LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
This Sunday marks the annual Feast of Pentecost. The name literally means “fiftieth,” a title that was taken from the Jewish Feast of Weeks that occurs approximately at the same time. This is yet another example of God fulfilling themes from the Old Covenant. The Jewish feast was given the Greek title “Pentecost” because it occurred 50 days after Passover (cf. Deut. 16:9 and Lev. 23:15). In later times, including the first few centuries of Christianity, the Feast of Weeks came to be regarded as commemorating the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. The law is good, but Jesus is better. He came to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law and then make atonement for our sins. Having done this, He rose and ascended into heaven, but promised to never leave us alone.
Acts 2 records the arrival of the Holy Spirit. This came 50 days after the perfect Passover Lamb, Jesus, was raised and 10 days after He ascended. The first Christians appropriately called this event Pentecost. Jesus promised that, after His ascension, the Holy Spirit would be sent as our Helper forever (John 14:16). It is on this day that we celebrate the gift that Jesus promised. The law was good, but unable to heal our sinful hearts. The giving of the Holy Spirit empowers us to live for God. “And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us…This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds” (Hebrews 10:15-16).
The next preaching series will be a power-packed three weeks focusing on “Life in the Spirit.” First, we’ll consider from Acts 2:22-41 how the Holy Spirit enables us to have personal fellowship with Jesus. Then, we will look at the invitation to change our old destructive ways and walk in the Spirit (Ephesians 5:1-18). Finally, we’ll explore the assurance the Holy Spirit gives us that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:14-17, 31-38). Let us go forth rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit!
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