Summary: Grace principles: first, the provision of God's Holy Spirit, second, the display of wonders in the heavens and on earth, and third, salvation.
Good evening. Welcome to Leaning on His Grace. The last time we got together, I had given you a practical application to give an additional 15 minutes to reading his word, prayer, to arrive about 15 minutes early to church in order to fellowship, and to worship God with all your heart and all your soul. How many have you done this?
The last time I spoke to you was on Matthew 6: 33, which is in reference to the grace principle of provision. This time I'm going to give you three new grace principles: first is the provision of God's Holy Spirit, second is the display of wonders in the heavens and on earth, and thirdly is salvation. Let's go ahead and open and read God's word. Please turn to the prophet Joel Chapter 2:28-32. Verse 28: After this, I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions. I will even pour out my Spirit on the male and female slaves in those days. I will display wonders in the heavens and on the earth; blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and all inspiring Day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved, for there will be an escape for those on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, as the Lord promised, among the survivors the Lord calls.
Our fallen condition that we infer in this wonderful Scripture is that we need God's grace, His salvific grace. Isn't that awesome word, “salvific?” All it means is salvation. We need God's salvation, His grace. His salvation can be found in John 12:47. Jesus says, "If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world."
When I was young I was a Roman Catholic. I grew up in the Catholic Church and went to a Catholic grade school. I did get a decent education but I really never found out who Christ Jesus was. As I moved into high school I started hanging out with drug addicts, those who listen to heavy metal music, and get drunk on the weekends. I was a bad kid, but I never really personified that I was a bad kid. I put up a persona, a façade, of being a good and wholesome all-American kid. As I went into the Army, when I turned 18, I began to mold into a Satan worshiper, yes, I became a Satanist. I was into all kinds of symbols; thank goodness I was not into sacrificing, but I was into magic. I dabbled in Satanism for quite a while, but I did go back into the Catholic Church after I had met and married my wife. It wasn't until I was stationed in Cleveland, Ohio, of all places, for the Coast Guard, that Christ Jesus smacked me up-side the head a number of times getting my attention. It was there that I found out and knew that I needed a Savior and that Savior was Christ. God's grace came down upon me and covered me.
It is all about God’s grace. The big idea of this passage is in reference to the provision of God's Spirit, the display of God grace in the heaven’s and on earth, and the grace of His salvation. God pledges a spiritual outpouring of His grace upon all of mankind. God graces man with the promise of His Spirit. This word, “pour,” is a verb that refers to the relationship of the subject to the one performing the action. The subject is humanity. God is the One providing the action. It is also in the imperfect form, which means that it is an habitual action, it is in progress, it is being unfolded with ongoing results. That means that the pouring out of God's Spirit is continual. Isn't that awesome?
So when is God going to pour out his Spirit? According to the text it will be after this. After what? If you look earlier in Joel chapter 2, God calls for repentance. After he calls for repentance, the people respond. When the people respond, God responds. When God responds He responds to the land first, He then responds to the animals, and lastly, He responds to His people. But still, after what? After God responds, in verse 25 through 27 they speak of what this looks like. Verse 25, I will repay you for the years that the Locust ate. Verse 26, You will have plenty to eat. You will praise the name of Yahweh. Verse 27, You will know that I am present in Israel. After these things, then, therefore, God will pour out His Spirit on all humanity. So, why would it be necessary for God to pour out His Spirit? Jesus promised. Jesus iterates that promise in the book of John, chapter 14 in verse 26: the Counselor, the Holy Spirit — the father will send Him in my name – will teach you all things and remind you of everything I told you. In chapter 15, verse 26: when the Counselor comes, the One I will send to you from the Father — the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father — He will testify about me. The outpouring of the Spirit is a gift. This gift of grace is referenced in John chapter 20. In verse 22 it states: After saying this, he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.” But, what does God pouring out his Spirit look like? His pouring out of His Spirit is on all humanity, even those who are as far away from God as you and I were.