At the Temple Gate, Peter and John encounter a beggar who had been disabled since birth. The beggar ask for money, but gets healed instead. The man’s healing causes quite a stir among the people in the temple courts, and Peter seizes the opportunity to speak to the crowd about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the first miracle following the inauguration of the Christian community and it testifies to the authority of Jesus’ word through His apostles
While the Holy Spirit is not named in this chapter, He was certainly at work in and through the Apostles, performing His ministry of glorifying Jesus Christ. In Acts 1, the Apostles were waiting for the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2, the Apostles and 109 others experienced the coming of the Holy Spirit in tongues like fire and equipping each person to speak to a gathered crowd in their own dialect. God received the Glory. Here, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead has empowered the Apostles to do great works in the power of Jesus Name. Now that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, the Apostles were no longer competing for greatness, but were at last working faithfully together to build the church and Glorify the Savior.
In chapter 3, we see new Priorities. Peter and John were not so caught up with large crowds that they had no time for individuals… Nor were they so busy in ministry that they could not pray… They had learned their lessons well from the Lord Jesus (Mark 1:35; Luke 8:40). In acknowledging this disabled beggar, the Holy Spirit led Peter and John to see beyond the financial need, an empowered them to see the beggar's spiritual bankruptcy. The Holy Spirit led Peter and John to restore his physical and spiritual issues. The beggar leaped. I call him the Bouncing Beggar.
In this chapter, we see a new Power. The emphasis in chapters 3–4 is on the name of Jesus, the name above every name (Phil. 2:9–11).
Phil. 2:9–11 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Peter is careful to portray this miracle as the work of Jesus; in doing so, he expresses Jesus’ nature, character, and power by praying, "In Jesus Name.' Luke, who is a physician, observes the specific way Jesus’ power works instantly to overcome the man’s lifelong disability. There is power in the name of Jesus. Faith in the name of Jesus releases power so that lives are changed… To pray or minister in His name means to ask or act on His authority (Matt. 28:18–20) so that He alone gets the glory.
We also see a new Proclamation by Peter and John. At Pentecost, the sound of a rushing wind drew the crowd; but here the witness of a changed life brought the people together… Thus, Peter had the opportunity to preach, and two thousand people were converted… This tells us that we are to reach out to individuals and God will give us opportunities for a bigger harvest.
In Acts 2, the Spirit came, not because the believers prayed, but because the day of Pentecost had come, the day appointed for the “birthday of the church” (Lev. 23:15–21). The Holy Spirit baptized the believers into one body (1 Cor. 12:13) so that they had a living connection with their Head exalted in heaven. Luke 2 describes the birth of the Lord’s physical body and Acts 2 the birth of His spiritual body.
Tongues as of Fire… like a blaze substance divided and distributed itself into one stream per individual, coming to rest on each person. The fire, much like the Pillar of Fire, the Burning Bush, and on the Ark of the Covenant, represents God’s Presence. These 120 believers, heard a mighty sound, saw tongues of Fire, and began to speak in other languages… other dialects (Greek: Other “heteros” tongues/languages “dialektos”). This experience clarified the Tower of Babel experience in Genesis 11. “Speaking in tongues” has a long history in Pagan Worship. Various sects practiced a form of “ecstatic utterances,” or Babel with frenzied emotional expression in their worship. However, these believers spoke in different dialects where everyone present could understand in their own language. This was not some “Heavenly Language” or salvation determinant. And, onlookers regarded this supernatural event as unique, and as a miraculous gift of God, for a specific ministry… to communicate the Gospel.
The Holy Spirit also filled the believers and empowered them for witness, to amaze and astonish for the Glory of God. He gave Peter insight into the Word and the ability to show men Christ in the Word. The Spirit used the witness of the church to convict the lost, just as Jesus said He would do in Luke 16.
But, the same Holy Spirit assisted the believers in their church fellowship (vv. 40–47). The original group was outnumbered by the new believers, but there was still harmony in the church family. The church grew from 120 to 3,120 in one day. They worshiped daily and witnessed daily, and “the Lord added to the church daily” (v. 47). Is your experience with the Lord a daily one?
The ministry of the Holy Spirit has three major purposes:
1.Convict the world concerning Sin, Righteousness, and Judgement. (John 16:11)
2.Continue Christ’s Earthly Ministry: Teaching and reminding us of Truth; Guiding, Encouraging, Calling and Sending into ministry; and Interceding with Jesus. (John 16; Acts 13)
3.Gifts the Members of the Body of Christ with Spiritual Abilities and Manifests the Character of Christ (Fruit of the Spirit) in and through them. (Eph. 4; Gal. 5)
Two Truths that Emerge from Acts 2:
1.When God is at work, no one can duplicate it or ignore it. (This was miraculous)
2.When the Spirit gives power, God receives credit, not people. (This was Supernatural) People could literally talk and understand/communicate in their own dialects/language… Bringing Glory to God and with the ability to share Jesus with all those present.
Following are notes from a Connect Group with students from Acts 1:1-14. I feel these points are extremely relevant for our culture and world as we are experiencing unprecedented times with the Corona Virus. Fear and anxiety are at an all time high. Our world needs to know there was much fear, confusion and turmoil in the beginning days of the church, but God remained faithful and true to His Promises. He is Sovereign, All-Powerful, and He is totally in control. You can trust Him, even in this Storm. Take a look at the first 14 verses of the Book of Acts.
-One hundred and twenty ordinary people hardly constitute an army; but in a few days, they would make an impact that is being felt even today. The same resources God gave them are still available to us.
-Christ is the Head of the church and supplies life to His body, giving direction to His people. What He began to do and teach, the church continues as He guides and empowers through His Spirit.
-God’s power is available to God’s people who want to do His will and be His witnesses. You do not have to be an apostle to have the power of the Spirit in your life.
-He is the Lord of history, working out His purposes in this world.
-God shares His power with us as we pray and ask Him for His help.
-His Word is still our lamp and light (Ps. 119:105), and we must obey what it says. God guides His people when they are willing to follow.
If we are faithful to read God’s Word, study it, meditate on it, and obey it, God will guide us when we have decisions to make. The Holy Spirit teaches us (John 14:26; 16:13–14) and directs us when we pray and seek the Lord’s will. The Holy Spirit uses truth, not ignorance; so the more facts we have, the better. We should use our common sense but not lean on it (Prov. 3:5–6), for we walk by faith and not by sight. If we sincerely move in the wrong direction, the Lord will show us (Acts 16:6–10; Phil. 3:15), so we need not fear. It is good for believers to read the Word and pray together as they seek the mind of the Lord.