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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Baptism with the Holy Spirit

Don Stewart :: What Happened on the Day of Pentecost with Respect to the Holy Spirit and Believers?

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What Happened on the Day of Pentecost with Respect to the Holy Spirit and Believers?

Baptism with the Holy Spirit – Question 17

One of the most significant events recorded in the Bible happened on the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came down to permanently indwell the disciples of Jesus Christ and the church age began. The Bible says the following things about Pentecost.

The New Testament Explanation of the Day of Pentecost

The New Testament gives the description of the events which happened on this all-important day. We read of this in the second chapter of Acts.

Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like a violent wind blowing came from heaven and filled the entire house where they were sitting. And tongues spreading out like a fire appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them (Acts 2:1-4 NET).

Several significant things happened on the Day of Pentecost.

The Day of Pentecost Was the Fulfillment of Prophecy

On the Day of Pentecost prophecy was fulfilled. Indeed, Acts 2:1 literally reads, “As the Day of Pentecost was being fulfilled.” What was fulfilled was the prophecy given by both Jesus and John the Baptist concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit.

John had earlier said of Jesus.

I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am–I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11 NET)

Consequently, the coming Messiah would be the One who baptized the people with the Spirit of God.

Ten days before Pentecost Jesus reiterated the prediction. He said the following to His disciples.

John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5 NLT).

Jesus predicted what was about to occur.

The Power of the Holy Spirit Came Down

The coming of the Holy Spirit was also to give power to the believers. Jesus made this promise shortly before He ascended into heaven. He said.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth (Acts 1:8 NET).

When the Day of Pentecost occurred, the Holy Spirit came as promised, baptizing the believers into Christ and giving them power to be His witnesses. The people were also said to have been “filled with the Spirit.”

The Day of Pentecost Was the Beginning of the Church Age

Pentecost was also the birthday of the church. The Old Testament period of law was concluded and a new era began. Those who believe in Jesus as Messiah during this present age become part of the body (or bride) of Jesus Christ known as the church.

The church age began at Pentecost and will conclude when Christ comes back for His own.

The Message Was the Risen Jesus

The message preached on the Day of Pentecost centered on Jesus as the promised Messiah. The One who was to bring the promised kingdom to Israel had been crucified by those He came to save. However, He also was brought back from the dead by the power of God. Peter said on that day.

Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know–this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it (Acts 2:22–24 ESV).

Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, was their message. Indeed, it is also our message today!

There Were Accompanying Signs on That Day

Miraculous signs accompanied Peter’s proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah. We read the following in Acts 2.

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven residing in Jerusalem. When this sound occurred, a crowd gathered and was in confusion, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Completely baffled, they said, “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? (Acts 2:4-7 NET).

We find that these disciples of Jesus spoke in languages which they had never before learned.. The outpouring of the Spirit had been prophesied in the Book of Joel.

After all of this I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your elderly will will have revelatory dreams; your young men will see prophetic visions (Joel 2:28, 29 NET).

These signs added further testimony to the truth of the message of Peter about Jesus Christ – He was indeed the promised Messiah.

The First Converts to the Christian Church Occurred at Pentecost

The Day of Pentecost also saw the first converts to the Christian church. When Simon Peter delivered his sermon proclaiming that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead, some three thousand people became converted. We read.

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day (Acts 2:41 TNIV).

The Day of Pentecost saw the beginning of the church.

The Day of Pentecost Vindicated Jesus

The events on the Day of Pentecost, with the coming of the power of the Holy Spirit, vindicated Jesus and His message. As Peter’s sermon stresses, the power that was observed by all on the Day of Pentecost is directly attributable to Jesus Christ being the risen Savior. Peter explained it this way to the crowd that had gathered.

This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear (Acts 2:32-33 NRSV).

Jesus, the one whom they crucified, rose from the dead.

The Prominence of Pentecost in the Book of Acts

The events on the day of Pentecost set the stage for the remainder of events recorded in the Book of Acts. The Holy Spirit, in accord with Jesus’ promise, had come down in a powerful way to those who believe in Him. The disciples now had a new power to fulfill the ministry of Jesus. The era of Jesus being physically on the earth was now over. The era of the Holy Spirit, who would speak for Jesus, had now begun.

In sum, the Day of Pentecost, with the arrival of the baptism with the Holy Spirit, is one of the most important days recorded in Scripture. Indeed, it has set the stage for the events which are taking place during the church age.

Summary – Question 17
What Happened on the Day of Pentecost with Respect to the Holy Spirit and the Believers?

The Day of Pentecost was a crucial time in the history of God’s dealings with humanity. Indeed, a number of things happened that day which has set the course for the history of the New Testament church.

For one thing, the Holy Spirit, in fulfilling prophecies of both Jesus and John the Baptist, descended in a unique way upon all the believers, giving them power for service. They now had the authority to tell the world about the risen Christ.

Indeed, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit actually began the church age. The body of Christ, the church, began to be formed on that day.

The disciples of Jesus Christ were both baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. They were baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ. This gave them the opportunity to be filled with the Spirit in order to testify about Jesus Christ.

The sign of speaking in unknown languages was given to these disciples as evidence of the arrival of the Holy Spirit. They were able to supernaturally speak in languages which they had never learned.

The message proclaimed by Simon Peter was that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. The signs that accompanied the coming of the Holy Spirit testified to the truth of Peters’ message.

Three thousand people were converted that day. The signs, along with the power of the Holy Spirit in the preaching of Peter, convinced these people that Jesus Christ was indeed the promised Messiah.

Thus, among other things, Pentecost vindicated Jesus. The One who had been crucified some two months previously had risen from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit to preach His message.

Finally, the events of Pentecost set the course for other events which would take place in the Book of Acts as well as in the last two thousand years of church history. It was indeed a “special day.”

Is the Baptism with the Spirit the Same as the Filling of the Spirit? ← Prior Section
In What Sense Was Joel's Prophecy Fulfilled at Pentecost? Next Section →
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