Bible Study: The Waiting Is Over

Bible Study – Acts 2:1-21

What was the day of Pentecost? Lev.23:15,16; Deut. 16:9-12; Exodus 20:16; Numbers 28:26; Acts 20:16; I Cor. 16:8.

Notice two things in this passage. The first is that the Holy Spirit is given to a group of Christians at once, rather than to individuals. The second is that the Holy Spirit immediately uses these Christians to speak to people nearby from all over the world. What is the significance of these two points for our own understanding of how the Holy Spirit works in the present?

What phrase shows the unity of purpose of the disciples? 1:14; 2:1,14,46

What three impressive phenomena occurred when the Holy Ghost was first given? (2-4)

How should being spirit-filled affect what you do? Romans 8:5-11; 1 Cor. 12:12-26; 2 Cor. 3:17-4:12; Gal. 5:16-26

How do you know if you are filled with the Spirit?

What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church? John 16:13-15; John 3:5-7; Titus 3:5; John 16:7-10; 2 Cor. 3:16-18; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 8:26-27; Ephesians 1:13

What reactions did the observers have? Verses 6,7,12,13

From where did the observers come? Verses 5,8-11

What four questions did Peter answer in his “sermon”? Verses 7,8,12,37

What time of day did the outpouring occur? Verse 15

What prophecy did the outpouring of the Holy Ghost fulfill? Verses16-18, Joel 2:28-32

Focus on verses 17-21, where Peter quotes from the prophet Joel. What stands out to you? What do you notice?

What are things you can do in your own life that can make you more receptive to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?

(Note:  Bible Study materials are gathered from various resources, i.e. Bible.org)

What is Pentecost?

For Christians, Pentecost is a holiday on which we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the early followers of Jesus. Before the events of the first Pentecost, which came a few weeks after Jesus’ death and resurrection, there were followers of Jesus, but no movement that could be meaningfully called “the church.” Thus, from an historical point of view, Pentecost is the day on which the church was started. This is also true from a spiritual perspective, since the Spirit brings the church into existence and enlivens it. Thus Pentecost is the church’s birthday.

What does the word “Pentecost” mean?

The English word “Pentecost” is a transliteration of the Greek word pentekostos, which means “fifty.” It comes from the ancient Christian expression pentekoste hemera, which means “fiftieth day.”

But Christians did not invent the phrase “fiftieth day.” Rather, they borrowed it from Greek-speaking Jews who used the phrase to refer to a Jewish holiday. This holiday was known as the Festival of Weeks, or, more simply, Weeks (Shavuot in Hebrew). This name comes from an expression in Leviticus 23:16, which instructs people to count seven weeks or “fifty days” from the end of Passover to the beginning of the next holiday (pentekonta hemeras in the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture).

Shavuot was the second great feast in Israel’s yearly cycle of holy days. It was originally a harvest festival (Exod 23:16), but, in time, turned into a day to commemorate the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai. This day became especially significant for Christians because, seven weeks after the resurrection of Jesus, during the Jewish celebration of Shavuot/Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon his first followers, thus empowering them for their mission and gathering them together as a church.

 

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