Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.
Of course, actions must back up words. But the words usually come first.
And powerful words inspire great actions and the words and actions accomplish extraordinary things.
We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” – Winston Churchill.
“I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” – Thomas Jefferson
These are very famous quotes, to be sure.
But if they remained only words, no one would have remembered them.
That they are remember is because these words inspired action!
Winston Churchill’s words inspired England – and the Allies that joined England – in defeating tyranny in Western Europe.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words inspired a generation to not accept the status quo of our nation and brought about a change in how we see and live with each other that still reverberates today.
Thomas Jefferson’s words would have been relegated to the dustbin of history if they had not inspired an entire generation to rise up against tyranny and fight for freedom that gave birth to the great experiment that is the United States of America.
We are inspired by these quotes because these quotes – and many more like them – prompt actions in many people to “be the change we want to see in the world” (a quote from Mahatma Gandhi).
The words of Jesus Christ recorded in John 20 also inspire great action in the world.
Jesus breathes out the words “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit would be given to his disciples (the Church) fifty days later on the day we call Pentecost. But these words, this breath, would literally inspire (“fill with spirit/breath) his disciples to go into all the world.
The disciples – that is, the one Holy Christian and Apostolic Church – would travel throughout the world with the Gospel and make more disciples (through the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace).
The proclamation of the Gospel and the making of disciples begins with the forgiveness of sins.
Peter’s “Pentecost Sermon” is a result of these words of Jesus. He speaks to the thousands gathered. He speaks Law, “…you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men” (Acts 2:23) the Son of God. This is an indictment of all of us, for we are all culpable. Our sins are the cause of Jesus’ death.
But Peter continues under the inspiration of Jesus’ words, “God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24).
Our sins are forgiven by Jesus Christ. That is the message and work of the Church – to proclaim and do this!
We are inspired by the words. We live the words. And the world is transformed!
©2017 True Men Ministries