The New Has Come
Heavenly Father, today may Your eternal light and Your enduring truth lead me into Your holy presence.
Read Acts 2:1-21
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The Holy Spirit is God present and active in the lives of believers, equipping them to fulfill God’s mission for them in the world. It is a mission of helping, serving, healing, restoring, giving, sharing and loving” (Gerald Hawthorne).
To those who dismiss Christianity as a mere human institution, a matter of culture or tradition, Paul declares: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17)! Acts 2 is just such a new creation, introducing us to the era of the Spirit! It is an exhilarating read, with the bustling crowds, the violent wind, the tongues of fire, the multiple languages, and the powerful proclamation of the Gospel!
Pentecost called to mind the giving of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai. Now comes something startlingly new. Coming down from heaven is not a written law, but the dynamic Spirit of God, who can ensure that the law is written on the hearts of people, enabling them to live as God requires (Jer. 31:33,34). This is the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise, empowering his disciples, living within us and among us, making us part of the new creation God intended. Peter highlights another aspect of this new era of the Spirit. He declares that it is the fulfillment of the day about which Joel prophesied, when the Spirit will be poured out on all people (17-21; Joel 2:28-32). The coming of the Spirit signals that the Gospel is for all, irrespective of age, gender, culture or ethnicity. “Everyone”–without discrimination–“who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (21). Notice the international crowd gathered that day (5,9-11), and the remarkable way in which each person heard the praises of God in their own tongue (11,12). How wonderful to be part of this new creation, a new covenant community, now comprising people from every corner of the globe empowered by the Spirit to live the life of Jesus.
Often we live without an awareness of the Spirit’s presence, or a dependence on his empowering. Pray for a fresh awareness of his work in your life.
Faithful Lord, as You promised through the prophet Joel, pour out Your Spirit on me and on my church today.
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