“Peter replied, ‘Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.'” Acts 2:38-39, NLT
The Holy Spirit has been given to all believers to deepen our spiritual walk and to enable us to impact our world for Jesus Christ. This passage illustrates three aspects of the Holy Spirit’s unique work in the lives of believers:
The Holy Spirit Fills All Believers.
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was given to a select few individuals and only when they needed to perform specific tasks. This chapter indicates a change in that pattern. The Holy Spirit was poured out on all the believers in the house that day (Acts 2:4), and he was present in each of their lives from that day forward.This outpouring of the Holy Spirit was used by God to establish the church—and to spread the message of the gospel to everyone everywhere (see Acts 2:39).
The Holy Spirit Draws Attention to the Savior. Notice that Peter did not focus on the unique happening that had just taken place but turned the crowd’s attention to the message of Jesus Christ and their need to repent and receive forgiveness. When the Holy Spirit fills our lives, he will increase our ability to share the gospel with others.
The Holy Spirit Inspired Peter’s Message.
Peter’s sermon, inspired by the Holy Spirit, led many in the crowd to a point of decision: “What should we do?” (Acts 2:37). The people were attracted not to Peter but to his message. The Holy Spirit worked powerfully that day, and three thousand people responded to the message. This shows us the Holy Spirit is the one who leads people to Christ. We must be open to the ways in which he wants to work through us.
The Holy Spirit is promised to all who repent and receive Jesus Christ into their lives. Many people fail to understand who the Holy Spirit is and what dimension of power is available to them through him. It may help to examine what took place after the disciples received the filling of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised (see Acts 1:8).