Fifty days after the most amazing event in world history, another amazing happening occurred in the same city. If Christ’s bursting from the tomb was a world-changing event (it most certainly was!), the day of Pentecost was a life-changing event for Christ’s church in the advancement of the saving Gospel.
What sticks in your mind about that day? The tongues of fire? The apostles’ instant ability to communicate in foreign languages? The sermon by Peter? How about this one: the prominence of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism?
Three thousand baptisms in one day. Wow! The people—the men, women, and children—listening to Peter on that Sunday took to heart what he was preaching concerning this energizing, sacred ordinance from God: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of the Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38, 39).
Did you hear the mention of your name and mine? Consider the words: “every one of you,” “for all who are far off,” and “whom the Lord our God will call.”
Have you thought of how your Baptism, whenever the day and year it occurred, was enacted for your spiritual and eternal benefit as the true “church growth” method set forth so emphatically on that day in Jerusalem known as “the birthday of the New Testament Christian church”? Someone appropriately described Pentecost as “only a few drops of the coming rain shower.”
Praise God for this shower of grace! It has sprinkled on our naturally sin-hardened heart-land with Spirit-worked and Spirit-filled sprouts of blessing in our souls. “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
The forgiveness of sins, as Peter explained long ago on that 50th day following Easter, earned by our Savior on the cross and sealed by His empty tomb, has been brought home to our own hearts by Baptism. What a miracle occurs when drops of water are connected with God’s Word “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Thousands upon thousands of this sprinkling of life continue to be made. May we ever be eager to advance this awesome rain shower of grace sent from the Father above. Pentecost is on the move!
-President John A. Moldstad