And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
I. They were filled WITH THE SPIRIT.
1. Men may be filled but not with the Spirit (ver. 13). The audience confessed they were full, but with wine, a liquor though full of spirit, yet no spirit. It was false, yet if the Spirit may be taken for a humour, why not a humour for a spirit. Isaiah says (Isaiah 29:9) that men may be drunk but not with wine. A hot humour is taken for this fire and termed, though untruly, a spirit of zeal, and men imbued with it are ever mending churches, states, superiors, and all save themselves.
2. Not every spirit. "There is a spirit in man," i.e. our own spirit, and many there be who follow their own ghost, and not the Holy Ghost; for even that ghost taketh upon it to inspire, and we know its revelations (Matthew 16:17).
3. blot the world's spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12).
4. But the Holy Spirit, i.e. His gifts and graces. And because these be of many points they are all included under these two —
(l) Under the wind is represented saving graces; as necessary to our spiritual life as breath is to our natural. This is meant for us personally. Of this Spirit there are nine points (Galatians 5:22).
(2) Under the tongues are set forth the grace meant for the benefit of others. Tongues serve to teach and fire to warm; and of this spirit the points are reckoned up in 1 Corinthians 12:7, etc.
II. THEY WERE FILLED with the Spirit.
1. It was not a wind that blew through them, as it does through many of us, but that filled them.
2. Not that they were devoid of the Spirit before. Christ had not breathed upon them (John 20:22) in vain. This shows us that there are diverse measures of the Spirit, some single, some double portions (1 Kings 2:9). As there are degrees in the wind — a breath, a blast, a gale, so there are in the Spirit. It is one thing to receive the Spirit as at Easter and to be filled with Him as at Whitsuntide. Then but a breath; now a mighty wind; then but sprinkled as with a few drops (Ezekiel 20:46), now baptized with that which was plenteously poured out (Joel 2:20).
III. IN SIGN THAT THEY WERE FILLED THEY RAN OVER. The fire was kindled in them by this wind, and in sign thereof they spoke with their tongue (Psalm 39:3). The wind would have served them as Christians, but as apostles, i.e. ambassadors, they must have tongues.
1. They were filled and then they began to speak. Some speak, I will not say before they are full, or half full, but while they are little better than empty, if not empty quite.
2. This beginning to speak argues courage. Any man might see that there was a new spirit come into them. Before they were tongue-tied. A damsel did but ask Peter a question, and he faltered. But after this mighty wind blew up the fire, and they were warmed with it, then they were not afraid to testify before magistrates and kings.
Parallel VersesKJV: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.