The day of Pentecost has to be the pinnacle of near holy perfection for the body of Christ…simply about as good as it will ever get for the people of God.
Consider the many initiatives of the Holy Spirit, poured out on those assembled. They were all together in one place. Without notice a sound comes like the blowing of a violent wind – from heaven – and fills the whole house where they were sitting. Tongues of fire came to rest on each of them. ALL were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other tongues not familiar to them, as the Spirit enabled. A crowd gathers, utterly amazed and perplexed, and hears the gospel in their own language.
Peter stands up and reminds them that all of this is a fulfilled prophecy, first spoken of by the prophet Joel, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people…I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below…and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” With Jesus now ascended to heaven, exalted to the right hand of God, the promised Holy Spirit has been poured out among the people. Cut to the heart, those who believed what they heard found their sins forgiven and the gift of salvation received.
The fellowship of the believers is enviable to all subsequent generations: the people of God devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship in the breaking of bread and prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All shared everything they had in common. Selling their possessions, they gave generously to any who were in need. They met daily in the temple courts, broke bread in their homes, and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. They praised God and enjoyed the favor of all the people. And the Lord added daily to their number those who were being saved (Acts 2).
It doesn’t get any better than this! And yet we long for that same experience today. Christians around the world have celebrated Pentecost with the hopes of this day repeating itself in our generation. Perhaps we simply need to come close, draw near, and follow fervently after Christ – listening and obeying His voice above all other voices in our world. Possibly, it’s time to confess our sinfulness and our desperate need for a Savior – rather than assume our human strength and wisdom will be enough. Maybe, just maybe, we need to open the living Word of God and pray fervently for a fresh wind of the Spirit in our generation – depending upon God’s Word and the whispers of the Spirit. And then, watch, wait, and wonder for a new power from on high to rest on us once more – believing that if dry bones can come to life (Ezekiel 37), so too can our thirsty and hungry hearts experience Spirit-empowered renewal.
Come, Holy Spirit! Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.