The Feast of Pentecost is two weeks away on
Sunday, May 20th, 2018. We have been counting seven weeks and a day
since the reaping of a sheaf of the first-fruits of our harvest; the day
of the Wave Sheaf offering (Leviticus 23:10-16). In today’s sermon we will be considering—meat in due season—the meaning of The Lord’s Feast of Pentecost (Matthew 24:45).
In the same way that we are told to examine ourselves before the Feast of Passover, we will take a good look at what Pentecost means to a Christian throughout his life (1Corinthians 11:28). That process of examining ourselves does not end with Passover – but continues onward as we grow in grace and knowledge (2Peter 3:18).
2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
To begin with, let us go back to when God in His infinite mercy called us out of this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). Let us go back to that time when we were unrighteous sinners.
1Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? And such were some of you…
What were we like when we were in the world before we began to hear the word of God? Like Job, we had to admit that we were unrighteous sinners – and repent in dust and ashes.
Job 42:1, 6 Then Job answered the LORD, and said…, Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Perhaps our repentance was not that dynamic, none-the-less we began to repent—and that was a gift of God (2Timothy 2:25). Make no mistake about it, we did not work-up repentance on our own – God led us into repentance.
Romans 2:4 Do you despise the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth you to repentance?
Next in the process of becoming Christians, God gave us faith – the faith of His Son, Jesus Christ, because faith too, is a gift of God (Romans 12:3)
Ephesians 2:8 By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
With the faith of Jesus, His righteous (not our own) was imputed to us (James 2:23).
Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:
Because we were given repentance and faith by God we were ready to be baptized and receive the inestimable gift of God’s Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
Being baptized into God’s Life and His Spirit is what Pentecost is all about. With the laying on of hands we became Children of God (Acts 8:17, 1John 3:2).
Pentecost is the origin of God’s New Testament Church—and it happened this way:
Acts 2:1-6, 12 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language… So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, What does this mean?
Little changes began to take place in our lives. We rejected Sunday worship for God’s Sabbath Day. We changed our eating habits for food set apart by God for eating (1Timothy 4:5). We began to obey the Ten Commandments and observe the Feasts of the Lord. We began to come out of the world and be separate (2Corinthians 6:17). We began to speak differently—and do the things that set us apart from society in general. We began to pray, fast and tithe to God (Matthew 23:23). We began to make “little changes.”
Those little changes were only the beginning of our conversion process. By doing those “little things,” we slowly began to think like God does. We began to change who and what we were. Slowly but surely, we began to put on God-like attributes and the gifts of His Spirit—those are big changes! We began to learn how to serve and pray for one another—and that led to Godly love of the brethren.
1John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abides in death.
Slowly but surely, we began to make more big changes—we began to forgive one another. We began to have mercy on others. We even began to lay down our reputations, our sustenance, even our very lives for others—that they too might be in the Kingdom of God—because that is what Jesus did for us. Jesus said:
John 15:12-13 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Pentecost makes Big Changes possible. It is only through God’s Spirit that “Big Changes” take place in our lives.
||"Little Changes – Big Changes"