Acts 2

The American Standard Version

2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place.

2:2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

2:3 And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them.

2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

2:5 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.

2:6 And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language.

2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying, Behold, are not all these that speak Galilaeans?

2:8 And how hear we, every man in our own language wherein we were born?

2:9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia,

2:10 in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,

2:11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God.

2:12 And they were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

2:13 But others mocking said, They are filled with new wine.

2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spake forth unto them, saying, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and give ear unto my words.

2:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose; seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

2:16 but this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel:

2:17 And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams:

2:18 Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

2:19 And I will show wonders in the heaven above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:

2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the day of the Lord come, That great and notable day.

2:21 And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know;

2:23 him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay:

2:24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

2:25 For David saith concerning him, I beheld the Lord always before my face; For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

2:26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; Moreover my flesh also shall dwell in hope:

2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption.

2:28 Thou madest known unto me the ways of life; Thou shalt make me full of gladness with thy countenance.

2:29 Brethren, I may say unto you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us unto this day.

2:30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set one upon his throne;

2:31 he foreseeing this spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.

2:32 This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses.

2:33 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear.

2:34 For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

2:35 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.

2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified.

2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?

2:38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

2:39 For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him.

2:40 And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation.

2:41 They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls.

2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.

2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

2:45 and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need.

2:46 And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,

2:47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved.

Pathways Notes

Study Instructions for Each Echelon

Acts 2 is a pivotal chapter in the New Testament, documenting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the subsequent birth of the Christian Church. This chapter vividly describes the coming of the Holy Spirit, the apostles speaking in tongues, Peter's bold proclamation of the Gospel, and the large-scale conversion of about 3,000 souls. Importantly for those studying self-help and self-control, Acts 2 also details the communal life of the early believers, who shared all they had, worshipped together, and supported one another daily. This depiction of early Christian community life provides a powerful model for modern believers on how to live in unity, share resources, and support each other's spiritual and physical needs. Acts 2 shows that the foundation of effective self-management within a Christian context often extends beyond individual practice to include deep involvement and accountability within a community.

Study Instructions for Each Echelon

  • Echelon 4: Emissary - Fostering Christian Community

    • Read: Focus particularly on Acts 2:42-47, which describes the communal practices of the early Christians.

    • Explore: Analyze the specific practices that fostered unity and growth among the early believers, such as the apostles' teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. Consider how these activities contributed to a supportive and nurturing environment.

    • Apply: Develop strategies or initiatives that can be implemented in your own community to enhance fellowship and support. This might include starting small groups, communal meals, prayer meetings, or cooperative service projects. Reflect on how these activities can help members grow in faith and self-discipline.

  • Echelon 5: Master - Fostering Community and Fellowship in Others

    • Read: Revisit Acts 2:42-47 with an emphasis on the communal dynamics and their impact on individual and collective growth.

    • Reflect: Consider the role of leadership in fostering a spirit of unity and mutual support. How can you, as a leader, cultivate an environment where community members feel valued and supported? Reflect on the balance between guiding and participating within the community.

    • Lead: Design and implement programs or frameworks that encourage active and meaningful participation from community members. Focus on creating sustainable and replicable models of Christian community that can be adapted to different settings. Mentor other leaders on how to nurture such communities effectively.

By following these tailored instructions, participants in Echelons 4 and 5 can deepen their understanding of how to build and maintain vibrant Christian communities. They learn not only to contribute to but also to lead and multiply community efforts, embodying the principles of mutual care and accountability shown in Acts 2. This communal approach is essential for applying the broader principles of self-help and self-control within a framework that supports and enhances individual efforts through collective action.

Acts 2 Notes:

Acts 2 captures a pivotal moment in the history of Christianity—the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the birth of the Church. This chapter vividly recounts how the followers of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit, leading to extraordinary manifestations of divine power and the beginning of their global mission.

The narrative begins with the disciples gathered in Jerusalem during the feast of Pentecost, a major Jewish festival. Suddenly, a sound like a mighty rushing wind fills the house where they are sitting, and what seem to be tongues of fire appear and rest on each of them. This marks the fulfillment of Jesus' promise to send the Holy Spirit. The disciples begin to speak in various tongues as the Spirit enables them, a sign that the gospel is meant for every nation under heaven.

The miraculous speaking in different languages draws a crowd of Jewish pilgrims from across the Roman Empire, who are astonished to hear the disciples speaking in their native languages. Peter seizes this moment to address the crowd, delivering the first Christian sermon that lays out the foundational truths about Jesus Christ—his life, death, resurrection, and exaltation at God's right hand, fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament.

Peter’s words cut to the heart of the listeners. They are deeply convicted and ask what they should do. Peter urges them to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, promising them the gift of the Holy Spirit. The response is overwhelming, with about three thousand souls embracing the faith, marking the explosive beginning of the Church's growth.

The chapter concludes with a description of the early Christian community, characterized by teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer. The believers share everything in common, sell their possessions to support each other, and continue to meet daily with glad and sincere hearts, praising God. This spirit of unity and generosity garners favor with all the people, and the Lord adds to their number daily those who are being saved.

Acts 2, therefore, not only recounts the dramatic coming of the Holy Spirit but also sets the stage for the transformative community life that would define the early Church. It presents a model of spiritual empowerment and communal living that resonates through the ages, inviting believers to experience the fullness of life in the Spirit and the joy of shared faith.