Pastor Aaron Smith with Crossroads Baptist Church in Mobile joins us to talk about Pentecost. Here’s a look at our conversation:
Chad: Today is Pentecost Sunday–what is the story of Pentecost?
Guest: Pentecost began as a Jewish celebration that was part of the Feast of Weeks. The feast of weeks was connected to the Passover and when God delivered the Law to Moses and instructed him to give it to Israel. This celebration was to take place seven weeks and one day after God gave the Law. This celebration was a tradition that continued from the time of Moses through the days of Christ and the Apostles.
In the New Testament, Pentecost is found in the book of Acts. There were many Jews which gathered themselves in Jerusalem to observe the Pentecost celebration. They traveled from all over the region and world for this event each year.
What is most significant about this particular Pentecost Sunday is that it had also been fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead. God chose to use the celebration of Pentecost to fulfill the promise that Jesus gave to His disciples that He would send a Comforter, namely, the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit filled the Apostles, amazing things started to happen. The Apostles were speaking in their language, yet people that didn’t speak the same language as they did understood them as if they did. The power that the Holy Spirit gave to the Apostles that day was nothing short of remarkable.
Chad: What are the lessons people should take from it?
Guest: Chad the biggest lesson that I think we should take from it is that God chose to use this event to connect the Old Testament celebration of the Passover and the Law to the New Testament gift of His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus stated that He didn’t come to destroy the Law but came to fulfill it. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that Jesus, was killed, buried, and rose from the dead around the same time as the Passover and Law celebrations were taking place. Nor do I find that His promise of the Holy Spirit being fulfilled at Pentecost is a coincidence either. The Holy Spirit is our constant reminder that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law by being the sacrificial Lamb provided to us by God.
Chad: How did this event help push the church forward in the physical absence of Jesus?
Guest: That is a great question. The Apostle Peter stood up to address the crowd, because many were questioning the strange things that were taking place. He took the opportunity to preach the Gospel of Christ, and he spoke very boldly that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah, who they had killed. He told them that even though they killed Him, he was gloriously risen from the dead and ascended into Heaven. When the people heard this message of the Gospel for the first time, they were overwhelmed. The Bible says that they were “Pricked in their heart” and wanted to know what they should do. He told them to Repent and follow Jesus. The Bible tells us that three thousand people placed their faith in finished work of Christ to save them from their sins and were added to the church in one day. So, the Church that Jesus began with His disciples was empowered by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. From this day, people from all over the world began to share their faith in Christ and the church began to grow leaps and bounds from there.
Chad: How do you explain the Holy Spirit?
Guest: I explain the person of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the God Head. We have God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In explaining the Trinity, I like to illustrate it using an egg. If you take an egg it has three parts. The shell, the white, and the yolk. All of them together make an egg. But the egg can be separated into three different parts and have three different functions. The shell is no less an egg, as the white or yolk. Just as an egg can be separated, God is separated into three different parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The role of the Holy Spirit is to bring comfort into the lives of those who have trusted Christ as their Savior. He ministers to us in times of our deepest need and sorrow. He convicts us in our heart when we sin. He intercedes for us on our behalf when we have no idea what to pray for. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is a vast one that we could spend hours talking about, but our time is limited this morning.
Chad: What’s the hardest part of this story for you?
Guest: Well Chad, because I believe the Bible, I don’t have a hard part. I believe this event happened just as the Bible recorded it.
Chad: What do you want people to learn today?
Guest: I want people to learn that they can personally know God. It begins with a knowledge that they need a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ. He is the only way to Heaven. And when they come to that saving Knowledge of Jesus, He gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to fill their lives and empowers them to live for Him and fulfill the work He has for them.
Chad: Aaron Smith with Crossroads Baptist, thank-you for joining us for this edition of Faith Time and News 5 This morning will continue after the break.