“What’s a Spirit-filled Christian?” Acts: To the End of the Earth
Scripture: Acts 2:1-4
Acts tells the story of Christ’s ministry through his Church by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. This means we should desire to be God-glorying, Christ-centered and Spirit-filled. As the Church is its members, Christians are to be Spirit-filled as well. Although Pentecost will never occur again, Luke draws our attention to three things that Spirit does when he falls on the disciples for the first time. His description is rich and full of Old Testament themes and images that he uses to highlights these truths. We see the Spirit helps believers live out ordinary gospel realities every day. Spirit-filled Christians live in the realities that they are a new creation, never alone and needed by others.
#1: Being Spirit-filled, you’re a new creation (2:1-2)
The mighty rushing wind that came upon the believers came to breathe new life into the disciples. God was giving birth to the New Testament Church. The imagery is similar to that found in the creation of Adam in Genesis 2 and the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. In Acts 2:2 there is a new creation happening by the Spirit’s presence. Believers today who are filled with the Spirit are reminded that in Christ they are a new creation. They no longer have to live enslaved and chained to their old sin masters because Christ has freed them. It’s easier to continue to live under sin’s influence and the accusation of guilt than it is to live in the reality that we have been set free and are declared righteous. So we need the Spirit to remind us that we have forgiveness, freedom, adoption, and victory in Christ as his new creation.
#2: Being Spirit-filled, you’re never alone (2:3)
The tongues of fire that rested on the disciples was a sign of God’s presence come to be with them. Fire was a common Old Testament image that represented God’s presence as can be seen in the many examples in Exodus. By coming to rest on each disciple, the Spirit was symbolizing that he had come to be with them permanently. No longer temporarily as in the Old Testament but with us always as the seal of our redemption. Because Christ was cast away on the cross for us, we can be sure God will never cast us from his presence. The Spirit never abandons us. God never turns his back to us. When we sin or seek after other loves we may not feel the presence of God but God will never leave us or forsake us. We need the Spirit to remind us that even in the deepest valleys and the darkest alleys we are never alone.
#3: Being Spirit-filled, you’re needed by others (2:4)
The Spirit filled all the disciples and gave them the gift of other languages. This was the firstfruits of what God would do to every believer. In the Old Testament the Spirit only came upon certain people but it was always the hope he would fall on every member. Because of Pentecost every Christian is filled with the Spirit and as a result is given a spiritual gift. God has entrusted and equipped every Christian with gifts because that is his plan for growing and edifying his people. Every Spirit-filled Christian is given a gift to use because it is needed by others. To have a gift and not use it to serve is to rob people! We all have a ministry to do, a role to play and a responsibility to fill because we are needed by others. That role may vary people to person but we need to find out what it is and serve. The Spirit reminds us that every believer has a gift that others need because by it we build each other up.
Group Discussion Questions
- Share something you found either interesting, memorable, convicting, confusing or challenging about the passage/sermon.
- What did/do you typically envision a Spirit-filled Church and a Spirit-filled Christian to be like? What are the common things that are associated with being filled with the Spirit? How did you come about those ideas?
- Please explain which of the three gospel realities you most easily or regularly forget. Or put another way, which of the gospel realities do you need to be reminded of the most?
- What do you think are the reasons you forget these daily truths?
- What difference would it make in your Christian life if the Spirit kept these gospel realities daily on the forefront on your mind and heart?