Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
On a day like this in the first century the church age began. From November to last Sunday, our worship focused on the life and works of Jesus Christ in this world. Christmas, His baptism, His public ministry, His death and resurrection, and finally His ascension to the right of God the almighty Father. Now we pay attention to the mission that the Lord gave to His church, to continue proclaiming the good news of eternal life in all parts of the world. Before going up to heaven, Jesus promised His apostles that He would be with them, although not in a visible way, also He and the Father would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to, as the catechism says, to gather, enlighten and sanctify His church.
According to Saint Matthew, the commission to the apostles was like this: "Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to keep all the things that I have given you commanded, and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen." (Matthew 28: 19-20) Also in Mark, before His ascension, the Lord told them: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; but whoever does not believe, will be condemned. " (Mark 16: 15-16). And in the first chapter of Acts, it says thus: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be witnesses to me, in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
But, first, our Lord told them, "That they should not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, you heard from me. Because John indeed baptized with water, but you will be baptized with him Holy Spirit not many days after these. "
So, ten days after the Ascension, all the disciples were gathered in a house in Jerusalem. As Acts 2: 1-11 says, “And when the day of Pentecost came, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly a noise came from heaven like a rushing strong wind, which filled the whole house where they were sitting; and cloven tongues appeared to them, like fire, settling on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them to speak. Then there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, pious men, from all the nations under heaven. And when this was disclosed, the crowd gathered; and they were confused, because each one heard them speak in their own language. And they were all astonished and amazed, saying to one another: Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? How, then, do we each hear them speak in our language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes, and Elamites, and those who inhabit Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya beyond Cyrene, and foreign Romans Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs alike, we hear them speak the wonders of God in our tongues. ”
Jews and proselytes, that is, those who had converted to Judaism, from all around the Mediterranean Sea remained in Jerusalem. Because Pentecost was founded by Moses in the Old Testament as a feast of thanksgiving for the wheat and barley crops, fifty days after Easter, the feast of unleavened bread. So they all took their sacrifices of thanks to the Temple in Jerusalem. Furthermore, according to the tradition of the Jews, Pentecost, which means the fiftieth day in Greek, was the day that Moses received the two tables of the Law at Mount Sinai.
Therefore, it was a very appropriate day for the church, the new people of God, to receive the power to proclaim the gospel. The Jews in Jerusalem did not speak Hebrew as their mother tongue, they had never heard the Word of God in their own language. But, on that day, yes, from ordinary men from Galilee.
The Holy Spirit showed its power in the sound from heaven, in cloven tongues, like fire, above the heads of the disciples, and the multiplication of languages. These signs captured the attention of the people and revealed to them the presence of God. However, the most important work of the Holy Spirit occurred when Peter preached a sermon, calling them to repentance and baptism. And then three thousand were baptized. And according to Acts 2:42, "they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and in fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." The breaking of bread is the Lord's Supper. So this is the life of the church; in the Word and the sacraments, the Spirit is active.
The mark of the living church is not speaking in tongues or performing miracles of healing. The church is where the Word is preached in its purity and the sacraments administered according to the Lord's command. The promise is for every Christian to receive the same Spirit at baptism with water and the Word. But, the signs of tongues and miracles are not promised to everyone everywhere and at all times. Today Reiber Santiago Pirela Parra will receive the faith and the new life in Christ at his baptism. This is our promise.
What we can learn from these stories of tongues and miracles is that the Holy Spirit has the power to help the church in any way anywhere at any time according to the will of God. But, the purpose of these signs is primarily to announce a new revelation from the Lord. We do not need a new revelation; We have everything we need to know for salvation in the Scriptures, the testimony of the prophets and apostles. Today we have the Scriptures translated in almost every language, and this is the work of the Holy Spirit as well.
From the ascension onward, the only prophecy that has not been fulfilled is the Lord's second coming in glory. We hope that day in all confidence.
Therefore, the Lord says in our text, “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and will remind you of everything I have told you. Peace I leave you, my peace I give you; not as the world gives it, I give it to you. Not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard that I have said to you: I am going, and I am coming to you. If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I have said that I am going to the Father; because my Father is older than me. "
This is the pza that passes all understanding. Amen.
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