. But when he sent them the Holy Spirit, his presence would be with them in all places, at all times, in all circumstances. That is what you call a benefit. We are regenerated. We have God's spirit in our lives forever and always. No matter what, we are always connected to God. I shared that regeneration makes us a child of God. It places us in his family and puts us in a relationship with our loving heavenly Father. In Ephesians 113, Paul wrote, when you believed at the moment you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. The seal that Paul is referring to is the seal an owner would place on his cargo before he shipped it. He had a Signet ring that he would push into hot wax on his cargo and the only person who could claim the cargo when it reached its destination was someone who had the same Signet ring.

Paul says, Listen, when you put your faith in Jesus, you're saved, you were regenerated, you were sealed. The Holy Spirit is God sealed, marking us as his property and guaranteeing that death cannot claim us. Instead, our journey will end with Zeus claiming us and keeping us with him for all eternity. I also mentioned that his spirit brings our dead spirit to life, giving us a spirit that now desires the things of God, the best things for us. Now our spirit still has to battle our sinful flesh, but praise God, at least now we have a spirit that loves and desires the truth. There are other benefits to being a temple of the Holy Spirit. In that verse in John 16 that I read, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the counselor. And later in that same chapter, Jesus tells his disciple, when the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.

Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you. When we need wise counsel, The Holy Spirit is available to us when we need to understand the word of God. The Holy Spirit helps us when we need to hear from God. The Holy Spirit speaks to us. The Holy Spirit is available to help us think and process with a heavenly mind rather than an earthly mind. Instead of having our thoughts only filtered through our sinful flesh, we can now actually choose to have them filtered through the mind of Christ. And not only is the Holy Spirit available to counselors with knowledge, but he's also available to counsel us with comfort. In Philippians Four, Paul writes, don't worry about anything. Instead, in everything through prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Zeus. The Holy Spirit urges us to bring our worries and our burdens to our Heavenly Father in prayer. And when we do, the Holy Spirit comforts our hearts and our minds with the supernatural peace of God.

In John 16 eight, Jesus tells us more about the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, saying, when he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment. In the Church age, the Holy Spirit is always working on unbelievers. He is continually working to convict them of sin and reveal their desperate need for forgiveness and the righteousness of Jesus to commit the only unforgivable sin. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to reject the Holy Spirit when he convicts you and reveals your need of Jesus to you it's unforgivable because you cannot be saved. Apart from accepting the invitation of the Holy Spirit to be saved in the believer's life, the Holy Spirit also convicts us of sin. When we grieve the heart of God by choosing sin over him, the Holy Spirit convicts us that we might be drawn back to Christ, repent and experience his forgiveness. The Holy Spirit convicts us that we might live free in Christ rather than return to the slavery of sin. These are just some of the most notable benefits of being regenerated. Being Born Again in One Corinthians one two, Paul shares two verses that bring clarity to what is going to happen on Pentecost in Acts chapter two.

It's on your outline again, One Corinthians 1212, Paul says, for just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many are one body, so also is Christ. The body Paul is speaking of here is the Church. He goes on and says, for we were all baptized by one spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves are free, and we were all given one spirit to drink. It's clear and scholars agree that Paul is not speaking of water baptism because he says, we were all baptized by one spirit. Paul describes a baptism not done by men, but by the Holy Spirit. And here's the real key. It's the word all. Paul writes, we were all baptized by one spirit and we were all given one spirit to drink. And as you Greek scholars know, the original meaning of the word all is all. That's right. Paul emphatically States, this is the key. Paul is saying that every member of the Church, every person who is part of the family and Kingdom of God, every believer, every Christian has been baptized by the Spirit. To say it another way, write this down.

If you have placed your faith in Jesus, then you have been baptized by the Holy Spirit. And that points to the baptism of the Spirit being a type of synonym, another way of referring to regeneration, another way of referring to being born again. They're all the same thing, and they're all referring to the moment when the Holy Spirit enters a person's life, joins their dead spirit, and brings it to life with resurrection power, regeneration, being born again, being baptized by the Holy Spirit. It's all a simultaneous event. In Acts chapter one, verses four and five, right before Jesus ascends back to heaven, he repeats an instruction to his disciples. It says, he commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the Father's promise, which he said, you have heard me speak about, for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days. Jesus was telling them to wait for the Holy Spirit, who in just a few days would regenerate them and make them born again. And Jesus refers to this glorious transformation as being baptized with the Holy Spirit. This is going to take place on Pentecost in Acts chapter two.

