Today, May 24, 2015 is Pentecost Sunday. While Pentecost Sunday is not celebrated as well in Christian circles as Christmas and Easter, it is a significant date Christians should remember because 50 days following the passover celebration, the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven like a rushing wind and transformed Jesus Christ’s followers.
Pentecost literally means 50th day which is used as a measure throughout the Old and New Testaments. The most common use sets the date of the Feast of Pentecost also called the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, and the Feast of The First Fruits.
15 “‘Count seven full weeks from the morning after the Sabbath. (This is the Sabbath that you bring the bundle of grain to present as an offering.) 16 On the fiftieth day, the first day after the seventh week, you will bring a new grain offering to the Lord. Leviticus 23:15-16 (NCV)
In the New Testament, Pentecost is better known as the Day of Pentecost and is considered by some as the birth of the Christian Church. I like to think of it as the day that transformed the early Christian Church.
Pentecost marked the fulfillment of the promise of God’s Grace
The Apostle Paul explained God’s Grace in his letter to the Christian Church in Rome. God’s promise to Abraham is spelled out in Genesis 12.
Abraham and his descendants received the promise that they would get the whole world. He did not receive that promise through the law, but through being right with God by his faith. 14 If people could receive what God promised by following the law, then faith is worthless. And God’s promise to Abraham is worthless, 15 because the law can only bring God’s anger. But if there is no law, there is nothing to disobey.
16 So people receive God’s promise by having faith. This happens so the promise can be a free gift. Then all of Abraham’s children can have that promise. It is not only for those who live under the law of Moses but for anyone who lives with faith like that of Abraham, who is the father of us all. Romans 4:13-16
And God’s promise to Abraham was repeated in Genesis 22:18 after God tested Abraham’s faithfulness.
Pentecost marked the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus
Following the last Passover with His disciples, Jesus promised them they will not be abandoned.
If you love me, you will obey my commands. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he lives with you and he will be in you. John 14:15-17 (NCV)
The disciples’ faith was tested for 50 days before the Day of Pentecost.
Pentecost marked the day Jesus’ followers were empowered to spread the Gospel
Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He left these parting words to His disciples:
But when the Holy Spirit comes to you, you will receive power. You will be my witnesses—in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world. Acts 1:8 (NCV)
Jesus had previously told His disciples:
But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth. He will not speak his own words, but he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is to come. John 16:13 (NCV)
Until the Day of Pentecost, Jesus’ followers did not know how to follow through on Acts 1:8. They remained together in Jerusalem as Jesus instructed them and waited for the Holy Spirit.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw something like flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages by the power the Holy Spirit was giving them. Acts 2:1-4 (NCV)
The people in Jerusalem saw the transformation the Holy Spirit brought on the disciples.
The Apostle Peter stood up with the eleven apostles, and in a loud voice he spoke to the crowd: “My fellow Jews, and all of you who are in Jerusalem, listen to me. Pay attention to what I have to say. Acts 2:14, (NCV)
The same Peter who had denied Jesus some 50 days before, delivered the Gospel Message (Acts 2:15-40, NCV) with boldness and authority, just as Jesus said he would be able to do. As a result, 3,000 souls were saved by Grace that day.
What’s so amazing about Grace? Grace changes everything. It all starts with salvation.
There are no “magical” words that result in salvation. Salvation comes to those who believe the truth of John 3:16.
God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.
Salvation cannot be earned, it is a gift from God.
For by Grace, you are saved (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Salvation is as simple as A B C.
- ADMIT that you need Christ as your savior, and that all those who call on the Lord Jesus and obey Him will be saved. You can’t be saved without Him, nor add to or take from what Christ has done for you (Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23).
- BELIEVE the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. You can know He is Who He says He is by the hundreds of prophecies that came true in His Life. Many things foretold hundreds of years before His birth came true in His lifetime, and others, He Himself made, came true later (Romans 10:9, 10:10).
- CONFESS to the Lord and admit to yourself that you have responsibilities and that you have commitments as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. The more you know about the Lord Jesus Christ, the more you’ll want to tell other people about Him (Romans 10:13, 11:36, John 1:1).
I would love to hear your story about how Grace changed you.
Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.