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Maybe you have been baptized when you repented of your sin. But after that you need the power of the Holy Spirit in your life to enable you to live the life the Bible tells you to.
Let’s take a look at what the disciples were doing between Ascension Day, which was May 17th, and Pentecost Sunday, which is May 27th this year. Pentecost, by the way, is the celebration in the Jewish religion of the giving of the law fifty days after the exodus from Egypt – hence the word ‘pente” meaning fifty. Christians celebrate Pentecost fifty days after Easter. So in a sense, our exodus from sin and the world (our salvation) occurs on Easter when Jesus, after paying for our sins or atoning for them, rose from the dead. Fifty days later at the Jewish celebration of the Feast of Weeks the Holy Spirit descends and we are given a new law that is written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We no longer have to follow a demanding code through self disciple – we follow a new and better code through the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote:
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
“Christ’s love COMPELS us” “we no longer live for OURSELVES – but for Him who died for us!” That is the heart of the Spirit filled Christian. We are motivated by love – not fear of punishment.
So – Jesus was crucified as the atoning sacrifice for our sin. He rose from the grave three days later. Forty days He walked around on planet earth showing Himself to be alive with many convincing proofs. Then as some of His followers watched – He ascended up into the clouds. Even after the two angels assured them that Jesus would come back in a similar manner – they must have been bewildered, dazed and maybe a little confused. But Jesus had given them some instructions. The first one was 1. Wait.
“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he (Jesus) gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4-5
How are you at waiting? I’m not so good. I’m probably better than most at this stage of my life – but still – waiting in line; waiting at the doctor’s office; waiting at the DMV – it’s not one of my favorite things to do. But that was their instructions. Wait.
How did they do at Jesus’ simple instruction? Not so good. Since they were waiting they decided to elect someone to take Judas’ place. They had a little board meeting, nominated a couple of good men – then elected Matthias to the position of Apostle. Seemed like good common sense – but they forgot to wait on the Lord for HIS leading.
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