Acts 2 should be read along with Genesis 11. In Genesis 11, people built the tower of Babel out of pride and disobedience; people wanted to reach the heaven and make a name for themselves. As a result, God confused their language and scattered them all over the world; so they had no choice but to stop their work. While in Acts 2, because people’s humbleness and obedience, the Holy Spirit restored and reunified them. God enabled them to speak in other tongues, and they could still understand each other.
Although Peter once denied Jesus for three times, he raised his voice and addressed the crowd when he was filled with the Holy Spirit in the day of Pentecost. He cited the prophecy spoken by prophet Joel, spoke of God’s will for Jesus to become flesh and be crucified. He also mentioned David’s prophecy about the resurrection of the Christ. Some Christians think that to be filled with the Holy Spirit is all about crying, falling backward, and speaking in tongues. As the matter of fact, to be filled with the Holy Spirit is about our soul being opened and our lives being changed. We can now have the courage to face those we once dared not to face, and we now have the power to do what we once could not do. We can now persist in our service to God, and to testify for Him with courage and wisdom. If we remain unchanged after lying there, crying, and if we still live our old lives that do not glorify God, we have not truly experienced the work of the Holy Spirit
Cross represents curse and death. Jesus is sinless, yet He was crucified for our sins. Jesus is the Christ, not because He was crucified, but because He resurrected. The resurrection proves that He is sinless, that He is the Christ, and that He is the Son of God. People often think that simply taking up a cross equals to spiritual and should be rewarded. My dear brothers and sisters, merely carrying a cross means nothing! Jesus said that we should take up our cross and “follow Him.” So, we should not only carry our cross, but also follow God. Moreover, we don’t need to be burdened, because if we are willing to follow God, He will bestow His grace upon us; because Jesus told us “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)
Brothers and sisters, what are your purposes for following God? To be promoted? To be wealthy? To be blessed? God is more than willing and happy to bless us, but we should keep in mind that blessings are the “results” of our following God, not the purpose. If we wrongly consider the result of following God as the purpose, let us repent!
Message by Elder Yeh / Summary and response by Jim Lin