What is “This?”

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: [1]

This Sunday coming Sunday at the church I pastor, Church on the Hill, we will be taking a hard look at what evidence, if any we have for our experience matching up with the early churches’ experience on the day of Pentecost.  Peter, having been baptized with the Holy Spirit, stood up in front of all the people with a boldness he had never experienced before and was able to boldly proclaim that this experience the people were experiencing was that which the prophet Joel had prophesied about years earlier.  He was able to boldly proclaim without any doubt, “This is that!”

This week we will be examining this text, which follows the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church, along with the content of Peter’s inaugural sermon on the day of Pentecost to see how our message today compares with the message of the early church.  The reason for taking the time with that this week is that I believe there is a direct correlation between the message we are proclaiming the results we are seeing in the church world today.

But for today, let’s look back briefly at what this was Peter was talking about.  If you look back a few verses to Acts 2:1-11 you find that this is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.  Without going into great detail, one thing stands out about the event.  All, were filled with the Holy Spirit and all spoke in tongues.  Suddenly, these people who had been waiting in Jerusalem for the promised Baptism of the Holy Spirit were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in a new tongue.  The content of what they were saying is revealed in Acts 2:11, “we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”

They observe that the speakers are all Galileans that know no other than their mother tongue (v. 7); they are despicable men, from whom nothing learned nor polite is to be expected. God chose the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the wise and mighty.

It is probable that the apostles spoke of Christ, and redemption by him, and the grace of the gospel; and these are indeed the great things of God. They heard them both praise God for these great things and instruct the people concerning these things, in their own tongue.

This exactly what Jesus said would happen as they were baptized with the Holy Spirit.  They would be witnesses to the resurrection, proclaiming the Gospel so that the whole world could hear.  That is still God’s plan for us today.  Subsequent to this experience in Acts we find other times where believers were filled with the Holy Spirit with the same results.  Is our experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit “this”?

[1] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Ac 2:14–18). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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