The celebration of Pentecost was a few weeks ago but I am just now getting around to posting. At Passover we talked about tearing down walls; tearing down walls between Jew and Gentile, tearing down walls of racism, and more. There have been several things on my mind for Pentecost since Passover all these things have an over arching theme of building a bridge from one thing to another.
Pentecost is not just a New Testament thing, Jews had been celebrating Pentecost for years. Let’s build a bridge.
From Old Testament to New Testament
Jesus is the bridge between Old Testament and New Testament. A bridge connects two things together. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it, to show us how to live it. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the things that happened in the Old Testament are an example to us and were written down for our instruction.
James 5:10-11 MSG “Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.”
There is so much for us in the Old Testament, Jesus is on every page! We can’ truly understand the New Testament without understanding the Jewish customs of the Old. We can’ tree the completeness of the Old without the person of Jesus! As we talked about tearing down the walls between Jew and Gentile at Passover, let Jesus be your bridge at Pentecost.
In the Old Testament Pentecost was a celebration of the giving of the Torah, the Word of God. In the New Testament a new dimension was added to the celebration, the coming of the Holy Spirit! Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead and guide us into all truth and bring to remembrance the Things He said.
1 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Let Jesus be your bridge. See the fullness of the Scriptures, learn from the stories in the Old and the parables in the New.
From the Founding to the Future
It’s easy for any of us to look at what God is doing right now and get so focused on that we forget where we have come from. In recent years we have heard of things like worship wars and the divide between the older and younger generations. What does a bridge do? It connects one generation to another. Yes, God is doing a new thing and it is springing forth. Yes, the message is the same and yes, the methods are totally different.
We need to be thankful for broader Christian history. Specifically each of us needs to be thankful and look to our denominations or movements history. We are only where we are at because of the people before us.
Today’s Church is dealing with the newly wrapped and presented heresies of the past we need to cross the bridge back into the past and grab the creeds, and theologies of our fathers and stand firm on the Word of truth. No matter how new something may look, universalism is still false teaching and saying we don’t need the Old Testament is a lighter version of the Marcion heresy that says the Church has replaced the Jews. When we don’t know history we are doomed to fall at the same places our fathers did and possibly even fall in places they did not.
Wether your Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist, whatever stream God has placed you in, don’t forget your founding. Honor your fathers and mothers, hold to the truth, correct errors, and keep building.
From One Move to the Next
In that same line of thought, as the body of Christ, we need to continually move forward. We remember what God has done, we walk in what God is doing and look forward to what He will do next. The downfall of every great revival is that it wasn’t passed to the next generation. The loss of great ministries is when a leader doesn’t raise up a successor.
We become so worried about preserving a system or a style that we lose sight of why we were doing things in the first place. We do well to remember two things about Israel, they always followed the cloud when it moved and they never did well with blessing.
We need to be thankful for everything God has done, yet, the same disciples that were filled in Acts two were refilled in Acts four. When Israel was blessed they took their eyes off God and put on what He was doing or what He was giving them. How many times in the Church have we put our eyes on the miracles and the money and taken them off the Master?
Let’s remember the purpose of the bridge. To move from one place to the next and to be connected so if we forget something, we can go back and get it.