The disciples will become the first men and women to be born again. This is why the Scriptures never instruct us to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Did you know that we're commanded to repent. We're commanded to believe in Jesus. We are commanded to be baptized with water, but we are never commanded to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit, because if we repent and believe, we are automatically baptized with the Holy Spirit as we pick things up in Acts chapter two, verse one. The disciples of Jesus have been saved under the Old Covenant, but they haven't been regenerated, and they are now following Jesus final instructions by waiting in Jerusalem to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Born again, regenerated, verse one. When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Pentecost means 50th. It's the New Testament name for the Hebrew Feast of Weeks, also known as the Feast of the Harvest, celebrated 50 days after Passover. The purpose of this feast was to commemorate the giving of the Law, the time in history when, after freeing them from slavery in Egypt, God met with Israel at Mount Sinai and gave them his commands through Moses, most famously, the Ten Commandments.

And these Commandments would form the basis of Israel's Covenant relationship with God. These Commandments laid out how Israel was to live and function as God's people, as individuals, families, and as society. It was a special revelation from heaven, a sacred dispensation remembered at the annual feast of Pentecost at Mount Sinai. Pentecost inaugurated the age of the Law in Acts chapter two. Pentecost will inaugurate the age of the Church. The 120 disciples of Jesus who were in Jerusalem for Pentecost are all together in the upper room praying and worshiping God as described in Acts chapter. In verses 14. In verse Is, we read suddenly a sound underline the words sound. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. Understand this. It's not a violent rushing wind. It's a sound like that of a violent rushing wind as they're praying. Suddenly the roaring sound of a mighty wind fills the room. Verse three. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on underlying each one of them. Each one of them. Before the Ministry of Jesus began, John the Baptist appeared at the Jordan River in Bethubara and began preaching a message of repentance, calling people to prepare their hearts for the imminent arrival of the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the Lamb of God, who would be Jesus.

And all the way back then, John told the crowd this. He said, I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who's coming after me is more powerful than I. I'm not worthy to remove his sandals, he himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. John the Baptist was prophesying about the events we read in Acts chapter two. Now why fire appearing above everyone's heads? Let me share a couple of observations. Bible students will likely be aware that fire often represents the righteous judgment of God in the Scriptures. And so I suggest that what we have here is in some ways a picture of God's judgment coming upon every believer in the upper room. And yet they are not consumed, they don't die. Why? What's changed? Well, the blood of Jesus has covered their sins, so God's Spirit, including his righteous judgment, can rest on them without consuming them. Because their spirits are spotless, they've become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The Old Testament also records instances where God's presence appeared as fire. I think of the pillar of fire that accompanied the Israelites at night throughout their wilderness wanderings.

The Word says that God's presence came down in fire on Mount Sinai at the time of the first Pentecost. Exodus 20 417 says, the appearance of the Lord's glory to the Israelites was like a consuming fire on the mountaintop. I think of the time God appeared to Moses in the burning Bush in Exodus chapter three. The miracle that astounded Moses and drew him to the burning Bush was that it was burning, yet it was not consumed. And as he approached, what did the Lord say to Moses? He said, Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is Holy ground. God said, My presence is here, therefore this place is Holy. On Pentecost, the presence of God didn't appear in a Bush. It came upon believers, and the message this time was, My presence is in you, therefore you are Holy. That's the miracle of the gospel. It transforms our spirits from cemeteries into temples of the living God. The phrase Each one of them is so important because the primary reason for this visual manifestation of the work of the Holy Spirit is to make it evident to everyone that the same thing was happening to everyone.

Nobody could say it happened only to the uppercase D disciples, not the lowercase D disciples. Nobody could say something more powerful happened to the men than happened to the woman. The tongues of fire made it clear that the Holy Spirit was doing the same work in every person who had placed their faith in Jesus, binding them together on equal footing in unity as the Church by giving them the same Holy Spirit, the tongues of fire. Write this down. The tongues of fire showed that the Holy Spirit was being given equally to each member of the Church. It was being given equally to each member of the Church. Verses four, same theme continues. Then they were all underlying, all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, different languages, as the Spirit enabled them. Those in the upper room are praising God when they are regenerated, when they're born again, when they're baptized with the Holy Spirit, they continue praising God as it happens. But their speech suddenly and miraculously changes into different tongues. Different languages. They don't know the word says they were being enabled by the Spirit to do this.

