Sermons

Summary: “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me” John 15:26.

John 15:26-27 Theme: Come Holy Spirit, give us love

Text: Ezek. 37:1-14; Romans 8:22-27; John 15:26-27

Today is Pentecost Sunday, or in other words, the birthday of the Church. Pentecost simply means “fiftieth” and refers to the celebration that is held fifty days after first fruits. The first fruits referred to the harvest and also refers to the day the Israelites left Egypt after their deliverance from Egypt after the Passover. It also refers to the resurrection of Christ after our deliverance from sin through His crucifixion. In the Old Testament Pentecost marked the day the Law was given on Mount Sinai and in the New Testament the day of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church. Both the Law and the Holy Spirit were given at Pentecost but with completely different results. The giving of the Law led to the death of 3000 Israelites whereas the giving of the Holy Spirit led to the salvation of 3,000 unbelievers. Whereas the Law brought judgement, the Holy Spirit brought love and life. The Holy Spirit continues to bring love and life to unbelievers and the harvest that began on the day of Pentecost, continues today, and will continue until the end of the Church age. Come Holy Spirit give us love to fulfil Christ’s mission.

The Holy Spirit is the agent of Pentecost and the revelation of the love of God. God so loved us that He would not leave us as orphans but sent the Holy Spirit to be always present with us. He is a person and not a force or a thing as some believe. The Scriptures confirm this by the personal ways in which He responds and the personal things He does. The Bible also makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is God and we rightfully speak of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Since God is love the Holy Spirit is also love This is seen in the attributes that are given to Him and which are without exception, the attributes of God. He is eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. The Holy Spirit is love and out of love gives us spiritual life so that we can relate to God. God is Spirit and the only way to relate to Him is in spirit and in truth. The proof we belong to God is seen in our love, for God is love. We all need the Holy Spirit and whatever He did on the day of Pentecost He is still willing and able to do today.

To understand Pentecost we need to see it in the light of Babel. At Babel the people wanted to build a great city with a high tower reaching to the heavens, trusting in their own abilities and making a name to please themselves. God prevented them from achieving their goal; He confused their tongues and scattered them. At Pentecost, the disciples preached the good news of Jesus and all those present heard it in their own languages. Two completely opposite events, at Babel, the introduction of different languages or tongues brought an end to the ambitions of men. At Pentecost, the introduction of one language or tongue marked the beginning of the preaching of the good news of Jesus to the nations of the world. Today many people are trusting and pleasing themselves instead of trusting and pleasing God. We cannot save ourselves or secure our eternal destiny. Only our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ can save us and give us eternal life.

The purpose of the presence of the Holy Spirit is to confirm God’s love and His acceptance of Christ’s perfect sacrifice. The presence of the Holy Spirit is proof that Christ had arrived in glory at the Father’s right hand after successfully fulfilling His mission of saving the world from sin, death and the Devil. The presence of the Holy Spirit is also to reveal and glorify Christ and fill us with His love. He is the One who enables the believer to understand the revelations of His perfect sacrifice. He reveals that His sacrifice has made the blessings of God available to all believers. The Holy Spirit not only reveals and glorifies Christ but empowers the believer to love and to serve Him. We constantly need His power if we are to serve God effectively.

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to give life. He gives life to the spiritually dead. In Ezekiel, the prophet prophesies of a time when Israel will be brought back to life. Whenever Israel departed from God they were led captive by their enemies. When they came back to God they were restored and returned to their land. It happened when they were led captive into Babylon. God later delivered them from Babylonian captivity and restored their nation. In modern times the Jews were almost destroyed by Hitler during the third Reich. Six million Jews suffered and died in Nazi concentration camps and it was doubtful whether they would ever become a people again. Today Israel is again a nation, restored to its land, speaking Hebrew and has one of the best armies in the world. According to the Scriptures a time is coming when Israel will again face war and death but again will be saved before the Millennial reign of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Christ has paid the penalty for our sin and made it possible for us to receive His life. Why do we want to wait? Let us accept Christ as Saviour so that the Holy Spirit can empower us to live the life of Christ.

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