A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary - May 24

Sermon (May 24) - "Where's the Fire?"

Acts 2:1-21

This is the story of Pentecost, the conclusion of the Easter Season, the 50th day after Easter Sunday, and the 10th day after Jesus' ascension.

Peter refers to Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit as the "Last Days." This does not mean that the world will end in any moment. It's a figure of speech that states that this is a significant event in which God's people are being equipped to carry on Jesus' ministry and share the good news throughout the world.

Peter makes two very important points about Pentecost in his sermon to the people.

1) Only followers of Jesus are able to understand and appreciate the gifting of the Holy Spirit. The crowd doesn't understand what is happening. Most of them haven't yet heard about Jesus' resurrection, but this is about to change!

2) Peter's naming of this time as "The Last Days" is showing that the news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is about to transform the world. This is the time that the scriptures have pointed to over the centuries and it was being launched in that moment!

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

This passage offers three important points:

1) The Spirit will testify to the truth. 2) The Spirit will comfort the world but will also bring conviction of sin. 3) The Spirit will bring illumination to the disciples as they carry out Jesus' ministry.

The Holy Spirit is our advocate. The Spirit always points us to Jesus. The Spirit works through the disciples. We do not have to convince people about the good news of Jesus. The Spirit does this! The Spirit also increases our understanding of the work of Jesus. This leads to deeper gratitude and intimacy with God.

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