“…we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
The Meaning is in the Message
Nearly two thousand years ago God revealed marvelous wonders to people gathered in Jerusalem. In a display of miraculous might, the Holy Spirit filled the Lord’s followers and gave them the ability to suddenly speak in languages that previously they had not learned.
Yet the spectacle of the Spirit’s might, was also accompanied by the greater gift of his message. That message was spoken by lips now loosened to speak in various languages. With clarity and confidence given by the Spirit, their tongues were enabled to utter the wondrous truths of God’s Word.
The Holy Spirit still graciously touches the hearts of hearers through the voice of his Word. Through the message of the law the Holy Spirit silences the prideful sinner within us that vainly seeks to find lasting fulfillment and meaning to life in the world’s wealth and wisdom.
Through the life-giving gospel he comforts the sinner with God’s firm promise of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus alone. The Spirit points us to the wondrous love of God in the righteousness he freely provides through his Son. The Spirit draws us to the cross where we find real meaning for life in the wounds and blood of our selfless Savior. The Spirit enkindles our hearts with love for God and for our neighbor. He compels us to live with Christ-centered faith which he alone provides through the gospel.
Although the miraculous gift of tongues has ceased, the Holy Spirit’s message and mission has not changed. How blessed we are to live at a time in history when the Bible is available in many hundreds of languages! Until Jesus comes again on the Last Day, that Word will continue to be the means by which the Holy Spirit works and strengthens faith in human hearts to trust in Christ as the promised Savior.
O Lord, without the Holy Spirit’s work in my heart, I would be lost in unbelief. Thank you for your saving Word and the Holy Spirit’s wondrous work through that Word. Cause my faith in you to grow ever deeper as I search the wondrous truths of your Word. Unloosen my lips and use my life to confidently declare your praises. Amen.