June 12, 2020. Day 164: The Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:4. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What do you talk about all day? It’s a legitimate question isn’t it? Doesn’t what we talk about reveal what’s in our hearts?

It did on Pentecost. The Holy Spirit entered the hearts of the disciples and they began to proclaim Christ. And, miraculously, they did it in other languages so that people from all over the Romans Empire could hear the good news.

Acts 2:6. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 

Many Bible scholars see in Pentecost a reversal of the curse of the Tower of Babel (day 17). At Babel God divided and scattered the people into nations by confusing their languages. Here at Pentecost, God is uniting the nations into the church. How? Not by giving them all the same language, but by giving them all the same message, the same gospel.

Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?

This is the sign of the Spirit’s indwelling, the indicator of the indwelling life of Christ – your message. What do you talk about all day? What is your message? In conversation? On Social media? Over coffee? Around the dinner table? At work? At church? At home? With your friends? With your family? With your co-workers? What message are your words and deeds declaring? Is it Christ?

So if I have the Holy Spirit am I supposed to be going around speaking in tongues? In foreign languages? Preaching outdoor sermons to massive crowds waiting for thousands to receive Christ and join my church? In other words, should Pentecost be happening over and over again every time we talk?

The answer is No and Yes.

No, the work of the Spirit on Pentecost was special and singular. There will never be another day like it until Christ returns. No, the Spirit’s life in you will most likely not be manifested as miraculously speaking a foreign language to a crowd of people as thousands repent and believe. No, the Spirit is not likely to appear to you in fire and wind or in any other miraculous display.

But also yes. Yes, Pentecost happens over and over again each time a Christian is full of the Spirit and speaks Christ. Yes, Pentecost happens again every time we declare the gospel. Yes, Pentecost is repeated every time we choose to show the love of Christ to others.

Thirty years after Pentecost here’s how Paul described to the church what Spirit filling looks, and sounds like.

Ephesians 5:18-21. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Clearly Paul is making the connection to Pentecost. On that morning the Apostles were accused of being drunk with wine. But actually they were filled with the Spirit. They spoke in tongues. But we speak in songs, and thanksgiving, and submission (he goes on to describe loving and respectful relationships).

Paul’s parallel passage in Colossians puts it this way:

Colossians 3:16-17. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

If we set Paul’s words in Ephesians and his words in Colossians side by side, we see that he has equated being filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18) to being indwelt with the word of Christ (Col. 3:16). And when we put all the results of this indwelling together our list looks like this:

  • Teaching one another.
  • Admonishing one another.
  • Singing to one another.
  • Being thankful to God.
  • Submitting to one another.
  • Doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.

This is our daily Pentecost. Our Spirit filling. Our union with Christ.

So let me ask you one more time. What do you talk about all day? What is your life’s daily message?

“To live is Christ” means experiencing the fullness of the Spirit, the word of Christ, in us richly. To be Spirit filled is to be full of the message of Christ and his good news. And then allowing the Spirit’s word of Christ to flow out of our lives and out of our mouths to the glory of God and to the edification of the church. Not always in spectacular sermons or miraculous linguistic displays. But in the simple, every day, conversations of disciple making.

You

What will you talk about today? What will your life’s message be?

You in Christ

You are Spirit filled and your life is full of the message of Christ. Do you believe this?

Christ in you

How can your life’s message be the “word of Christ” today?

Playlist: Songs of Declaration.

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