the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.”
Ancient Israel celebrated at Pentecost the feast of harvest: behold, here by the outpouring of the Spirit three thousand souls are to be in one day gathered into the granary of the Lord. Observe how unity and prayerfulness prevailed when the blessing of God descended upon the church.
This appealed to their hearing, and was a fit accompaniment of the sacred breath of the Spirit.
The fire appealed to their sight. It is an instructive emblem of the spiritual energy of the Holy Ghost. A tongue set on fire of hell is Satan’s choice weapon; but tongues inflamed from above are the special instruments of grace.
Acts 2:12 , Acts 2:13
Men are sure to be divided in opinion upon the best and divinest things. Some wonder ignorantly, others ridicule maliciously, and a few adore reverently.
Acts 2:14 , Acts 2:15
Again we notice the mildness of Peter, he does not grow indignant at the charge of drunkenness, but answers it with the gentlest argument. His discourse which follows is most of it quoted from the Old Testament. Christ’s scholars never become wiser than the Bible; the Spirit is given, not to supersede the Scriptures, but to enable us to understand and use them.
These signs of wrath began to show themselves when Israel slew its King upon the cross; then the sun was turned into darkness. Yet more powerfully did they occur at the destruction of Jerusalem: blood, fire, and vapour of smoke filled the whole city. The year of the redeemed is also the day of vengeance of our God.
This portion from Joel is read in the service of the Karaite Jews on the day of Pentecost, and it is extremely probable that it was the lesson for the day in Peters time; he was therefore doubly wise in making it his text.
The last verse is so encouraging that we will read it again
Is any one of us now seeking the Lord? Let him find comfort in this gracious assurance, for no soul ever perished calling upon the name of the Lord.
“Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?”
Acts 2:22-42 , Acts 2:47
Peter having begun to preach, soon came to the marrow of his subject, and testified concerning Jesus.
This was plain speech. Peter had no fear of man, he pressed the truth home upon the conscience. Pray for all ministers that they may be equally courageous.
David’s prophecy and the witness of the apostles agreed together; here was convincing evidence for all devout inquirers. Nor was this all, for the miraculous gifts now manifestly bestowed were further proofs of the Messiahship of Jesus. Peter proceeded to dwell upon that argument.
Acts 2:34 , Acts 2:35
David could not have referred to himself, but to one who was his Lord, even to Jesus, now risen and ascended.
The concluding words, “Him have ye crucified,” were the sharp hook by which, as a good fisher of men, Peter caught their hearts. The first word of the awakened showed a right feeling; Peter’s love in calling them “men and brethren,” had created love in them, and they, in return, address the despised disciples by the same name. If there are any unconverted ones in this family, may they even now inquire, “What shall we do to be saved?”
His gospel was very simple; believing repentance, and baptismal profession were required, and nothing more. This same gospel belonged to their children as well as to themselves.
Let us pray that such a state of things may again be seen among the people of God, and let us try to produce it.
Thou art gone up on high,
To mansions in the skies;
And round thy throne unceasingly
The songs of praise arise.
Thou art gone up on high;
But thou wilt come again,
With all the bright ones of the sky
Attendant in thy train.
Forthwith a tongue of fire
Is seen on every brow;
Each heart receives the Father’s light,
The Word’s enkindling glow.
The Holy Ghost on all
Is mightily outpoured,
Who straight in divers tongues declare
The wonders of the Lord.
The Father and the Son,
And Spirit we adore;
Oh, may the Spirit’s gifts be poured
On us for evermore.
What a beautiful sight, when the children of light
In their primitive purity shone!
The disciples of old never strayed from the fold,
But they all were united in one.
The affections of grace were with prayer and with praise
Carried on with their every employ;
Their meals were all blest, and their hearts they expressed
In songs of angelical joy.
Their impotent foes could no longer oppose,
Or withhold their extorted esteem;
But were forced to give place to a torrent of grace,
And were all carried down with the stream.
Our hearts adore the matchless name,
Omnipotent to bless,
The name of Jesus, still the same
Despite our feebleness.
Once in the temple gate we lay
Crippled, till he restored;
But lo, we stand and walk to-day,
Yea, leap to praise the Lord.
All hail, thou dear restoring name,
We will our tongues employ,
To bid the souls which still are lame,
Believe and leap for joy.
Though sinners boldly join against the Lord to rise,
Against his Christ combine, th’ Anointed to despise;
Though earth disdain, and hell engage,
Vain is their rage, their counsel vain.
Jesus the Saviour reigns! on Sion is his throne;
The Lord’s decree sustains his own begotten Son:
Up from the grave he bids him rise,
And mount the skies, with power to save.
Oh, serve the Lord with fear, and rev’rence his command;
With sacred joy draw near, with solemn trembling stand;
Kneel at his throne, your homage bear,
His power declare, and kiss the Son.
Be the matter what it may,
Speak the honest truth alway;
He who lies a pain to waive,
Is at heart a coward slave.
He who speaks with lying tongue
Adds to wrong a greater wrong,
Much provoked is God Most High,
When we dare to tell a lie.
Unaw’d by man’s authority,
Unable to forbear,
What we have seen and heard of thee,
O Lord, we must declare.
The balmy virtue of thy death
We must through life proclaim,
And publish with our latest breath,
Salvation through thy name.
Jesus stands with arms extended,
(Risen from his dazzling throne),
Sees his servants’ warfare ended,
Sends his flaming chariot down,
Reaches out the palm and crown.
Should he call e’en us t’inherit
Joys for martyr’d saints prepared,
He will fill us with his Spirit,
Pledge of our supreme reward;
We shall view our heavenly Lord.