Pentecost: Knowing God rather than just knowing about him

ephesians 5.18 - be filled with the spiritIt’s Pentecost Sunday but did you know that during the Jewish festival of Pentecost (originally called Weeks) they remembered the giving of the 10 commandments?

What do you think that the significance is of the giving of the Holy Spirit taking place during the festival when they remembered the giving of the law?

The giving of the 10 commandments and the rest of the law to Moses was God’s way of showing his people how they should follow him. The law taught people how to live and also showed them what they had to do to make themselves right with God.

The Law taught people what to do to follow God but the Holy Spirit enables us to know God.

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit who would be another comforter / counsellor / advocate (John 14.16). The word ‘another’ tells us that the Holy Spirit’s role is to be the person that Jesus had been for the disciples, someone with us, to lead, teach, equip and inspire us. The Greek word (the new testament was written in Greek) translated ‘counsellor’ is paraclete and it literally means ‘someone who comes alongside to help’. The Holy Spirit is given to guide us through life, to show us more clearly who God is, to help us see who God made us to be and to inspire, equip and help us to become that person.

The Law taught people how to follow God but the Holy Spirit shows us how to know God.

The law is impossible for us to fulfill perfectly which is why Jesus came to offer a different new way to Get to God.

Following the law perfectly meant you were free from sin but Jesus died to take away the sin of the people who are not perfect (that is all of us!)

So, the death and resurrection of Jesus and Pentecost changed everything. No longer do we try to know God just by following his teachings.

We still follow God’s teachings in the Bible but we do so now with the help and empowerment of God’s presence, the Holy Spirit.

We no longer have to live a sinless life in order to get to God. We accept Jesus’ cleansing from sin and so we respond by trying to live in a way that pleases him.

So will we keep trying to be good enough to get God by living a perfect life or will we accept the new way offered by Jesus and the Holy Spirit where we want to please God because he has made us good enough to know him?

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About honestaboutmyfaith

Hi, my name is Graeme and I’m married to a very patient wife. We have 4 children, 2 rabbits, a terrapin (and not a lot of peace and quiet!). I’m a Baptist Minister who is especially interested in making Church accessible to people who have no church background and also in how we disciple people in order to equip them to live out their faith in the 21st Century. I am also a member of the Eastern Baptist Association's Council with responsibility for Mission Strategy.
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