Week of October 3: Acts 2:1-24; 36-41 (The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost)
Why did God pour out the gift of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ followers?
What do the wind and fire, symbolic of the Holy Spirit, suggest to you most strongly?
From Peter’s message to the crowd, especially his conclusion (vv. 36-39) how would you explain to someone what it means to become a Christ follower?
How would you describe your own experience with the Holy Spirit?
What are some things you can do to be better prepared for God’s use?
Acts 1:1-11 (Jesus Taken Up Into Heaven)
1On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.3Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.5At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. 6When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.7They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! 9Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia,10Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome 11(both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” 12They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.13But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”Peter Preaches to the Crowd14Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. 15These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. 16No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:17‘In the last days,’ God says,‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy.Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.18In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike—and they will prophesy.19And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below—blood and fire and clouds of smoke.20The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the lord arrives.21But everyone who calls on the name of the lord will be saved.’22“People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. 23But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. 24But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. 36“So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”37Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”38Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”41Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.