The Sweet Wine of the Spirit: Acts 2:11-13
“11) … we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12) And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”” Acts 2:11-13
The filling and control of the Holy Spirit is often compared to drunkenness, with none of the negative side affects. Some of those who saw and heard the believers on the day of Pentecost were mocking, and saying; “they are full of sweet wine.”
They were overflowing with joy as they were proclaiming the mighty deeds of God. They were excited and without inhibition. These are the two of the most common side affects of “sweet wine.”
Ephesians 5:18 makes a similar comparison; “And do not get drunk with wine for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” The next three verses fill in the picture of the positive influence the Holy Spirit has on people; “19) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20) always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21) and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-21) These people are set free by the Holy Spirit to joyously worship God and serve others. Day dreams during worship are replaced with well springs.
1 Thessalonians 1:5-6 makes a similar observation about the new believers in the city of Thessalonia; “5) for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6) You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,” (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6)
This chapter confirms the powerful and positive influence of the Holy Spirit on these new believers. They had “Joy in tribulation.” Their joy was a disconnect with the natural and normal response to their negative outward circumstances of persecution. When they were squeezes by tribulation, the joy of Jesus oozed out from them.
Galatians chapter five also zero’s in on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Paul observes that the Holy Spirit empowers people to live in freedom over the sinful compulsions of the flesh. Then he describes the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-24. Look at this list: “22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24) Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Again, we see positive qualities of like love, joy and peace. What a stark contrast to the misery, guilt and condemnation of the legalistic Pharisees. By comparison, the merely religious people come across as bitter, angry and grumpy. They were not free. They were not loving or joyous. They are preoccupied with the mundane things of this life. They are fixated on the world, the flesh and the devil.
Spirit filled believers are very different from merely religious people. There is living water flowing from within them. (See John 7:37-39) They worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:22-24) They are not forcing it, faking it or fabricating it. It could be called it “enthusiasm”; which literally means “God within!” They are overflowing with God.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit affects the temperament, priorities and focus of people. It changes them! It lights a fire within them! It imparts new life to them! It replaces a timid spirit with boldness and confidence! It fills them with love, joy and peace! A River of Life begins to flow from deep within them! They are in love with Jesus! It is real! They no longer look or act like they were baptized in pickle juice. They are not controlled by deception, rebellion, anger or bitterness, immorality, cursing or foul speech, chemical addictions, pride, greed or demonic influences. They are free in Christ. They dance to a radically different drummer.
Daily Bible Commentary
By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global