Awaken to the Spirit | Acts 2

Awaken to the Spirit | Acts 2

Feb 04, 2024

Awaken to the Spirit

Have you ever gotten up early while it was still dark and waited for the sunrise? On our vacations, my wife Carol likes to get up early and go to a place to see the sunrise. All is dark until the rays of sunlight pierce through the darkness.

And those first rays of light continue to bring more light as the day progresses. That sunrise brings warmth, hope and a promise of a new day, a new beginning.

Ephesians 5:14b "Therefore it says, 'Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'"

God desires for us to awaken from the night, from our sleep and let Christ and His Spirit shine on us.

2 Peter 1:19 "And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,"

God's Word is like a lamp shining into the dark places in our lives and hearts. As we allow its light in, this verse says the day will dawn and the morning star will rise in our hearts. Jesus is the morning star, the light of the world.

We all have dark places in our minds and in our hearts that need the light of Jesus and His Spirit to drive out. Today we're going to learn how to awaken to the Spirit in our own lives. Last Sunday we began our study of Acts 2 and today we're going to complete that chapter.

As I've been studying Acts 2 this week, which I'm sure I've read hundreds of times or more, a new thought dawned on me. I believe that Acts 2 is the most important chapter in the whole of the Bible. It begins with the believers in the upper room being baptized in the Spirit and speaking with other tongues.

The crowd's response is given in ...

Acts 2:12-13 "And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?' But others mocking said, 'They are filled with new wine.'"

Today we're going to study Peter's message to the crowd to answer their questions and mockery. Peter was anointed by the Spirit to preach this message. This message answers the questions of the crowd. Who is Jesus and what did He accomplish in His ministry? How did Jesus rise from the dead and where is He now?

What did Jesus have to do with the disciples being Spirit baptized? Who is Spirit baptism for? What are the three steps that God requires of every person who follows Jesus as Lord. What is the role of the church in a believer's life? All these questions and more are answered in the chapter of Acts 2.

God wants to awaken the Spirit in each one of us, so that His light can shine through us to the dark world around us.

The Spirit's Power is for Everyone

Acts 2:16-17 "But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.'"

Peter begins to answer the question of what all these people speaking in tongues meant. He refers to an Old Testament prophecy by the prophet Joel to explain. The Holy Spirit had prophesied hundreds of years before that one day in the future, He would pour out His Spirit and everyone who asked for Him.

He would pour out His Spirit on men and women, on sons and daughters. When His Spirit was poured out, when someone was Spirit baptized they would prophesy. Prophesy is God speaking through a person either in a known tongue or in an unknown tongue. As God pours out His Spirit, others will see visions and dream dreams from God.

Acts 2:19a "And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below ..."

When the Spirit is poured out, God will show wonders and signs through His people. Signs and wonders are miraculous gifts of the Spirit of many kinds, as we'll see later today. The question at this point is, is this just for the day of Pentecost or will it continue?

Acts 2:20-21 "the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'"

We're not going to dig into the future prophecy today, but Joel is now talking about the day of the Lord, the day Jesus returns. Before Jesus returns, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved.

Everyone who is saved is offered the gift of the Spirit, just as the 120 did on the day of Pentecost. The Spirit's power is for everyone until Jesus returns. The pouring of the Spirit that began on the day of Pentecost continues today and will continue until Jesus returns.


The first step in awakening to the Spirit is to believe God's Word that the Spirit's power, Spirit baptism is for everyone, today and until Jesus returns again. My father was a Baptist pastor who wrote his seminary thesis on why Spirit baptism with speaking in tongues was not for today, it was only a historical experience.

He used the same argument that 90-95% of churches here in St Louis use. Since we don't have the experience of Spirit baptism with tongues, it must not be for today. That belief is based on experience and not the word of God.

As I told the story last Sunday, after I read the book of Acts over and over, I became convinced that Spirit baptism with tongues was for today. I prayed and was Spirit baptized. Eventually my father, mother and sisters were Spirit baptized as well.
We must believe that Spirit baptism with the gift of tongues is for everyone today.

Center Your Life on Jesus

Acts 2:22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know---"

Next Peter gives us a summary of who Jesus was and what He did. Jesus did mighty works, wonders and signs. Where did we just talk about wonders and signs? It was what the prophet Joel said would happen when the Spirit was poured out. So, those upon whom the Spirit was poured out on would do the same kind of wonders and signs that Jesus did.

Acts 2:23-24 "this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it."

Jesus' death on the cross to provide forgiveness for our sins was not an accident, but part of God's plan. Jesus did not stay dead, but was raised by God three days later and is alive today. What did Jesus have to do with the Spirit being poured out?

