Have you been filled with the Spirit ? – January 2nd
We are on day 2 of blogging through the Bible using the Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan
Genesis 2 kicks of with the Lord resting on the seventh day, even though He wouldn’t need to. The principle of taking a day to rest each week is introduced at creation – a satisfactory rhythm of life, that also points forward to the rest from works to please God that Jesus won on the cross. Grace is a fulfilment of Sabbath Rest.
The rest of the chapter retells the creation story from the point of view of the creation of mankind. God put two trees in the centre of the garden – the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They could eat from the tree of life – Adam & Eve weren’t supposed to die!
Adam was alone -although God gave him the job of naming the animals as part of his ruling of them, no suitable companion was found. It was a fun (think Armadillo!) job but quite lonely too. So the Lord created Eve as a suitable helpmate from Adam.
Matthew is writing for a mainly Jewish audience, showing how Jesus fullfilled Old Testament Prophecy to be the long awaited Christ. Verse 6 shows the 2nd fulfillment.
The wise men came to worship Jesus and brought great gifts gold for the King of Kings, incense for our great High Priest and Myrrh because Jesus purpose in coming was to die for us.
The wise men were warned in a dream, to not go back to Herod. Dreams are a normative Scriptural way to receive revelation from God.
An angel then apeared to Joseph – again what would seem a regular occurrence! Note they were not to be worshipped as many try to do nowadays. They come as messengers and ministering spirits for believers.
The third and fourth Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled in the escape to Egypt and Herod’s killing and causing weeping.
The fifth Old Testament prophecy is fulfilled when Joseph obeys another revelatory dream to take his family to Nazareth. It’s amazing how God orders things to fulfill what He has promised – I take great comfort that we can trust God to fulfill what He has said.
The first group who returned from the exile in 563BC are listed. Zerubbabel who forms part of the genealogy of Christ is listed – people matter to God. You matter to God. You are not anonymous to Him. He knows you and has called you by name!
The church were “all together” when Pentecost came. They gathered together daily to pray and study the Scriuptures.
All of them were filled with the Spirit and started speaking in tongues – which here are earthly languages of the nations, who will here the Gospel, outside for the festival.
The list of nations forms a square frame of the known world – because the people of God is changing – it will now include the nations! Jews and Gentile together in Christ.
The activity of the Spirit must have made them look somewhat tipsy as they were accused of drunkenness.
Peter undergoes a massive change as he is filled with the Spirit. He turns from a wally who sticks his foot in it constantly to a world changing Apostle!
Peter’s sermon is about the fulfilment of Joel 2. Note the prophetic telescoping. OT Prophecy is often like two mountains that look like they are next to each other – but as you get close you see they are far apart. So we have the day of favour now with the coming of the Spirit and the day of vengeance later when Christ returns to judge the world. Peter quotes and speaks of the former.
Peter’s sermon shows that Christ’s death and resurrection proves He is the Lord and Christ – who they have crucified. The effect is that the people are cutto the heart with conviction and ask what they should do.
The answer is threefold
- Repent – turn from their sin
- Be baptised – in water, showing that they are identifying themselves with Christ
- Receive the gift of the Spirit
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit leads to mass evangelism, as 3000 men and their families respond to the Christ, get baptised and receive the Spirit – must have taken some time!!!
That early church meet as a radical new community – thousands from out of town must have stayed to swell the numbers and get rooted in. Radical sharing happens to provide for people’s needs. There is awe and passion, devotion to teaching, praying, fellowshipping and breaking bread. Everyone is glad and sincere of heart and praising God. It’s revival! There is the favour of God and people getting saved everyday!
Have you been filled with Spirit?
Are you devoted to the local Church?