This is the last of our weeks where we are are looking at post-resurrection experiences that people have with Jesus. This week is not so much an encounter with Jesus as it is the Holy Spirit. This week we are going to be looking at what happened on Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit. We’ll be looking at Acts 2: 1-36. We won’t share the entire text here since it is so long, but you can read this passage by clicking here.
Today we’ll look at the World in Front of the Text. What does this passage mean for us today?
For me, the main thing that this passage encourages me to do, over and over again is open myself up to the power of the Holy Spirit. Invite the Spirit fully into my life to lead, guide, direct, and correct me. I think this passage is just a perfect understanding of what the Spirit can do in our lives. Today we see the Spirit
1. Gives gifts. We see that each of those who were together began to speak in languages that people understood. I don’t want to go into a long conversation about speaking in tounges (other than to say that I did believe that it is a gift that still remains today, it is not a gift that I have, and Paul tells us that the greatest gift is love) but we see that at this moment the people present were given that gift. The Spirit gives us the gifts that are necessary for us to accomplish the mission that God has for us, to make disciples of Jesus Christ. That is the mission and calling of our church, and we need to know that the Spirit will give us the gifts that we need to fulfill that mission.
2. Gives courage. Look at our guy Peter here. Scared Peter, the one who denied and ran away. Now, he boldly stands and tells us about Jesus for all to hear. Peter has the courage that he did not have earlier. Now, he was always willing to talk, but now he speaks from scripture, with bravery, pointing to Jesus. He had the courage to face this moment. The spirit will do the same for us.
3. Gives understanding. Peter had read these passages before. As has all assembled there. They knew them, they have heard them. But they never understood them in the way that they did now. The Spirit gives an understanding of scripture. If we read the Bible like we read the newspaper or any other type of book or media, we won’t “understand.” But if we read through the eyes and lens of the Spirit, we’ll understand. The most important thing we can do when we read scripture is to ask God to open our eyes so that we can see, know, and understand. The Spirit gives us that understanding of scripture, and of all of life. May we always open ourselves up that understanding from the SPirit.
4. Gives salvation. Finally today, we see that thousands are saved and confess Jesus as Lord. The Spirit draws us all to Jesus Christ, offering us Salvation. That is the gift of all, for all who believe. It is the Spirit that gives us that grace to believe.
Today, we see the power of the Spirit on Pentecost. May we know that we have the same Spirit available to us. May we seek it, and may we live that power.
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