It is ironic that in our world, while just about anyone can send information from one side of the planet to the other at the speed of light, we still so desperately lack in actual communication.
We may technically speak the same language, but we interpret things so differently that the intended message is often lost in translation. This is a tragedy that can be seen in every aspect of society; from our governments to our own households, even within the Church.
When we hear about “Pentecost” today, the reference is usually to the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus, although it had been celebrated since the time of Moses (Leviticus 23).
The scene during Pentecost is famous for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:2-4 NIV).
The disciples and the others that were with them had lacked unity and power, and one of the first things God did was pour out His Spirit so that they could communicate. He enabled them to speak in “tongues.” That is to say, they spoke and others understood what they were saying. This seems like Speech 101—someone speaks, others hear. But those who heard were from all over the world; they didn’t speak the same language and they didn’t share customs or cultures (Acts 2:5-11).
This is how God began His church. He opened channels of communication so that anyone from anywhere might hear and understand the message of hope that God had for them. This is the truest gift of tongues—the ability to communicate the gospel message.
Without the Holy Spirit the disciples could never have effectively shared the gospel message of Jesus. They probably would have found themselves working really hard and getting nowhere. Frustration, anger, hatred, and dissention would have been the fruit of their work. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). Through God, the disciples could share the truth because the Spirit gave them the ability to do so with every one of these fruit.
Our world is in desperate need of a conversation. Everyone is talking and we want to be heard so badly that all we do is try to yell louder than the rest of the crowd. This is not God’s way. Yes, there is one truth. Yes, it is a matter of life and death. Yes, it has implications in every aspect of our lives.
Yes, the Bible is clear about many issues. But Christians cannot and will not convey the message of hope unless they are first filled with Holy Spirit. We must seek holiness so that every word out of our mouth is spoken of love. We must desire to bring joy, embraces peace, display patience, show kindness, seek goodness, demonstrate faithfulness and gentleness, and practice self-control. All of these are necessary so that God’s message—not ours—might be heard and received.
The gospel message is the power of salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16). How are we sharing that message? Is it in- defense and fear? Or is it by embodying the fruit of the Spirit? Only the latter will glorify God. Let us seek holiness, because holiness matters.
Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet Sundays at 9AM for Sunday school and 10AM for worship. Everyone is welcome!