Holy Spirit: Pentecost and What It Means Today

 In Podcast

He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” — Acts 1:3-5, ESV

Who is the Holy Spirit?

There has always been confusion about the Holy Spirit.

And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” — Acts 19:1-2, ESV

Christians don’t even know there is a Holy Spirit.

“One of the most telling blows which the enemy ever struck at the life of the Church was to create in her a fear of the Holy Spirit.” — A.W. Tozer

We need to know who He is:

  • His name literally means, “breath of fresh air, blast of air, wind.”
  • He was given to the whole Church on Pentecost.

3 Major Feasts Teach Us About God’s Character

There are seven holidays in the Old Testament – feast days – but there are three major feasts. God gave these feasts to His people to teach us about him and his plan of salvation.

1. The Feast of Passover

Moses led God’s people out of slavery in Egypt. At the last plague, the angel of death passed over the houses of God’s people, so every year the Jewish people celebrate Passover to remember God’s redemption.

Jesus is our Passover lamb.

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. — 1 Corinthians 5:7, ESV

Passover = salvation. But has more for his people.

2. The Feast of Pentecost

50 days after Passover, Pentecost celebrates the day when God gave the law to Moses on Mount Sinai.

  • A cloud descended with a loud noise and fire.
  • God wrote his law on tablets of stone.
  • 3000 people died that day.
  • Torah gave the teaching.

On the day of Pentecost in Acts:

  • Holy Spirit descended with noise (like a mighty, rushing wind) and fire.
  • God wrote his law on our hearts.
  • 3000 people got saved.
  • Holy Spirit became our teacher.

He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” — Acts 1:3-5, ESV

Pentecost = the power to make a difference, to do something you couldn’t pull off on your own.

3. Feast of Tabernacles

This holiday remembers God’s provision during the 40 years in the wilderness.

  • They lived in temporary huts.
  • They were brought to their final home.
  • The holiday is celebrated during the harvest season.

Today,

  • We are living temporarily in this age.
  • We will be brought to a final home.
  • There will be a great harvest of souls.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. — 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, ESV

Feast of Tabernacles = Second coming of Christ

3 Things the Holy Spirit Empowers You To Do

The Pentecost experience is not for our entertainment, but for our mission. Pentecost is more about what happens outside the church.

1. Holy Spirit Empowers Me to Live Righteously

Some believers love God and are trying to live righteously, but deep down they don’t want to battle their flesh.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) — Romans 8:9, NLT

Holy Spirit helps us move from have to into want to.

Your own ears will hear him.
Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
whether to the right or to the left.
Isaiah 30:21, NLT

2. Holy Spirit Empowers Me to Live Supernaturally

We readily agree that Jesus and the apostles lived supernatural lives. Why is it so hard to believe we can and should do the same? What has changed? The Great Physician has not closed shop because of our medical advances.

It’s not so we can show off …

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. — Acts 10:38, ESV

It’s so we can do his work. The Church should be more than good programs and coffee.

and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. — 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, ESV

which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God’s power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else. — MSG

3. Holy Spirit Empowers Me to Fulfill His Mission

The Church does not exist for itself. We exist for the world. Get help and get ministry, but then help and minister to others!

Do We Even Need a Comforter?

The Holy Spirit is called, “the Comforter” because if we’re doing God’s work, we will occasionally need to be comforted. Too much of the Western Church, however, doesn’t need a Comforter because we never leave our comfort zones to begin with.

The power of the Holy Spirit makes us witnesses. It’s who we are

Ready to step outside your comfort zone and live in the power of the Holy Spirit? Join us next Sunday morning for more!

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Photo credit: Michael Olsen

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