Acts 2:32-33 "This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing."

After His resurrection, Jesus ascended back into heaven to the right hand of God. He received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit and poured out the Spirit upon His followers on the day of Pentecost.

The wind, the tongues of fire and the speaking in other tongues were part of this outpouring. This pouring out of the Spirit had been promised by Jesus and was not a one-time event. Jesus Himself promised that He would pour out the Spirit on everyone who asked for Him. So, this outpouring of the Spirit continues to this day on every person who prays for it.


So often we think of Jesus' life as His miraculous birth, His miracle ministry, His death and resurrection. We forget that the climactic act of Jesus' mission to this earth was to begin the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the command of Jesus, the Great Commission would never be fulfilled.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. God desires for every person to know Jesus as their Savior, as their Lord and as their baptizer in the Holy Spirit. It is Jesus who baptizes people in the Holy Spirit. It does not happen automatically, it does not happen when you are saved. As it was for the disciples, it is a separate experience where the power of the Spirit comes upon you. So, as we seek more of the Spirit in our lives, let us remember that it is Jesus who pours the Spirit out.

Receive the Gift of the Spirit

Acts 2:36-37 "Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Peter preaches that those there were guilty of crucifying Jesus who came to save them. These were Jews, but Jews without Jesus aren't saved.

The Holy Spirit used Peter's words to convict his listeners of their sin. They asked a heartfelt question, what should we do? Peter's answer through the anointing of the Holy Spirit is one of the most important verses in the Bible, but again overlooked by most churches as applicable to today.

Acts 2:38 "And Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"

The verse gives us God's command for every person to become a follower of Jesus. First step is to repent of your life and put your faith in Jesus as your Lord. Next is for the believer to be water baptized.

As we'll see in Acts, water baptism was done so quickly after someone was saved, he puts them together in one sentence. Believer's baptism is the only baptism instructed in Scripture. Infant baptism is not biblical and any church that practices it is not a biblical church. The third step is to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Spirit baptism with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

These three steps are meant to be the starting points of every follower of Jesus' spiritual journey. The rest of the New Testament assumes that every believer has been water and Spirit baptized.

Acts 2:39 "For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."

In case anyone has any doubts that Spirit baptism is for today and until Jesus returns, look at this verse. The promise is the promise of the Father, Spirit baptism. That promise is for adults, it is for children, it is for everyone whom God calls, that is everyone who believes in Jesus.


If you're a believer and haven't been Spirit baptized, God's gift is waiting for you. Begin to pray for God to give you the promise of the Father. Like all of God's other gifts, it is received through faith.

I encourage you to read the book Power for Life: Why Every Believer Needs to be Baptized in the Spirit, available in the foyer. There's also a brochure in the brochure rack on Spirit baptism. Read the book of Acts, build your faith to believe God's Word and receive the blessing. Receive the Gift of the Spirit.

Become Part of a Biblical Church

Acts 2:42 "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."

This is what the 3000 people who were saved on the day Pentecost did afterward. They were saved, water baptized, Spirit baptized. They then became part of the church. In the church they were devoted to biblical teaching of the leaders. They had fellowship with other believers, took communion and prayed together. Not being part of a biblical church family was not an option.

Acts 2:43 "And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles."

What was the result of these 3000 being saved, water and Spirit baptized and participating in the church? Wonders and signs were being done, first by the apostles and as we'll see later by many others.

Acts 2:46-47 "And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."

Notice that they went to a larger meeting in the temple or temple courts. Then they were part of smaller home groups for fellowship and prayer. They had favor and were witnesses to the people around them. The result was that the Lord kept adding new people who were saved to their number, that is the church.


So, a biblical church is one that teaches and practices these three things: Salvation by repentance and faith in Jesus. Believer's water baptism. Spirit baptism with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

Life Church teaches and seeks to obey these commands. We are part of the Assemblies of God, a rapidly growing world-wide fellowship of over 80 million that believes the same. We are by far the largest biblical fellowship or denomination in the world. What about our friends? If they are not saved, water and Spirit baptized, it is our task as part of the Great Commission to bring them into a biblical church, like Life Church so that they can be. God commands all believers to be part of a biblical church.


At the beginning of this message, we talked about the awakening of the Spirit being like the sunrise. I envision Jesus in heaven pouring out the Holy Spirit like a stream of liquid fire. That fire baptizes every believer who is seeking Spirit baptism. That filling of the Spirit is not just a one-time experience. But we can and are commanded to be filled over and over again. May the light of the Spirit's fire burn within us ever more strongly as we seek Him together.

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