Outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2:5–11) - Radical

Outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2:5–11)

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that we hear each of us in his own native language?” Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretins and Arabians. We hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.
– Acts 2:5–11

Yes. What a scene. You know what happens at the beginning of Acts 2? The Holy Spirit comes down on the day of Pentecost and there’s a sound like a mighty rushing wind that fills the house where, you remember what we prayed according to Acts 1? They had devoted themselves to prayer, this small group, about 120 followers of Jesus, and they’re all filled with the Holy Spirit in this moment. And they begin to speak in the power of the Holy Spirit, just like Jesus had promised in Acts 1:8, in other languages, in other tongues. And this crowd comes together, this multitude, and says, “What is happening?” They’re bewildered, because they’re hearing in their own languages the works of God. Not just the works of God; the mighty works of God.

Acts 2:5–11 Narrates the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

When I read this, well, my mind goes in so many different directions, including the fact that this same Holy Spirit who did this on that day is the same Holy Spirit who lives in you today. Just let that soak in. The Holy Spirit who came down at Pentecost dwells in every single follower of Jesus. Live in that power today, in the power of God to overcome sin in you, the power of God to endure suffering in you, the power of God to be a witness.

That was the whole point. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes up upon you. You’ll be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” Which leads to this picture in Acts 2, that in the people of God filled with the spirit of God, the mighty works of God spread in all these different languages and all these different tongues.

Acts 2:5–11 Reminds Us we Are Indwellt with the Same Spirit

And so I think today about the number of languages that still don’t have the Bible in their language, or some of them have parts of the Bible, some of them with no scripture whatsoever in their language. Let me encourage you. Go to illuminations.bible. Go to illuminations.bible, learn about Bible translation, the need for it, how all kinds of mission organizations are working together. Not in competition with each other, but in collaboration with each other to get the mighty works of God revealed in scripture to the billion people on the planet who are still living in Bible poverty.

And this is possible. It’s possible over the next 10 years, the next decade. What a time to be alive that we live in a day where we can do this by God’s grace in the power of God’s spirit. We can see the Bible accessible in every language in the world. The mighty works of God. Don’t we want this? Don’t we want what we read here in Acts 2 to be true in our day? All of the peoples of the world able to say, “We hear in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

Praying for the Spread of the Word of God

Oh God, may it be so. We pray for your blessing on all those who are working for Bible translation all around the world, for your blessing on the work specifically that’s happening through Illuminations toward that end. God, we want to see your mighty works proclaimed in every language, among every tongue. Please, oh God, bring it about and use our lives. Help us to live for this. God, help us to give toward this. Help us to pray toward this.

God, we pray that in our day this would happen. God, this would be so awesome to see in our day. We pray that every single tongue, every single language would have access to your mighty works revealed in your word, to the gospel revealed in your word. God, please may it be so. And help us to steward this moment in history that you have given to us. We pray all of this in light of your word in Acts 2:5–11.

And even, oh God, even just right around us today, help us to be sensitive to the opportunities you give us. Just like I had just had with a man from Cameroon whose eyes lit up when he heard the gospel. Oh God, we pray for eyes to light up around us today and around the world when they hear your mighty works in the gospel, in your word. In Jesus’ name, we pray according to Acts 2:5–11. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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