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May 17 – LD 20, Day 4: The Sign of a Catholic Church

Read: Acts 2:22-36

Having instructed us in the truth of what happened on Pentecost, our teacher also wants us to know the significance of Pentecost for the believer. Our teacher becomes very personal and suddenly switches to the first personal pronoun: “He is also given me.” We are told that we must make this truth concerning the Holy Spirit our own personal confession.

There are those who explain Pentecost to mean little else than a revival in the church. Some, usually with charismatic tendencies and beliefs, find nothing more significant in Pentecost than that a much needed revival took place in the church, the first of many revivals appearing from time to time in the church of the new dispensation.

But, as Peter makes clear in his great Pentecostal sermon, this event in the history of the church is as great and important as Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Peter does this by pointing to the fact that the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled (Acts 2:16-21).

Part of that prophecy of Joel was: “…your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” (Acts 2:17, 18).

The reference of this prophecy of Joel, quoted by Peter, was to the office of prophet in the old dispensation, an office given to only a very few. That office embraced prophets, priests and kings, although the offices of priests and kings were kept strictly separate (I Sam 13:8-14, II Chr 26:16-21).

When Joel the prophet spoke of the gift of prophecy given to all and Peter quoted that passage on Pentecost, Peter pointed out that with the gift of the Holy Spirit, all God’s people from the least to the greatest and from the youngest to the oldest are now prophets. And that office of prophet given to them includes the office of priests and kings.

God’s people no longer need anyone to teach them (Heb 8:11, I John 2:27), for they all are able to know the Lord. They no longer need a priest, for they are able, by the Spirit, to go directly to God in prayer through their intercessor, Jesus Christ. They no longer need a king to rule over them, for they are kings in their own right and able to do the will of God.

This anointing was more fully spoken of by our teacher in Lord’s Day 12. That Lord’s Day, you will recall, was speaking of the name given to our Savior, Christ. But then it asks of us the question why we are called Christians. And the answer was given that we partake of Christ’s anointing and are, therefore, prophets, priest and kings under Christ.

How great and important an event Pentecost was for us!

Last modified on 17 May 2015

Additional Info

  • Date: 17-May
Hanko, Herman

Prof. Herman Hanko (Wife: Wilma)

Ordained: October 1955

Pastorates: Hope, Walker, MI - 1955; Doon, IA - 1963; Professor to the Protestant Reformed Seminary - 1965

Emeritus: 2001


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