THE HOLY SPIRIT AND PENTECOST

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.”  -Acts 2:1-2 (NIV

Pentecost was the second great festival of the Jewish year and it was the celebration of harvest when the first fruits of the grain were presented as offerings to God.  In a similar way, Pentecost symbolizes for the church the beginning of God’s spiritual harvest of souls in the world – that is, people coming to know God personally. The events during the celebration of Pentecost is marked a dividing line between the Holy Spirit’s occasional presence and temporary empowerment on certain individuals as seen in the Old Testament and His continual presence and sustained empowerment now available to all Christians.  On this particular day, the Holy Spirit filled the believers with His presence and remained with them.

The external signs preceding the baptism in the Holy Spirit on this occasion showed that God was present and active in a powerful way. There were times in the Old Testament when fire accompanied God’s presence (read Exodus 3:1-2). Fire among the believers at this Pentecost may have brought all the more assurance that this was the presence of God. The “fire” may also have symbolized how God’s people were set apart for the work and purpose of bringing honor to Jesus Christ and of witnessing for Him. This first occasion of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the only time tongues of fire are mentioned.  However, speaking in tongues continued to accompany the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” – Acts 2:4

On the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were all together when the sound of a mighty wind came down from heaven, with tongues of fire resting on them. The Bible says, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” The crowds observed this event and heard them speaking in different languages. They were amazed and thought the disciples were drunk. Peter then got up and preached the Good News of the kingdom and 3000 people accepted the message of Christ! That same day they were baptized and added to the family of God. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the commencement of the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ marks the birth and spread of the Church.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a gift God wants us to have.  Jesus said that this gift is a promise from God the Father to all who truly purpose to follow Jesus Christ and fulfill their part in the mission to spread His message. The baptism in the Spirit is for all who have accepted Jesus Christ and given control of their lives to Him.  Such people have been “born again” spiritually “….I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” – John 3:3 (NIV). This means God’s Spirit has come to live in us to transform our lives, redevelop our character and guide us into God’s purposes.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not just a matter of speaking in tongues or having a deeper spiritual experience.  We are to use the Holy Spirit’s power to share Jesus with those who do not know Him.  On the day of Pentecost, the outward sign of the baptism in the Holy Spirit was speaking in tongues – Acts 2:4, but the outward result was that many people who did not know God were introduced to Him that day – Acts 2:41.

We have all been called to spread the message of Jesus Christ as revealed in His own teaching and through the teaching of His disciples.

Prayer point: Pray that the Holy Spirit should empower you to share Christ with others who do not know Him.
STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: INSPIRING STORIES BEHIND OUR BEST-LOVED HYMNS

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