For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. Acts 2:39
During the last few weeks we followed the descent of humankind into sin and death. We watched it play out at the Tower of Babel and we see it play out in our own lives as well. We also saw the gracious response of our God as he continued his love and care for his people. We heard the first promise of a Savior made in the presence of Adam and Eve in the Garden. We heard it reiterated to Sarah and Abraham and fulfilled through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Through Jesus’ words to his disciples, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” we see God reaffirming that his plan of salvation is for all.
On the day of Pentecost, these same disciples were gathered together when the Holy Spirit came upon them in power with the sound of a mighty rushing wind which filled the house. Tongues of fire descended upon them and they began to speak in other languages as the Holy Spirit enabled them. See Acts 2:104. On that day God endowed his disciples with the ability to speak the native languages of visitors from a great host of the surrounding nations. On that day they were transformed from frightened men and women to bold men and women who would proclaim God’s Word with power. And what did they proclaim? They proclaimed that Jesus, our Risen Savior, has died for you and conquered the grave so that you might have forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Him.
At the tower of Babel God confused human languages and scattered sinful humanity across the face of the earth. In Jerusalem God infused his people with the Holy Spirit, and endowed them with the gift of tongues so that all the nations might hear the testimony of what God has done for us.
Today the Holy Spirit continues to break into our lives bringing with Him God’s gifts of righteousness, joy and peace. The Holy Spirit is busy still today granting repentance and creating faith in the person of Jesus Christ to the glory of God the Father.
You see the message entrusted to us and to the entire Christian church is not simply that God has given his Son to live, die and rise again for the forgiveness of sin and the imputation (giving) of righteousness, but that God has given His Son to live, die and rise again for you. We all have gone astray. Correspondingly Christ has come for all. Some will continue to reject and rebel and remain under condemnation but many will believe. My hope is that your thoughts may dwell on the grace and mercy of God given to us through Jesus. God is here. He is with us. Immanuel.