Thank God for Pentecost
Since the days when Moses was given the law on Mount Sinai, the people waited for His Spirit. They were not able to keep the law on their own. Spiritual amnesia kept drawing them back into the grasp of sin and darkness. Oh, how they needed God’s Spirit to live in their hearts and lives.
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.Joel 2:28b, NLT
And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.Ezekial 36:27, NLT
Every year, the Children of Israel would bring their sacrifices to the temple. They came at Passover and offered their sacrifices to God. It would remind them about how the death angel passed over their homes and they were freed from slavery in Egypt. On the first day of the week after Passover, they celebrated the Feast of Firstfruits bringing to the Temple the first sheaves of grain from their fields.
And then they waited. 50 days for the Feast of Weeks. 7 weeks. Pentecost translates as 50 days. All these feasts were to remind them of their sinfulness and to offer praise and sacrifice to God who forgave them every time. All this time they didn’t realize that it was part of the Promise of God to put His Spirit in their hearts. It would be the only way to chase away the amnesia because then The Holy Spirit would live within them reminding them constantly of their God; Softening their hearts toward their Maker.
But not only that
With the Holy Spirit within them, they (and we) now have the POWER to live godly lives. (2 Peter 1:3) He guides us. He helps us live lives that please God. Consider Peter. Remember how he failed time and again even though he wanted to serve Jesus. He swore He would never deny the Lord, but He did… three times. Other times, he would speak out and Jesus would have to rebuke him.
What a difference it made when Peter received empowerment from above. Suddenly, He was bold and able to preach the Gospel to everyone in Jerusalem and later everywhere He went with no “foot-in-mouth” disease.
And Guess What…
We can have that same power. If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit comes in to live with us. And when we die to ourselves, we are empowered to live faithful lives. Paul shared with the Galatians that when we give control to the Holy Spirit, we won’t fulfill the lust of the spirit any longer. Instead, we will produce the Fruit of His Spirit. Let’s look…
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.Galatians 5:16-25, NLT
No More Sacrifices
Jesus’ Death and Resurrection removed the need for the sacrificial system. His Great Sacrifice was perfect and suited to save all men who would accept Him. Once and for all our sins are forgiven. (Hebrews 7:27, Hebrews 9:12, 25-26)
So what does God expect of us? Are we allowed to just go about living the same lives? NO! (Romans 6:1-3) That would nullify what Jesus did for us. We are to put our carnal selves to death and allow the Spirit to live through us. Consequently, He now guides and directs every part of us. Back in the “old days”, they would say to give God the “unknown bundle”; that is, we give Him everything, even the things to come that we don’t know about. Whatever He wills, is our will.
When we sign a contract, the stipulations are all laid out and we sign on the dotted line. But with the Unknown Bundle, we sign on a blank sheet of paper and hand it to God. Then He places His plan for our lives on the paper.
And Praise His Name
He will empower us to follow the will of God. Sure, we may fail at times; but He will convict our hearts and we can ask forgiveness which He gives freely. The goal is that we will become increasingly more like Jesus.
I’m so glad that I have the Holy Spirit who goes with me every day, all day. I am empowered to live for Jesus.