Summary: When we celebrate Pentecost we are: 1. Celebrating the Father's Promise 2. Celebrating Realized Purity 3. Celebrating the Possession of the Power of the Holy Spirit
Pentecost: 1. A Promise Fulfilled 2. A Purity Realized 3. A Power Possessed
Pentecost speaks of a Promise Fulfilled - the coming of the Holy Spirit
Pentecost speaks of a Purity to be Realized - the forgiveness of all sin (non-intentional and intentional)
Pentecost speaks of a Power to be possessed - both by individuals and the community of believers into a faith community of unity and oneness.
Good morning! I am so glad you are all here this morning as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. As you know, Pentecost Sunday is one of those High Holy Days in the life of the Church. Experiencing Pentecost or the coming of the Holy Spirit has to be one of the great highlight of any disciple of Jesus.
For some people, however, any sermon or discussion about the Holy Spirit seems to create a spirit of anxiety. The idea of God filling a person with His Holy Spirit, makes them feel a little uneasy. They just don't like to talk about anything having to do with the supernatural. It's okay to discuss, teach and preach on the teachings of Jesus, but, when we get to talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit they feel uncomfortable. It all sounds too mystical, to other worldly.
For others, such discussion brings a bit of culpability and shame. They read these fantastic stories of miracles, anointings with signs and wonders and wonder if they are for our time. And if they are for our time, why don't we witness more of them. In their hearts and minds they just don't see the power, presence and purity of the Holy Spirit in our world today. And they wonder if it has to do with them. Is there something that they are missing?
I hope for you today, speaking and reading about the Holy Spirit is a joy. For there is no greater experience than having the Holy Spirit present and active in your life. There is no greater comfort and companion than living in the purity, sanctification and justification of the LORD in our lives.
This morning, in particular I would like for us to realize that:
1. Pentecost is a Promise Fulfilled
2. Pentecost is Purity Realized
3. Pentecost is a Power Possessed - both by individuals and by the corporate body of Christ.
I. Pentecost is a Promise of the Father Fulfilled
God's Word is replete with passages dealing with the Holy Spirit and the Promise of the Father to bring about the complete age of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is active in creation (Genesis 1:2) and in the lives of men and women (Genesis 6:1-3). Moses and the Children of Israel are given a taste of the majesty of the Holy Spirit ( Numbers 11:16-25) with the outpouring upon the 70 elders.
Individuals are filled with the Holy Spirit. We see that in the lives of Job (Job 33:4), David (1 Chronicles 28:12; 2 Samuel 23:2), Nehemiah (Nehemiah 9:20), Bazalel (Exodus 35:30-36:1), Joseph (Genesis 41:38) and others. Each of these individuals are spoken of as having the Holy Spirit filling them, anointing them and giving them special insight to do their assigned tasks. Prophets like Elijah and Elisha are seen as men living entirely under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit (2 Kings 2 and 5). Daniel is renowned in the time of the exile as a man full of God's Holy Spirit (Daniel 4:8-9; 5:11).
The presence of the Holy Spirit is one of the main themes in the prophetic writings of Ezekiel ( 11:19; 36:26-27; 37:14), Isaiah (44:3) and the prophet Joel (2:28-29). Others, like Jeremiah (31:33) look forward to a time when the Spirit will come and give people a new covenant, a new heart and a new vision.
And if all these examples are not enough, Jesus, Himself, talks a great deal about the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 11:13; 12:12; John 7:37-39; 14-16; 20:22). However, He does so in a peculiar manner. When Jesus refers to the coming of the Holy Spirit, He tells us that the Coming of the Holy Spirit is a result of the "PROMISE OF THE FATHER" (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5).
And it that point that we want to lift up. While all others speak of and point to a time of the coming Spirit, Jesus tells us that the Spirit's coming is a fulfillment of His Heavenly Father's Promise. Jesus tells us plainly that the Coming of the Holy Spirit is a part of the Father's plan for His People.
"And behold, am sending the Promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." - Luke 24:49 (ESV)
"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 1:4-5 (ESV)