If you come from a charismatic or Pentecostal Church tradition, you'll be familiar with the issue of whether these different tongues are earthly languages or a heavenly language. And if you've never heard that, then you're like, wait, what? We're not going to get into that question today. We are going to get into it next week. But for today I want us to focus on the effect of these different tongue. So let's keep reading. In verse is now there were Jews staying in Jerusalem, devout people from every nation under heaven. So religious Jews from all over the world had made the journey to celebrate Pentecost in Jerusalem. So the city was packed with hundreds of thousands of visitors from different ethnicities and cultures who spoke different languages. When the sound, the sound of the believers in the upper room praising God. When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded and amazed saying, look, aren't all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that each of us can hear them in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia Pontus, in Asia, Phrygia and Pamphilia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Sierraine.

Visitors from Rome, both Jews and converts, Cretans and Arabs. Underline this we hear them declaring the magnificent acts of God in our own tongues. The word tongues there means literally languages in Greek. Those from countries to the west would have spoken Greek under the Roman Empire, while those from the Parthian Empire to the east would have spoken Aramaic. But it seems the 120 were praising God in more specific local dialects than those Empire wide languages, as the 120 would have likely been well acquainted with Greek and Aramaic. People passing by the upper room are amazed for two reasons. Firstly, they're amazed to hear such a large group 120 praising God in their native tongue. Some of these native dialects were only spoken in an incredibly small geographic area. The equivalent I think in our context would be like if you take a look at one of the First Nations bands that has their own language and at their peak there were a few thousand who spoke this language. It would be like that type of thing, somebody from a group that size going into Jerusalem and seeing 120 people praising God in their own language, they're astounded.

Secondly, they're amazed. We're told to see that they were Galileans. Now we don't know what the visual giveaway was, but somehow they could tell by looking at them, they were Galileans, and you might recall that Galileans had a very peculiar accent. It was what betrayed Peter to the servant girl the night that Jesus was arrested. And the Galilean accent seems to have been considered very unsophisticated. I was trying to think of a good comparison, and the only one I could think of was the way that someone might view a Northern British accent. I don't know if you watched any British TV shows ever, but there's some where there's characters from Northern England and Charlene, and I have the subtitles on speaking English. We can't understand anything that they're saying at all. It's like an assault on the ears. And yet those passing by the 120 hear them declaring the magnificent acts of God with perfect fluency in their local dialect. This would be like, I don't know if you can imagine an accent from Newcastle in Northern England in your head, but this would be like hearing 120 geordis from Newcastle praising God in flawless French or Italian.

It would just be, what in the world is going on? Based on the text, it doesn't seem that those who are passing by are picking out the odd voice in their tongue. From the 120. It seems from the text that each person is hearing the whole group praising God in their native language. It says, we hear them declaring the magnificent acts of God in our own tongues. Now, whatever the specifics may be, this is clearly an astonishing miracle. The house with the upper room would have been in the Eastern part of Jerusalem, close to the Mount of Olives. That means the streets would have been narrow. Later in this chapter, Peter is going to preach to thousands in response to what has happened. Given the logistics of space and the number of people involved, it seems likely that at some point the 120 moved out of the upper room to a larger outdoor area, where they continued praising God. Possibly one of the courtyards around the temple somewhere that could support an audience of thousands. In verses twelve we see God using this astounding phenomenon to arouse the curiosity of those in Jerusalem in preparation for Peter sermon, which will be delivered beginning in verses 14.

Verse twelve reads, they the crowd were all astonished and perplexed, saying to one another, what does this mean, God? Does this miracle to get the crowd's attention and clarify that something supernatural, something miraculous is taking place. And when we reach verse 14, we'll see the same Holy Spirit that has gathered this crowd prompt Peter to preach to this crowd verse 13. But some sneered and said, oh, they're drunk on new wine. Hosea who have no interest in the truth are generally unable to recognize it even when it's right in front of them. Such was the case with the religious leaders who accused the Son of God of being possessed by the devil. Some who witnessed this miracle quickly dismissed it as drunken chaos, though nothing could have been further from the truth. At Babel, the Lord divided humanity into ethnic groups with different languages, and he did this because United humanity was only using their unity to dream up even greater acts of evil and rebellion against God. So divisions were created by the Lord to limit humanity's potential for wickedness. But when Jesus sent his Church, the Holy Spirit, on Pentecost, something began to change.

