Paper cuts hurt, they really hurt, but they’re only skin deep. Skilled surgery may require a ‘cut to the heart.’
As the Apostle Peter wrapped up his Spirit-directed, Christ-centred exposition there was no paper cut conviction. The people who heard the message were ‘cut to the heart.’ Lasting change occurs when heart issues are addressed.
In John 16, the gospel writer records for us the Upper Room discourse, the choice teaching of the Master to His disciples before the ‘big event’ – His death, burial and resurrection. Running through much of these chapters is a strong emphasis on the Spirit of God. Consider the following verses and think of how they began to be fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost.
“Now I (Jesus) am going to Him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are You going?’ Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counsellor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When HE comes,…
HE will CONVICT the world of guilt
in regard to SIN and RIGHTEOUSNESS and JUDGEMENT:
In regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me; (Notice the core root of sin is UNBELIEF.)
In regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and (Note that the righteousness of Jesus Christ, this one of many attributes of GOD, is also shared by the Holy Spirit. God is righteous in all His ways.)
in regard to judgement, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:5-11) (Note that the Spirit of God was confirming the victorious conquest of Jesus Christ over Satan who had dogged His earthly steps-from the time of His birth as Herod tried to destroy Him, through His life, when he tempted Him and finally through His apostolic band of followers, particularly Judas who betrayed Him and Peter who denied Him.)
Jesus, the Son of God, knew the full work of the Spirit of God. As the Son of God, He had coexisted with the Spirit and the Father from eternity past. Jesus had been conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1), and had experienced the full empowering of the Spirit from the time of His baptism in the Jordan River.
Jesus had promised the power of the Spirit of God to His followers, which would be evidenced by their Christ-centred testifying. On the day of Pentecost, this empowerment was evident.
“When the people heard this (this sermon, this Christ-centred exposition, this teaching), they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
This gathering of people were being moved upon by the Spirit of God. The believers were experiencing His filling, the unbelievers His convicting power. This is normative. When Spirit-filled preachers proclaim Christ-centred sermons, believers are drawn with fresh wonder to the Person and Work of Christ, and unbelievers are called to repent as they experience the conviction of their sin–their unbelief, their lack of righteousness and that they like Satan are facing God’s judgment.
This Sunday, June 4th, is the Day of Pentecost in the Christian calendar. Would you pray for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit of God and would you assemble with other Christ followers anticipating a powerful encounter with the living God?
‘Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me!’