Jesus said, I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it..
What privileged people we truly are, that we should be called God’s children. He has showered His love over us and bestowed on us every spiritual blessing. What grace, that we should be picked up from the dirt and seated in heavenly places, and together all believers are being built-up into a spiritual Temple. Together we are the people of God; the home of His Spirit – united with Christ.
All believers are baptised into the body of Christ the moment they believe in Jesus. The day of Pentecost was when Spirit baptism happened to the Jewish believers. One hundred and twenty lovers of Jesus were suddenly placed into Christ and filled with the Spirit of God. On that momentous day, they were baptised in the Spirit and empowered from above.
Before His death, Christ had told His disciples the Spirit "will be with you and will be IN you". Just before He ascended on high He promised that "not many days hence," they would all be baptised in the Spirt, placed in Christ, and empowered to proclaim the gospel.
They were all baptised in the Spirit and then everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them His ability. What a day of gladness that must have been for those that were present on that day. What a time of rejoicing it is for all who are empowered by the same Holy Spirit.
Jesus Himself declared that He would build His church and the gates of hell would not be able to prevail against her – nothing could overpower His Church and nothing conquer it. And from that day on the Church of Christ started to grow in the power of the Spirit. 3000 Jewish believers were put into Christ on that momentous feast of Pentecost – all were baptised into His Body and all were empowered by the Holy Spirit.
What a wonderful start to the Church was that first, glorious day of Pentecost. But it was only Jewish believers that were brought into the Church that day. And for a long time the gospel was preached from Jerusalem to the Jews only. But Jesus said I will build my Church.. to include Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles.
We read in Acts 2 of the day that Jews were placed into the body of Christ – Pentecost. We read in Acts 8 that Samaritans were added to Christ’s body – through Philip’s ministry, and in Acts 10 Gentiles were included in Christ’s body at the house of Cornelius, a centurion – when Peter was urged by the Holy Spirit to go to the house of a gentile.
But the Church, which is the body of Christ, is not meant to be exclusive to the Jews. Oh, the Jews are God’s people through whom the Seed of the Messiah would come. Israel was the nation chosen to give us the Scriptures – the law, prophets, and psalms.
They were the ones who were entrusted with the amazing Word and Words of God. They were adopted sons who were promised a wonderful earthly inheritance.. but they failed to do as God commanded which was to tell the nations about God – and Israel as a nation was to repent of her sin collectively, and turn to her Messiah. But Israel crucified her king and for a time God chose to work through the Gentiles.
So the Church in this age, was commissioned to go and make disciples of all nations. The Church was to embrace Jew and Gentile, male and female – young and old. It was to include peoples of all races and nations – for Christ died for all – and all were to be one in Christ in the power of the Spirit – a united body, "for by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit". Matthew 16:18
What a privileged group of people we are – that we should be called God’s children. What showers of love has been bestowed on us, for we are united forever with Christ. What grace.. that we should be picked up from the dirt and seated in heavenly places – and together we are being built-up into a spiritual Temple – the people of God.
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