Summary: Does your daily Christian life look more like the disciples BEFORE they were filled with the Holy Spirit or more like the disciples AFTER they were filled with the Holy Spirit?
Today is Pentecost, one of the three most important celebrations of the Christian Calendar.
At Christmas we remember the coming of Jesus into this world, the Messiah, born of a virgin in a humble stable. As the old hymn writer put it “God contracted to a span, incomprehensibly made man”.
At Easter we remember the death of Jesus on the cross, and celebrate His triumphant resurrection from the grave.
Jesus bore the punishment for our sin on the cross, so that by believing in Him we could be saved and restored to a relationship with God.
His sacrifice was sufficient to deal with all our sins, past, present and future.
His sacrifice was sufficient to pay the price for all the sins of those who repent and accept Him as Lord and Saviour of their lives.
One perfect sacrifice through which you and I, His disciples are promised forgiveness, wholeness and eternal life.
Pentecost is when we remember and celebrate the coming of the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit.
Listen to the words of Acts 2:1-4 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
Pentecost is when the Church was birthed as the Holy Spirit filled the first followers of Jesus with power and transformed them into dynamic disciples.
Remember Jesus last words before His ascension recorded in Acts 1:8
Jesus said: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
The word translated Power is in the Greek dunamis. Dunamis is used 120 times in the New Testament. It is a word that refers to “strength, power, or ability.”
Dunamis is not just any power; the word refers to miraculous power or marvellous works. Dunamis can also refer to “moral power and excellence of soul,”
Dunamis is the root word of our English words dynamite, dynamo and dynamic.
We do not live the Christian life in our own power, but in God’s. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit. On that day of Pentecost the disciples were filled with dunamis power, Holy Dynamite. Today we as believers in Christ, disciples of Jesus, are filled with that same power as those first disciples.
We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be dunamis disciples, dynamite disciples, dynamic disciples.
Today, Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the birth of the church and the coming of the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, our Counsellor, our Helper, our Encourager, our Advocate, in Greek the Paraclete.
Paraclete, or paráklētos, the one who consoles or comforts, the one who encourages, the one who uplifts; the one who refreshes, the one who intercedes on our behalf as our advocate with God the Father.
The Holy Spirit is the one Jesus promised to send to His disciples. Listen to Jesus words in John 14:15-17 Jesus said: “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognise Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.”
At Pentecost, the Advocate arrived in Power.
The Holy Spirit was poured out on the 120 disciples gathered together in the Upper Room and they were changed, they were transformed.
No longer timid people, hiding away, they boldly went outside into the street filled with the Power of the Holy Spirit. Peter preached the Gospel and 3,000 people were saved that day.
Power, Boldness, to go out and speak truth and thousands were saved. Could that happen today?
Yes it can! God has not changed, His power has not diminished. The Holy Spirit still operates in power in our lives.
The truth of the Gospel still changes and transforms lives today and He uses ordinary people like you and me to share the truth of who Jesus is with others.
God has a plan and a purpose for us, as disciples of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are commanded to go into the world, share the Good News that the Messiah has come, telling people about Jesus who lived a perfect, spotless life and willingly died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin and that He rose on the third day conquering the power of death. Jesus is alive today, and the promise of forgiveness and eternal life is available to all who trust in Him as their personal Lord and Saviour.