The Feast of Pentecost
June 4, 2006
"Out of his heart shall flow rivers of water"
Introduction: Out of whose heart? From whose heart comes the water of the Spirit? Scholars are divided in interpreting this text. Is it Christ or is it the believer’s heart? Out of whose heart shall flow rivers of water? Is this a reference to the believer or does the text speak of Christ? Could it be referring to both?
This morning, let us consider the source of the Spirit.
I. In a significant way, our text must refer to Christ.
A. Christ is the center of everything that is written in the Scriptures. Not only in the New Testament but clearly and plainly Christ is seen in the pages of the Old Testament.
B. He is the one predicted by the prophets of Old. He is the One by whom salvation would be won for the entire world. He was the One of whom the Father spoke in the garden when He said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. He will crust your head and you will nip at his heel.” Genesis 3:16
C. In the midst of the desert when the people were thirsting for lack of water, it was Moses, who brought water from the rock. Then we are reminded that the rock was Christ.
Transition: Today on Pentecost Sunday when we celebrate the Father’s out pouring of the Spirit and the birth of missions we find Christ at the center of the Spirit’s work and activity. But why does the Spirit work? And where is His work centered? The Savior came to seek and save the lost. The Spirit works to bring individuals into Christ’s kingdom. The kingdom always involves people, one soul at a time.
II. The text can rightfully center on the believer.
A. By faith Christ makes His home in the human heart. Recall Jesus’ words, “I make My home with him.” The Savior desires to have an intimate relationship with each and every believer. His desire is to live with you, to direct you, to fellowship with you, to fill you.
B. Since Christ is the source of the Spirit, Christ living in the believer’s heart allows the believer to produce rivers of living water.
Illustration: Isn’t it amazing what “a little bit of rain” can do? We really haven’t had a lot of rain. We’ve just had “a little bit of rain” followed by “a little bit of rain” followed by “a little bit of rain” followed by “ a little bit of rain” this past month. That “little bit of rain” can add up! And in a month or two, come July and August if we have that “little bit of rain” which many might call “a million dollar shower” – that three quarter of an inch of rain that comes at exactly the right time will turn an average yield into a bin buster. In a more significant way the Holy Spirit comes to us continually – refreshing and stimulating us spiritually.
This is how we impact the world and others living around us a little at a time. By living out your faith you demonstrated your faith each day, a little at a time - you make obvious the compassion of Christ. By expressing the fruit of the Spirit in your life your neighbors are invited to behold Christ. By living out your faith the world is won for Christ - one soul at a time.
Conclusion: The source of the Spirit always centers on Jesus Christ. Christ who won salvation for this world is the source of all life and the center of the Spirit’s work. Yet, as He dwells in you individually He touches one life at a time. “Out of his heart shall flow rivers of water.” From Himself - to you - to the ends of the earth - the Spirit flows.