Summary: “When the day of Pentecost had fully come...they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” Acts 2:1-4.
Theme: The gift of the Spirit
Today is Pentecost Sunday, the day that Jesus Christ began His ministry through the Church with the coming of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost simply means “fiftieth” and the presence of the Holy Spirit removed the veil to reveal its prophetic significance. Both the Law and the Holy Spirit were given at Pentecost. The giving of the Law and the giving of the Holy Spirit led to completely different results. The giving of the Law resulted in death, the death of 3000 Israelites. The Law points us to sin and that no one, apart from Christ, was capable of keeping the Law. The giving of the Holy Spirit resulted in life, the life of 3,000 people. The Holy Spirit results from the grace of God and leads to life. The gift of the Holy Spirit continues to give life today and the harvest that began on the day of Pentecost, continues today, and will continue until the end of the Church age.
The Holy Spirit, the agent of Pentecost, is a person. He is not a force or a thing as some believe. He is a person and the Scriptures confirm this by the personal ways in which He responds and the personal things He does. The Bible also makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is God and we rightfully speak of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is seen in the attributes that are given to Him and which are without exception, the attributes of God. He is eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual life so that we can relate to God. God is Spirit and we can only worship God in spirit and in truth. We all need the Holy Spirit and whatever He did on the day of Pentecost He is still willing and able to do today.
To understand Pentecost we need to see it in the light of Babel. At Babel, an ambitious people wanted to build a great city with a high tower reaching to the heavens but God confused their tongues and scattered them. At Pentecost, the disciples preached the good news of Jesus and all those present heard it in their own languages. Two completely opposite events, at Babel God created confusion and scattered, and at Pentecost, He created order and gathered. At Babel, the introduction of different languages or tongues brought an end to the ambitions of men. At Pentecost, the introduction of one language or tongue marked the beginning of the preaching of the good news of Jesus to the nations of the world. At Babel the people wanted to reach to the heavens, to be famous, and to control their future destiny. They wanted to be like God, and they used their skill and know how to do it. Baked bricks and tar was the key to their fame and future, much the same way people today speak of cell phones, computers, the Internet, and genetic engineering. Today some are using technology to be “like God,” to declare independence from God, to make a name, and to control the future. There is nothing wrong with technology, just as there is nothing wrong with baked bricks, tar, and high towers. It is what we do with them and why we build them. When our faith, hope, and trust is in our capabilities, when we use our technology to reach up to the heavens, to become famous, to amass wealth and fortune, to seize control of our destiny and shake our fist at God, then we are committing idolatry. Today are we not putting our trust in technology? Technology cannot save us and bring us to heaven. It cannot secure our destiny. Only Christ can do that by giving us eternal life.