A Little Pentecost

by Rev. Brent Kuhlman

+ Jesu Juva +

Acts 2:38-39

Peter's been preaching his Pentecost sermon. You hear the word "Pentecost" and you think Holy Spirit and all His gifts, don't you? That's right. The disciples are given the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day to preach the Gospel in many understandable languages. And 3,000 sinners are brought to faith in Jesus as the Savior of the world. Just as He promised Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to bring glory to Himself. The Holy Spirit points sinners to the Savior Jesus. The Holy Spirit creates and sustains faith in Jesus only for salvation. As the UPS Delivery Man of the Trinity the Holy Spirit delivers, bestows, and applies the gifts of Jesus' most holy Good Friday death to you and rescues you from death and the devil through the forgiveness of sins.

And lo and behold right before your very eyes this morning there was another little Pentecost Day. A full blown Holy Spirit extravaganza! Did you see it? Didn't it just blow you away?

"Where Reverend? You've got to be kidding? A little Pentecost Day in a dead orthodox Lutheran congregation in rural Nebraska? Come on now! We all know that Holy Spirit Pentecosts and Holy Spirit gifts take place in big city churches that are all ablaze! What time is it? A little after 11:00 a.m. A bit too early isn't Reverend? Shame on you. Have one of the elders check the sacristy! Do a little communion wine inventory! Kuhlman may have snuck into the sacristy during the senior recognition party! A little Pentecost Day? Give us a break Reverend. Now sober up, be a good pastor, and give us one of your typical dead orthodox Lutheran sermons that we're so used to!"

I'm very happy to do that. So glad you asked. After all, dead orthodox Lutheran sermons are what I do best. Gave one to the Wyoming District pastors in Gillette, WY last Monday. They seemed to like it. What do you expect from a bunch of dead orthodox Lutheran pastors? In any event, be my guest. Smell my breath. Inspect the sacristy. I couldn't be more sober.

So I think try it again. Shall I give it a whirl? What do you think? Are you sure? All right. Here goes. Right before your very eyes this morning you witnessed a little Holy Spirit-filled Pentecost event. The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, was doing what He does best. Raising the dead! Recreating a sinner for faith in Jesus! A whole new life.

It happened when Mike and Stephanie brought their little baby sinner, Nolan, to church this morning. Jesus met them at the baptismal font. And with His Word He unleashed the power of the Holy Spirit! Handed out a washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit for little Nolan. A little Pentecost Day just for him!

I'm not making this up. Peter preaches Holy Baptism this way. Let's have another listen: "Be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus," he says. "Every one of you." Every one means all. Every one leaves no one out. Who would dare to say that the "be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus" should exclude Nolan? If you would exclude little Nolan, or anyone else for that matter, then you anger the Lord Jesus who says: "Let the little children come to Me and DO NOT FORBID THEM for of such is the kingdom of God."

So Mike and Stephanie have brought Nolan for Holy Baptism.

Better get back to the text. "Be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus," Peter says. Why? Simply out of obedience? To offer Jesus a gift? To show Him what good boys and girls we are? No. Just the opposite. It's to receive gifts from Him.

Listen carefully to Peter's sermon again. Baptism in the Name of Jesus is: FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND YOU WILL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. THIS PROMISE IS FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN."

How wonderful! Forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit given in Holy Baptism. All the Lord's doing. All the Lord's giving. In the way He says in Peter's sermon.

Are your and Nolan's sins forgiven? Of course. Because Jesus died for you. Because you and Nolan are baptized in Jesus' Name. It's what the text says!

Are you Holy Spirit-ed? Of course. Because you and Nolan are baptized in the Name of Jesus. It's what the text says! The Scriptures do not lie!

Holy Spirit and all His gifts. A little Pentecost Day. At the font. For you and for Nolan.

You can be sure of all this. Faith is only certain and sure in what the Lord promises. The apostle Peter states: "This promise [of forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit] is FOR YOU and FOR YOUR CHILDREN and for all who are far off as many as the Lord shall call to Himself." For you and for you children! Peter doesn't say only eight years old and up. Why? Because Jesus died for all. He didn't leave anybody out of His dying. So Holy Baptism is for all. He wants all nations to be baptized.

Forgiveness of sins. Gift of the Holy Spirit. For Nolan in his Baptism today. No wonder the apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:21 that "Baptism saves you . . . through the resurrection of Jesus." No wonder Mike and Stephanie brought Nolan to the font today. Even though the apostle Peter sounds very much all those dead orthodox Lutheran pastors, they still brought Nolan for a little Pentecost Day. Couldn't withhold that from him. And neither would I. After all, what Jesus institutes is not useless. It is for you and Nolan's benefit.

Happy Baptism Day Nolan! Happy using Jesus, Holy Baptism, and its benefits against all your sin, death and the devil for the rest of your life. For all of you here at Trinity and for Nolan there is the never ending: "But I am baptized! And if I have been baptized, I have the promise that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both in soul and body," (Large Catechism, 462.44).


This  sermon was preached by the Rev. Brent Kuhlman on the Fifth Sunday of Easter at Trinity Lutheran Church, Murdock, NE.

Created: May 16th, 2007