And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Connect with facts; the position and responsibilities of the Church, the promise given, the antecedent state of the world, the need of a Divine power for the mission of grace, the importance of such a miracle for the confirmation of faith and the establishment of Christianity, the uplifting of the agents above natural infirmities, errors, and sins.
I. A GREAT EPOCH in human history. World filled with many things - thoughts, speculations, strivings, powers; capable of much, but the great want the Spirit. Truth, love, life, for a false world - a world at enmity with itself, fall of disorder; a dying world, needing to be renewed and restored.
II. A GREAT GIFT of God to man. "Suddenly bestowed; freely, apart from man's claims and merits; upon all, without respect of persons, for the selection of the few believing Jews, with a view to the abolition of Judaism and of all restrictions; abundantly - all filled," to their own astonishment, with supernatural powers. Spiritual gifts above all other gifts. Even science points to a continuous ascent of man. He is only highest when he is filled with the Spirit of God.
III. A GREAT CHANGE in individuals and in the community. We may anticipate a similar baptism of the Holy Ghost, not with the same external manifestation, but with substantially the same elevation of faith and life. Instances of such a baptism in great preachers and workers, in lowly men and women, in periods of the Church's history. Suddenly the fact may appear, but, like the first Christians, our duty is to be ready for it, waiting, expecting, with one accord, often in one place. Revival of the Church, conversion of the world, should be viewed in their relation to this stupendous change, and what came out of it. Baptism is consecration. The Holy Ghost is not given for signs and wonders, but to endow the Church for its mission to the world. The power of utterance is the great test of Divine endowment, not in the sense of human eloquence, but in the fulfillment of the Spirit's work, to "convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8-10). And so -
IV. A GREAT OPENING HEAVEN. The one fact of Pentecost is the pledge of the future. It is the gate through which we can see endless glory: "angels of God ascending and descending." "All the families of the earth" blessed in the true children of Abraham. We must admit of no compromise in the proclamation of such a message. If Christianity is no more than a moral doctrine, then Pentecost is lost in the background of a primitive antiquity; if it is "life from the dead," then we must ceaselessly repeat the watchword, "This is he that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." We can do nothing without a Divine Christ, a Divine Spirit, the promise of the Father, a new creation. To this opened heaven all are alike invited. The conditions of such a baptism were proclaimed by Jesus himself on the mount, through all his ministry. "Come unto me;" "Ask, and it shall be given unto you;" "Walk in the light, and be children of light." - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.