God said, when my Spirit is in you, though I can bring you together across ethnicities, across cultures, across languages, around the cross, around the gospel, and the result won't be greater wickedness. When my Spirit is in you, the result will be greater righteousness as you come together. And as we learned in our study of revelation, when Jesus returns to rain on the Earth for the duration of the Millennium, he will restore a common language. Because again, no more will it be used by man to dream up greater acts of evil, but it will be used for greater righteousness. Now we need to backtrack one more subject we need to hit on today as we work our way this week and next week through Acts chapter two, we need to backtrack a little bit to clear something up. In the chronology of events in the Bible, Luke 24 and John chapter 20 described Jesus first post resurrection appearance to the disciples. It was resurrection Sunday, but they don't know yet that Zeus is alive. The disciples are sheltering in place in the upper room, undoubtedly trying to figure out what to do next. They're terrified that the same religious leaders and Romans who conspired to murder Jesus are conspiring to murder them.

Jesus appears out of thin air in their midst in his resurrected and glorified body to prove he's not an apparition. He invites them to touch him, and he eats food in front of them. In John chapter 20, we read that Jesus said to them, again, Peace be with you as the Father has sent me. I also send you. After saying this, he breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Spirit. Naturally, the question arises, well, hang on a minute. In Acts one five, Jesus tells his disciples to wait in Jerusalem to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. John chapter 20 takes place weeks before Pentecost. So what's going on here when Jesus breathes on his disciples and says, Receive the Holy Spirit. I came from Church traditions that taught regeneration and the baptism of the Holy Spirit as separate events, and they would teach that the disciples were regenerated when Jesus breathed on them and baptized by the Holy Spirit in a separate event on Pentecost. Again, the problem with that is One Corinthians 1212 and 13, which we read earlier, where Paul tells us explicitly that all believers have been baptized by the Holy Spirit, making it clear that regeneration and baptism by the Holy Spirit are the same events.

We also noticed that all the 120 in the upper room have the same experience on Pentecost, right? It's not like the eleven disciples who were breathed on by Zeus weeks earlier have a different experience from the rest of the 120 because they've already been regenerated. All 120 have the same experience in Acts chapter two. They're all regenerated, born again, baptized by the Holy Spirit together at the same time by design, so that it would be clear that the Church is being birthed at that moment. But the question persists, then what was Jesus doing when he breathed on the disciples on Resurrection day? Well, both Luke 24 and John 20 record things that Jesus said in the upper room when he appeared to the disciples on Resurrection Day. Not everything recorded in both Gospels is the same. None of it contradicts it's. Just like if you had two witnesses to a conversation and you said, I want you to write down the three most important things from this conversation. They might not write down the same three things, but that doesn't mean that either of them is lying. It just means they noticed different things. That's the case in Luke 24 and John 20.

So let me offer a possible chronology of what happens in the upper room when Jesus breathes on his disciples and he says, Receive the Holy Spirit, we should all be able to agree that he's clearly imparting something to them. He's imparting something to them. So the question is, do we find anything imparted to the disciples in Luke 24 or John 20? And the answer is, yes, we do. I mentioned it last week. Luke tells us that Jesus at that time opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And I suggest that these verses show us a clear impartation from Jesus to the eleven in John 20 and the results of that impartation in Luke 24. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit would come upon specific people for a particular time in a particular mission or task. He wouldn't come in them and regenerate them. He would come upon them. I'm talking about the Holy Spirit giving specific abilities to win battles, judge legal matters wisely, to prophesy, to write scripture, to defeat an enemy in the face of overwhelming odds, that sort of thing. If you've been part of home groups, you've been reading about some of these events where the Holy Spirit came on a person in the Old Testament for a specific mission.

