Summary: The Holy Spirit baptizes and works in every aspect of our lives.
(NOTE: This sermon series is based on the book Living in the Spirit by Dr. George Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God).
The church is a unique and special organism. It has ties to both the past and the future while active in the present. We are reminded to look back at how God has worked in and through His people. But we are also challenged to move forward into the future by engaging in the work God is doing presently.
This is true in the life of all believers. Your faith and salvation is built upon a person who gave His life more than 2000 years ago. Yet, your faith is not 2000 years old it is new and present in this moment of history because the Holy Spirit is actively working in you now.
In other words, faith is dynamic. That is, faith is not constrained by the events of the past but relies on them as fuel for an energetic future.
I want to look back to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, as well as, the present experience of believers in order to build a bridge between the past and present. I want us to consider that the experience of Pentecost 2000+ years ago cannot be constrained to that moment of time. Instead the outpouring of the Holy Spirit must be allowed to flow freely in the present.
Let’s look at Acts 2:1-4 today.
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Some here this morning may be familiar with this passage, others may not. Let me take just a moment and set the context surrounding the Scriptures we just read.
It is around 30A.D. The Jewish people are celebrating what is called “The Feast of Pentecost.” This is the third of three feasts celebrated in the Jewish sacred calendar. The feast was celebrated in the month of Sivan (our June). But this feast has a few other names as well – Feast of Weeks, Day of Firstfruits or Feast of Harvests.
The reason it is called Pentecost is because Pentecost means 50th. There were 50 days between the Feast of Passover (celebrating Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian slavery) and the Feast of Pentecost (celebrating the harvest God had provided and to remember God giving the 10 Commandments).
During the Feat of Pentecost Jewish priests would offer to God 2 loaves of unleavened bread made from the freshly harvested grain. The people were then asked to offer unto God the first of their harvest as a gift of thanks.
It was not uncommon for Jewish people from what the Bible calls “every nation under heaven” to come to Jerusalem for this Feast. They came to give their offerings and celebrate with their brothers and sisters of faith.
Needless to say it was a pretty big time in Jerusalem. Lots of visitors and lots of celebrating – and this is the scene into which we come in the text we read earlier.