And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The new era opened at Pentecost was one in which all God's people were to have God abiding in them always, the Guest, Comforter and Friend of every Christian heart. It must be admitted, however, that this Divine ideal has been very inadequately realised. Let us consider some of the results which may be expected to flow from a fuller baptism of the Spirit.
I. SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS.
1. This does not mean that our thoughts should be perpetually running on the future, that we should ever be debating theological questions, but that we shall have the power to appreciate those great and eternal realities that are about us.
2. This spiritual mindedness will reveal itself —
(1) In the estimate we form of our fellow men.
(2) In our appreciation of the great spiritual end we ought ever to be seeking in order to do Christian work.
(3) In our appreciation of Christian doctrine caring more about the spiritual substance than the particular form or fashion by which the truth may have been expressed. For instance —
(a) In all our thought about the death and atonement of Christ, the imagination will not dwell on the physical blood that was shed, or upon the physical agony that was endured, but upon the majesty of God's righteousness, the wonder of God's love, the mystery of that great sacrifice on the Cross, and the awfulness of the sin which made that sacrifice necessary.
(b) When we think about the second coming of Christ, our thoughts will not be taken up with the external circumstances of pomp and splendour, but rather with the triumph' of good over evil, and truth over falsehood, which is the consummation to which all devout souls must ever be looking.
(c) In thinking about inspiration we shall not trouble ourselves about theories of it, or about the mere letter, but our care will be mostly for the Divine truth itself, which will lift us up in our despondency, and guide us in our perplexity when we come to the sacred page.
II. AN ACCESS OF POWER BY WHICH THE NATURALLY TIMID WILL BE ENABLED TO DO THINGS WHICH WOULD BE OTHERWISE IMPOSSIBLE TO THE STRONGEST; in regard to —
1. Testimony for Christ.
2. Endurance of suffering.
3. Philanthropic work.
III. A CHANGE OF DISPOSITION.
1. The cessation of "jealousies, strifes, and divisions," which Paul includes amongst the "works of the flesh."
2. The prevalence of a spirit of mercy and kindness towards others.
(1) To those who in our midst are compelled to live very hard lives.
(2) For those multitudes all over the world who are without the knowledge of God as revealed in Christ.
IV. AN ENTHUSIASM OF HOLY FERVOUR IN ALL WORK.
1. In worship.
2. In Church life.
3. In evangelism.
(H. Arnold Thomas, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.