Yesterday's sermon text was from Acts, about the coming of the Holy Spirit to baptize the disciples.
There were three signs: sound of wind, sight of tongues of fire, and speaking in foreign languages. Each of these signs represents a reversal of a previous curse.
The sound of wind reverses the spiritual death that Adam and Eve suffered due to sin. Now, with the Holy Spirit, we will know that we will live forever!
The sight of the tongues of fire reverses the curse of the removal of God's presence. Remember, God guided his people by a pillar of fire, and when He removed His presence from the Temple, he did so with a visual sign: the pillar of fire ascended into heaven. Now, though, we have God's presence with us, even in us.
And the foreign languages are a reversal of the Curse of Babel--the power of the Gospel is valuable enough and potent enough to overcome even linguistic/cultural barriers!
I got to thinking about all the uses of fire in the Bible.
~There's the pillar of fire by which God guided his people in the wilderness.
~There's the fire in the tabernacle and temple which burn up the people's sacrifices.
~Pastor pointed out the Burning Bush, which burned but didn't burn up.
And I made the connection: previously, in the Old Dispensation, the people of God brought their cuts of meat to the Temple and they were burned up. Now, instead of bringing tangible property, we ourselves are the living sacrifices. The Holy-Spirit-tongues-of-fire on the disciples burned but did not burn up...and so, like Moses' Burning Bush, we burn but do not burn up.
We are living sacrifices, a testimony of the Lord to show the world his character and his nature.