And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.…
1. Though we cannot regard Pentecost as the birthday of the Church, since the Church was born centuries before, we are bound to regard it as the grand crowning period in the development of the plan of redemption. Periods in the working out of this plan mark the history of four thousand years, one leading to another. From Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, and from Moses to Christ, and now from Christ's Advent to Pentecost. To this all the others pointed, and in it they were all crowned with glory.
2. But we are not to suppose that this was the first time the Divine Spirit visited this world. He strove with the antediluvians, inspired old prophets, and dwelt in old saints. But He never came in such a demonstration and plenitude of power before. Before He had distilled as the dew, now He comes down as a shower; before He had gleamed as the first rays of morning, now He appears as the brightness of noon. Note His action —
I. UPON the disciples.
1. Upon their ear. "Wind," an emblem of the Spirit.
(4) Refreshing.Great ,epochs are usually marked by extraordinary phenomena — e.g., the giving of the Law; the Advent; the Crucifixion, and now Pentecost.
2. Upon their eye. "Fire" is
(4) Diffusive.Perhaps these supernatural appeals to the senses were intended to express the relation of the Divine Spirit.
(a) To life — "wind" or air is vital, the breath of life.
(b) To speech — "tongues" would intimate that the Spirit had given men new utterances.
(c) To purity — "fire" would indicate that the Spirit had to consume all the corruptions of the soul.
II. IN the disciples. "They were filled with the Holy Ghost." He took possession of their —
1. Minds, and made them the organs of Divine thought.
2. Hearts, and filled them with Divine emotions.
3. Bodies, and made them His living temples.
4. Wills, and made them the organs of Divine resolutions. Nothing but the Divine will fill the .soul Without God there will be a boundless vacuum within.
III. THROUGH the disciples. Your things are observable concerning their speech.
1. It followed their Divine inspiration. It was not until the Spirit had given them the right thoughts and feelings that utterance came. Better be dumb than express the sentiments of the unrenewed soul. It is when the Spirit comes that we want speech, and shall have it. A Divinely filled soul must break forth in Divine language.
2. It was miraculous. The coming at once into the possession of a new language is as great a miracle as the possession of a new limb.
3. It was unspeakably useful. It served to impress the multitude with the Divinity of Christianity, and enabled the disciples to proclaim without preparation the gospel to every man. Without it the first age of the Church would have had a different history.
4. It was profoundly religious. This wonderful gift was employed to speak of God's wonderful works. May the day soon come when God-given language, instead of being the vehicle of erroneous thought, impure feeling, depraved purpose, shall convey to men nothing but holiness, goodness, and truth.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.