Saturday, December 21, 2013

Daily Gospel Devotional 2013: Prophesying Pentecost

Mark 16:15-18…

The idea that these Jewish believers in Jesus would go to the Gentile nations to spread the faith was truly revolutionary. In commissioning them, Jesus tells them that signs would follow their preaching (Hebrews 2:3-4). These signs were fulfilled, as the book of Acts shows (Acts 2:41, 43, 5:15-16, 31-32, 16:18, 28:3-5, etc.). They were not intended to be some continuously manifesting evidence or a specific test of faith for today’s preachers or believers.

Jesus gave a thesis statement for the book of Acts in Acts 1:8. The work of tongues was foundational in the development of the church, in its inauguration and the sign of its spread. Jews (Acts 2), the hated, half-breed Samaritans (Acts 8), the Gentiles (Acts 10), and the disciples of John the Baptist, people in transitional period between the OT and the NT Church (Acts 19), all were included in the manifestation of unity and spread of the Gospel.

The tongues represented peoples and nations (cf. Revelation 7:9). The barriers between Jew and Gentile had been broken down (cf. Ephesians 2:11-22). All who believe in Jesus are one in Christ by the Spirit of God (Romans 12:5 / 1 Corinthians 6:17, 12:13). Peter, in Acts 2:17-18, shows us that not only are all people groups potentially included, but all gender, age, and social groups are as well. The point has been made; we are one body in Christ. The rest of the NT writing assumes and asserts that (cf. Colossians 1:6).

People back then and people today still ask what these signs and wonders Jesus was speaking of mean (Acts 2:12). The answer is clear (Acts 2:21 / Romans 10:13).  The only real wall between God and men is sin, and God in Christ has broken down all racial, gender, age, and social barriers to salvation (Colossians 3:11). The inauguration of the Great Commission at Pentecost is cause for celebration, the reason for missions. It is entirely ironic to create a new wall (that these signs must be present today) when it was the old wall that was being torn down.

What are we to do (Acts 2:37)? We are called to identify with Christ, ask for the forgiveness of your sins and be baptized because you believe that all those who trust in Jesus are given the Spirit of God, adopted into His family (Acts 2:38-39). That is the big picture here. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Even So... said...

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