“But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. . . And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:16-18, 21)
Pentecost is the Feast of first fruits. It marks the beginning of God’s greatest outpouring of grace. The Holy Spirit was poured out and made available to all who would believe to the Jew first on that first Pentecost, but also to the Greek, that is, to people of every tribe and nation. And that same Holy Spirit is still being poured out today.
Pentecost celebrates God’s grace. Peter’s explanation of the miracles of Pentecost gave him an opportunity to preach the gospel of grace. He conveyed to those first listeners that now is the day of salvation made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus. He was no ordinary man, He is Almighty God. Peter preached the message of grace: God’s unmerited favor, His love, mercy, righteousness and power given to those who do not deserve it. Grace stands in contrast to God’s law. Law condemns. It shows us our sins, where we fall short. But God’s grace uses the law to show us our need for God’s mercy, our need for Jesus and His atoning sacrifice. Law does not eliminate sin. It may curb and limit it, but it can not make us more righteous. Law can influence outward behavior, but only the Spirit of God can change the heart. He makes us righteous. He makes us God’s instruments of grace, extending His mercy and unconditional love to every individual on earth.