Three Groups of People: Acts 2:12-15
“And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day;” Acts 2:12-15
This text holds an amazing lesson on the Christan life. There were three groups of people in this story:
Those who received what God was doing! Those who watched what God was doing! Those who mocked what God was doing!
The same holds true about the gospel and the ministry of the Holy Spirit today. Some receive Jesus Christ and eagerly embrace the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This is where I live today with biblical seat belts in place. I want everything done decently and in order according to Scripture, but I embrace the Holy Spirit.
The second group believes in the gospel but are very rational and even cautious about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. They are usually open and ask good questions like; “What does this mean?” But they stand at a distance.
I was in this group for many years. I had good convictions and loved Jesus, but I depended on self effort to live my Christian life. I questioned if God did miracles today and ran to the doctor rather than embracing James 5:13-18. By the way, many in this group became the second wave to embrace the Promise of the Holy Spirit.
The final group openly mocks the gospel and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. They can be religious, but they make up their own rules, write their own morals, reject the authority of Scripture and know little or nothing about the Holy Spirit. They are fleshly and worldly minded. They are often chained to religious traditions, ceremonies and rituals. This religious group were the ones who opposed and openly persecuted the early Christians.
Luke 11:9-13 became very important in my personal walk in the Spirit. In the context, the asking, seeking and knocking in prayer related to asking about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was preparing the disciples to trust the goodness, character and promise of God about the Holy Spirit. He said not even an earthy father if his son asked for a fish would give him a snake, or if he asked for an egg would give him a scorpion. Now look at verse 13; “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?””
Isn’t that interesting? The subject matter relates to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. These words of Jesus do not square with those who say we are not to seek or ask for the Holy Spirit. His emphasis was if you sincerely seek the Father about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, He will not pull a bait and switch and give a snake instead. He can be trusted!
So, let’s take a moment and talk about some basic biblical concepts about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I personally believe the “sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit” happens at the moment of salvation. (Ephesians 1:13-14) I also believe every new Christian is baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. (1 Corinthians 12:13) However, I see the filling and anointing of the Holy Spirit being an ongoing and growing process. (Ephesians 5:18) As such, I believe there is one baptism of the Holy Spirit but many fillings. (Ephesians 4:4-6; 5:18) I also believe the Holy Spirit can be grieved and quenched by doubt, sin and carnality in the life of the believer. (Ephesians 4:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:19) Christian’s can backslide and encounter the loving but firm discipline of God. (Hebrews 12:4-17) (Ok… that was a lot to digest… just take your time, open your Bible and study each text.)
This leads into one one final observation for this discussion. Acts 4:29-31 makes the strong point that the filling, unction and power of the Holy Spirit can be reoccurring, deepening and growing in the life a believer. The group that earnestly prayed and sought God in this text were led by Peter and John who were partakers of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. This was not a second baptism of the Holy Spirit, rather it was a fresh anointing and filling of the Holy Spirit and power.
The forty days Moses spent on the mountain with God caused his face to glow, but from that day onward he continually went to the tent of meetings daily to seek the presence of God. I maintain that the filling of the Holy Spirit is a continual and growing process. Each day is new. Never be satisfied with yesterdays encounter with God. Seek Him daily and continually.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global
Three Groups of People: Acts 2:12-15