Part 3: Fruit from the Spirit
Acts 10:44-46 – “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message… For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.”
Any good vintner will tell you: You need good fruit for good wine. The best fruit is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Peter and Cornelius didn’t know what God was doing, but they definitely recognized Him when He showed up. This new wine needed a new wineskin.
When the Holy Spirit starts coming our way, we often cannot discern the path He’s taking. Like Peter and Cornelius, there is no visible pattern for what was happening. Jews and Gentiles didn’t mix; it wasn’t a clearly visible path the Holy Spirit was taking them toward. They had no grid for the new creation that was forming by their participation.
Jesus explained it to Nicodemus like this:
When the Spirit comes, you will not be able to see the path He’s taken, or even where He’s headed, but when you live in the Spirit, you will recognize His unmistakable presence.” – John 3:8 (the Gwen paraphrase)
Peter and Cornelius learned what we need to learn: The presence of the Holy Spirit is the roadmap.
Like the wind, we can “feel” His presence, we can “see” the activity happening around us and we can “hear” the voices of the people He is touching with the signs of His power. This tells us we’re on the right path.
God does not contradict His Word, but He does hide things in it to be revealed in the season for which they were written.
We can’t see new revelation with old lenses. God comes to challenge our comfortable box and give us the heads up that He’s about to bust it open. He shakes us up so that we become alert and seek a new bearing. When we open our hearts to Him, He opens our eyes.
The Church in Jerusalem wrestled with the question of how to embrace the Spirit-filled Gentiles, but they too recognized the unmistakable signs of the Holy Spirit. As they let go of the old, they began to see the new (as it was written by the prophet Amos), that the Gentiles too would be called by God’s name.
If we want to be new wine, we will need to embrace a new wineskin. Like with Peter, Jesus has been schooling us on how to follow. When the familiar is fading, follow the Holy Spirit roadmap—His signs are unmistakable to those who know Him.