Acts 15.7-21; Psalm 95; John 15.9-11
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” Jesus promised his disciples at his Ascension [Acts 1.8], and throughout the Acts of Apostles are descriptions of the effects of that power in outbursts of ecstatic speech [2.4], miracles of healing [3.1-10], and the juddering of buildings’ foundations. [5.31; cf Isaiah 6.4] The disciples themselves, timorous and faint-hearted so recently [Matthew 26.56; John 20.19], are now articulate [Acts 2.14-36], persuasive [2.41], self-assured [4.13], their encounters with others bold [4.31] and insightful [5.1-11].
These same outcomes occur as the Holy Spirit is outpoured on others, including those outside the covenant of Israel. [10.44-48] “Signs and wonders” of the Spirit’s life were being manifested in places and among people thought to be outside the interests of God. [Deuteronomy 7.1-6] As King David had once welded the tribes of Israel into a unified monarchy [Psalm 121(122).3-4] so a new and greater David [Matthew 21.9] would draw all the nations of the world into a whole [Amos 9.11-12]. All the earth were singing with one heart and voice, as God’s own joy was being experienced by all of God’s people. [John 15.11]