Holy Spirit

On Pentecost, while anyone who’s anyone is in Jerusalem celebrating the day when Moses recieved the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai, Jesus sends his Spirit to empower an incredible sermon that would save 3,000 people. 

The Spirit comes in no inconspicuous way, and enabled miraculous linguistics among the believers to speak to all of the Jewish pilgrims in their own language the “mighty works of God” (2:11).  Peter, taking lead again, assures everyone that they are not drunk but rather, they are experiencing a fulfillment of prophecy made in Joel 2.  It is not until verse 22 that Peter proclaims the gospel.  It is here that we are going to camp.  Why?  Because in all things, the Spirit is the means for which the gospel is proclaimed.  The Spirit is never an end in himself, he exists to bear witness to the Son (1:8).

Peter kept it about Jesus.

Jesus was crucified by sinners as planned by God for our redemption (2:23)

– God raised Jesus up from the dead, because Jesus was too glorious to stay dead; as planned by God for our redemption (2:24)

– Because Jesus went to sit on his throne, we get the Holy Spirit; as planned by God for our redemption (2:33)

– Jesus is both Lord and Christ. No, Christ is not Jesus’ last name, it is a title meaning God’s anointed one. (2:36)

– Sinners crucified Jesus (2:26)

The response…

– Repent! 

-Be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins

– receive the Holy Spirit

A few words…

I believe that Peter’s messsage was relevant to those who were in the crowd at Pentecost.  I also believe that it is still relevant to those we encounter every day in our lives.  The bullet points provide a skeleton of the Gospel.  For the Jews, it was appropriate to fill in the meat from their Scriptures and how Jesus fulfilled them.  Still true for today, however, most run-of-the-mill lost soul these days won’t care because 1) They will have no clue as to what you are talking about when you quote the book of Joel and 2) the Gospel skeleton can be meated up with meat from today that people existing 2000 years after the fact and a hemisphere away will understand and be “cut to the heart” (2:37). 

It is our job to engage lost people with love enough that seeks to strive to make them understand the good news about Jesus and his redemption of those who put their faith in his finished work.  The apostle Paul gives an example in Acts 17:22-34 of engaging non-Jews with the gospel message using passages from their own secular poets! Why?  Because they have no clue as to who the prophet Joel is.  But they can get Jesus.  Let us not seek to avoid culture, but instead, let us engage it and redeem it and use it for advancing the gospel.  Let us fill up that gospel skeleton with meat from 2009.

We talk about showing the love of Christ… what is more loving that sharing the truth that there is salvation from God’s wrath in him.  It is much more loving to share that message than to merely hold a door for someone, or to say “God bless” when someone sneezees.  Get out there Cornerstone!

Think about it!

– Do you have any lost friends?  Why not?

– When you share your testimony, is the main character you or Jesus?

– What “meat” can you use for Jesus’ sake that your friends would understand?

– Role play with friends or family sharing the gospel to a non-believer.