Summary: The Holy Spirit equips us for service.

Iliff and Saltillo UM churches

Pentecost Sunday

May 19, 2002

“Empowered for Service”

Acts 2:1-21

INTRODUCTION: The Holy Spirit was evident in scripture from the very beginning. Genesis 1:1 speaks of the “Spirit of God hovering over the waters” at the creation. The power of God was in evidence at all times but in a different way during the Old Testament times. In the Old Testament the Spirit of God came UPON certain individuals and gave needed power and ability to do specific tasks. Under the Old Covenant the divine presence was on Israel as a CORPORATE entity rather than on INDIVIDUALS.

Signs that He was present among them was represented by Wind, Fire, and Inspired Speech (or other tongues).

a. The Wind: The symbol of the wind of the Spirit is mentioned in Ezekiel 37:9 when the wind came from the four corners and new life came into the dry bones.

Before the day of Pentecost, in John 3:7 Jesus said, “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again. The WIND blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

b. The Fire: Moses’ call came through the experience of a burning bush in Exodus 3:2-5. “There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.”

You will remember the pillar of fire that stayed with the Israelites in Ex. 13:21

There was the consuming fire at Mt. Sinai in Ex. 24:17 “To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire.”

Exodus 40:38 “the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day and fire was in the cloud by night in the sight of all the house of Israel during their travels.”

The call of Isaiah in Isaiah 6:7 involved fire. The purifying fire of the Spirit was evident in Isaiah’s call. “A live coal from the altar touched my mouth and the seraph said, “See this has touched your lips and your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

c. Inspired speech or tongues: Certain people were called to bring words of encouragement and/or words of judgment to the people. Isaiah 50:4 says, “The Sovereign Lord has given me an INSTRUCTED TONGUE to know the Word that sustains the weary.”

These scriptures give you just a few examples of the Jews’ familiarity with wind, fire, and tongues as related to the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit’s coming in a different way was prophesied in Joel 2:28 “I will pour out my Spirit on ALL PEOPLE, Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”

1. Preparing for a New Era: John the Baptist in Mark 1:8 said, “I baptize you with water but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

Later Jesus tried to prepare His disciples for the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. He said

John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--the Spirit of Truth.”

John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’

John 16:7 “It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you: but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes he will convict the world of sin.”

John 16:13 “But when the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

Jesus tried to show the disciples that they needed the Holy Spirit to guide and direct them in their daily activities rather than them trying to go it alone.

STORY: Some surveyors were sent to a remote mountain to design a new map of the terrain. Everyday they would go up and over the rugged hills and every night return to their camp.

Usually every night they were joined by an old shepherd who enjoyed the companionship sitting around their fire at night. They would swap stories and tell of their daily adventures up on the mountain.

The old shepherd insisted that he would accompany the surveyors the next day so they wouldn’t get lost.

Feeling fairly sure of themselves after so many successful trips, they asked why he felt he needed to go along. The shepherd quietly insisted. “I must go with you.”

The shepherd insisted, “I must go with you for I know the mountains like the back of my hand. If I don’t go you will get lost.”

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