Like that judge who kills Shamgar, is it 800? He kills 800 people with a cattle prod. Love that story. Spirit of the Lord came on me. I killed 800 people in a field. Makes a beautiful kids Bible story. But it seems that this coming upon with a specific power for a specific purpose. It seems that this is what Jesus was doing when he breathed on the eleven disciples on Resurrection Day. He was imparting to them a special ability to comprehend the Scriptures, specifically how the Old Testament prophecies connected to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and the soon to be established Church. However you want to frame it, it seems clear that when Jesus breathed on the disciples, he was imparting coveting of the Holy Spirit, similar to how the Holy Spirit would come upon people in the Old Testament. And it would make sense that whatever that impartation was, it was connected to whatever Zeus wanted them to do between Resurrection Day and Pentecost. Most likely after that impartation, the disciples were discussing the Scriptures, thinking about the Scriptures and growing in their understanding as they went about their daily lives, waiting for Jesus to tell them what to do next.

This impartation seemed to give them a bit of a head start in understanding the Scriptures on a deeper level, which was needed because they were to become the leaders of the first Church. On Pentecost I use the term head start because one of the other blessings of being regenerated is that the Holy Spirit opens our minds to understand the Scriptures. When you've been born again, the Bible suddenly speaks to you in a completely different way. It starts coming alive to you in a way you can't explain. And Paul referred to this change as being given the mind of Christ and he described it this way in one Corinthians two. He said, We've not received the Spirit of the world but the Spirit who comes from God so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit. Explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God's Spirit because it's foolishness to him. He's not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.

This is why we can read something in Scripture at a completely blow our minds. But when we share it with a non believer, they're like, okay, it's because their spirit is dead, their spirit is dead. They can't understand it because they don't have the Holy Spirit in them, making the Word come alive, enabling them to understand spiritual things. But when Jesus brings your dead Spirit to life, the Word comes alive to you. When Jesus breathes on the disciples, I believe he's also pointing back to something and pointing ahead to something. He's intentionally mirroring the creation of Adam in Genesis 27 where we read the Lord formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils. And the man became a living being in the upper room. On Pentecost, Jesus would create something new yet again, the regenerated man. And now when a man or woman is saved, they become a new spiritual creation on the deepest of levels. We are not who we were. Praise God for that. That is why Paul described regeneration like this. If anyone is in Christ, he is a what new creation?

The old has passed away and see, the new has come. Jesus points back to the creation of Adam, and he also points ahead to the creation of the regenerated man. On Pentecost, Jesus breathed on the disciples and said, Receive the Holy Spirit. What was the first event, the first phenomena that signaled the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the believers in the upper room in Acts chapter two. It's verse two where we read suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from where? Heaven. And it filled the whole house where they were staying. Where is Jesus? At that moment? He's in heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father. He had promised to send the Holy Spirit. He had breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Spirit. And those words were fully realized on Pentecost when I suggest to you that Jesus breathed on them again from heaven, sending them the Holy Spirit. To summarize the key concepts from our study today, the disciples were saved under the old Covenant before the death and resurrection of Jesus, but they were not regenerated when Jesus breathed on the disciples in John chapter 20, he imparted a special anointing to them to comprehend the scriptures, to prepare them to lead the Church that would be born on Pentecost.

On Pentecost, men and women were regenerated for the first time and the Church was born. The terms regenerated, born again and baptized by the Holy Spirit are synonymous. That means if you're a believer, you have been regenerated, you've been born again, and you've been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Next week we're going to look at the issue of tongues and what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Man, you do not want to miss next week. And if you have questions, some of you may have experiential questions where you're saying, Jeff, but how do you explain this experience I had? We're going to get to that next week as well. Make sure you don't miss it. I'm going to ask BJ to come up and get ready to pray for us. But you may have studied great historical revolutions in school, but believe me when I tell you that what took place in the upper room on Pentecost was the greatest revolution the world has ever seen. It has lasted 2000 years. Countless millions have laid down their lives for it. Its message has never changed. And despite two millennia's worth of efforts to eliminate it, the light of the Church still shines like a city on a Hill, calling dead sinners to come and be made alive through the resurrection power of Jesus.

The Church is a revolution not born to the sound of battle drums or cries of rebellion, but rather the followers of Jesus declaring the magnificent acts of God. Wicked men in Thessalonica would speak the truth when they accused Paul and Silas in the early Church of turning the world upside down. When Napoleon was spending his final years imprisoned on the island of Elba, he reflected on his life and he wrote about, among other things, Jesus verse is an actual quote from the writings of Napoleon. The last couple of years of his life, he says, I know Amen and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every person in the world, there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I have founded empires, but on what did we rest the creations of our genius upon force? Jesus Christ founded his Empire on love. And at this hour, millions of men would die for him.

back to list