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Coming of Holy Spirit

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THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 

Scripture: Acts 2:1–41

Memory verse: Acts 2:1
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.”

Lead—In

Ask the students why good timing is important in getting things done.

Lay a piece of paper on a table and set a stack of heavy books on one end of the paper. (The paper must be large enough so that when it is pulled slowly from the other end, the stack of books will move.)

Ask: How many of you think I can move this stack of heavy books without touching them?”  (Allow several responses.)

(Then suggest moving the books by pulling on the paper. Pull the paper quickly from under the books. If the paper tears, lay a new sheet on the table. Ask the students why it didn’t work.)

Place the stack of books on the one end of the paper again. Point out that the books can be moved with the paper, but you must have the correct timing. Stress that quickness is not the key in this situation. Instead, it takes a slow and steady pull in order to move the books. Demonstrate this as you are speaking.

Inform the students that they will hear a true story of how perfect timing brought great blessing to countless people. A group of people had been waiting several days for something special to happen. It probably seemed like a long time, but God’s timing is always perfect. Tell the students to listen for what the event was, what made the timing perfect, and why this is important to us.

Hearing God’s Word

(Open your Bible to the main passage in Acts 2 as you teach.) In our last study we talked about a promise God made to the Israelites.

Ask: “Do you remember what it was?” (Allow responses.)

Joel’s Prophecy Reviewed

In the Old Testament the Spirit of the Lord came to only a few people. But the prophet Joel tells us God promised to send His Spirit to all people.

God never lies. He always keeps His promises. He said, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people.” However, He did not say exactly when or how this would happen.

Jesus knew about God’s promise. Before He was crucified, Jesus made a promise too. He said, “The Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things” (John 14:26). God the Father and God the Son both said the Holy Spirit would come to earth. However, neither said where, when or how this would happen. After Jesus arose from the dead, He was more specific about the promised coming of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ Instructions to His Followers

As Jesus was ready to go back to heaven, He told His followers to stay in Jerusalem. They were to wait for the promise of the Father Jesus had told them about. He said the Holy Spirit would come in just a few days.

Do you wait impatiently for the last day of school before a vacation? The days seem to drag by. Finally it is the next to the last day.

Ask: Do you feel excited? It is hard to go to sleep that night? (Allow responses.)

(Discuss how anticipation affects the students. Let a couple of them tell how they have felt at these times.)

Imagine how Jesus’ followers must have felt. It had been hundreds of years since the promise was given to Joel. Now it seemed as close as saying, “Close your eyes and hold out your hands.” They knew this was it! At last God’s promise was going to come true.

The Day of Pentecost

Jesus had been crucified during the Jewish celebration of the Passover. Now it was time for the yearly celebration of the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost means “fiftieth.” It was now 50 days after the Passover celebration.

Our memory verse for this week says, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place” (Acts 2:1). (Say the verse several times with the students.) There were 120 believers in one place (the Upper Room). They had spent 10 days praying and waiting for the fulfilment of God’s promise.

Then it happened! Suddenly the believers heard a sound like a great, roaring wind. The sound filled the whole house. Then something that looked like little flames of fire came and sat upon each of them. The believers began to speak in languages they had not learned. What an exciting time! God’s promise was being fulfilled. Joel’s prophecy had come to pass.

A Crowd Gathers

Because the Day of Pentecost was a day of religious celebration, many Jews who lived in other countries had come to Jerusalem also. When they heard about what was happening, a large crowd of them gathered around the group of believers. They heard the believers speaking, and they were amazed. The believers were praising God in languages these foreign visitors could understand.

Have you ever listened to people speaking to each other in French or Italian or Chinese or some other language? You hear their words, but you have no idea what they are saying. Then maybe one of them says something in your language. He has your attention immediately. Why? Suddenly, you are listening to him because you understand the words he is saying. (Ask a student to read Acts 2:7, 8.)

People in the crowd began talking with one another. Some asked, “Are not these people Galileans? Yet we hear these people speaking in our own languages, telling of God’s wonderful works.” The Holy Spirit still glorifies God.

The crowd of people stood listening to the believers speaking in various languages. They asked one another, “What does this mean?” Others made fun of the believers. They said, “These people are drunk!”

Peter Speaks to the Crowd (Acts 2:14-38)

Peter heard what the people were saying. Now, filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter stood boldly before the crowd. “Listen to me,” he shouted. “These men are not drunk, as you think. It is only nine o’clock in the morning. This is the promise of the Father that Joel the prophet wrote about.

“We know Jesus was anointed by God because of the great miracles He did,” Peter continued. “You are all aware of His miracles too. This is the same Jesus you crucified. But God raised Jesus from the dead. We have all seen Him alive. Now He has returned to heaven and sent us the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father. That is what you are now seeing and hearing. I want all of Israel to know God has made the same Jesus you crucified both Lord and Christ!”

The crowd was touched by what Peter said. They asked the disciples, “What shall we do?”

“Repent of your sins and be baptized. God will forgive your sins and give you the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Peter told them. “This experience is for you, your children, and even those in distant lands.”

Three Thousand Believe

Three thousand people accepted Jesus as Saviour that day. The Day of Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church. When these new believers from other countries went back to their homes, they took the message of salvation with them. Through them, the gospel began to be spread “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

We call the baptism in the Holy Spirit the Pentecostal experience, referring to the first time He came to all men on the Day of Pentecost. Do you realize that the promise of the Father who came on the Day of Pentecost is for you too? He is a gift from God for all believers who desire to receive Him.

Accepting God’s Word

This study is more than historical fact; it is a spiritual reality. The infilling of the Holy Spirit is a gift God wants to give to all believers. The gift of salvation is also something God wants to give.  Invite students who have not accepted Jesus to do so. Pray with those who respond.

The Day of Pentecost was a marvellous beginning for the Church. Believers who were faithful to obey God’s instructions and desired His power to fill their lives ware well rewarded. All believers today may also be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Encourage the students to seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Health Challenges

Meeting the dispensary doctor was a meaningful visit too. She was on her lunch break but took time to share with us about her work. Although not a Rufiji, she had served this village for over a year. She quickly added that she had asked for a transfer.

When we asked why, she said, “The women will not follow instructions.” She pointed out that pre-natal instructions were usually completely ignored, and expectant mothers refused to go to the hospital on the main road to deliver their babies. The ensuing difficulties seemed overwhelming to her.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Health Workers

1. Christian nurses to serve the Rufiji,
2. Nurses to present Christ as the Saviour who can transform a person's life,
3. Nurses to give instruction in health and Bible knowledge.

Prayer Promise

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: he old has gone, the new is here" (2 Corinthians 5:17)!

Remember: THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Memory verse: Acts 2:1
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.”

1. I want to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
2. I want to experience what the disciples experienced on the Day of Pentecost .
3. I want all the Holy Spirit has for me.

Pray for Christian health workers serving the Rufiji.

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Study 9 | Prayer Power / Holy Spirit | africaatts.org/go-teach

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