Acts 10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17

Like a fire out of control, the Holy Spirit leapt from the Jews to the gentiles, amazing Peter and his fellow Christians from Jerusalem. The Spirit was wild, unpredictable, totally beyond human restraint.

Opinions vary about how important the Spirit was in Judaism before the Christian era. The Spirit had some connection to Sophia, the spirit of wisdom in the Old Testament, and to the creative aspect of God, as seen in Genesis 1 and sections of Ezekiel. The Spirit was also often related to prophetic utterance.

But in the early church the Spirit became the only explanation for the way the embers of the Jesus movement were miraculously fanned into a worldwide conflagration. And in the text from Acts, the Spirit is cited as the reason that movement easily surmounted racial barriers to ignite an incredible burst of enthusiasm among non-Jews.

The other texts are inadequate supporters, even tame by comparison:


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