Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The sequence of events was complete and the new era had begun.”
The Day of Pentecost was the last in a long sequence of events that brought mankind into the final chapter (or dispensation) of human history before Christ will return. It began with the incarnation of Christ, which led to His birth, followed by thirty-three years of life, then His death on the cross, then His resurrection three days later, and then forty days of post-resurrection appearances and ministry, followed by the ascension.
For ten days after the ascension the disciples huddled together in Jerusalem in eager anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit. They didn’t know exactly when that would be or what it would mean, but they knew He was coming and that God would then be present with them in the form of the Spirit, rather than in the human body of Jesus.
On the day of Pentecost they were all together, presumably in a prayer meeting or worship service, and the Spirit arrived in spectacular fashion with wind and noise and power. He filled them and gave each one the ability to speak in tongues. But, as verse 11 explains, the tongues they were speaking in were human languages that they had not known prior to this, but which they were now miraculously fluent in and which they used to share the Good News with the people around them who spoke those languages.
So now all the pieces were in place. The new era was fully inaugurated and the disciples of Christ were prepared to spread out across the world carrying on His work to spread the Good News of the Gospel far and wide – even to the very ends of the earth. This is the age of human history that you and I now live in. The question we are left with then, (borrowing a great book title from the eminent Bible scholar Francis Schaeffer) is, “How Should We Then Live?” In other words, since we have the full revelation of God about Himself in the form of the Bible; and since we have the Holy Spirit of God living in our hearts informing us, guiding us, and empowering us; and since we have been adopted into God’s family making us co-heirs with Christ of God’s kingdom; what is it God expects of us His people? Now should we now live?
We will spend the rest of the month exploring that question.