“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21 ESV)
Pentecost is the Feast of first fruits. It marks the beginning of God’s greatest outpouring of grace. The Holy Spirit was poured out on mankind, to the Jews first but also to the Gentiles. And that same Holy Spirit is still being poured out today. Thus the message of Pentecost is the message of grace; God’s unmerited favor, His righteousness and power given to those who do not deserve it.
Grace stands in contrast to God’s law. Law condemns. It shows us our sins, where we fall short. But by God’s grace, law shows us our need for God’s mercy, our need for Jesus and His atoning sacrifice. Law does not eliminate sin. It may curb and limit it, but it cannot make us more righteous. Law can influence outward behavior, but only the Spirit of God can change the heart. He makes us righteous. Then He makes us His instruments of grace, to extend His mercy and unconditional love to every individual on earth, based on the finished work of Christ, the labor of His love.
We have a great opportunity. Love is what all men seek, but few find. We must tell them that God is the one Whom they seek. We have the opportunity to help others live according to God’s law by leading them to the only one who can enable them or us to do so. We have the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love to those who have been victimized by a brutal and merciless world. We have the opportunity to communicate the love of God so that people will not be afraid to approach Him in repentance. We have the opportunity to be healing vessels overflowing with God’s unconditional love.