Summary: The nature of the Holy Spirit is seen in the revelation of Himself at Pentecost - Wind, fire, and Languages
“The Nature of the Holy Spirit”
April 6, 2008
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4
For almost a month after the resurrection of Jesus, the disciples had seen Him; they had heard Him talk; they ate with Him and heard His instructions to them. He prepared them for His departure. He gave them a mission – to go into all the world and make disciples and teach them to be obedient. But before He sent them out – He knew this was an impossible mission for a worldly crew. So just before He ascended into heaven before their very eyes – He gave them these instructions:
“… "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
Jesus asked them to do spiritual things they were unable to do in their flesh. He asks us to do the same things. It did not take me very long as a new Christian to realize I was unable to do what Jesus, through the Bible, was asking me to do. It was humanly impossible to live obediently with a sinful nature. My heart was God’s, but my nature was a slave to sin. It was demonstrated every time I stubbed my toe and a curse word came out. It was demonstrated every time lustful thoughts came to mind. It was demonstrated every time I felt hatred for my enemies. I related to Paul who said:
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24
Well, God has a solution. He would not call us to follow Him in this sinful state. He would not call us to live a life of defeat and failure. He is too good for that. He loves us too much for that. The solution is ‘through’ Jesus Christ – and is found in the person of the Holy Spirit - who is the Lord, (2 Corinthians 3: 17-18 NIV). The Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus are one and the same. They are two parts of the Trinity – so I do not think it does any injustice to the Triune God-head to think of Jesus and the Holy Spirit as one. So our need is Jesus. Our need is the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
Did you notice Jesus’ promise? He said, “I” will come to you – not “the Holy Spirit” will come to you. Why did He put it like that? Because they are one. And Jesus needed to leave this world where He was limited by the physical nature of being God incarnate – so He could come to us in the form of the Holy Spirit of God. And He does just that in our Scripture. The Holy Spirit comes to earth to do what Jesus could not do as a human. He can now fill us with Himself. He can come into our lives and hearts as Spirit and indwell and live in each one of us. As Jesus, God could die for us – as the Holy Spirit, He can live in us.
As the Holy Spirit makes His entrance into this world, He does it in three dramatic ways – Wind, Fire, and language. Each of these three have great significance for us. Let’s look at wind, first. Our Scripture says,
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.”
In this day and age, one of the most powerful forces on earth was the wind. All of those men and woman gathered together in that upper room, had experience with wind. They had all huddled together in fear with the sound of the wind blowing around their flimsy tent or through every crack of their crude homes. Many of them had sailed ships on the ocean and knew what a blast of wind could do. And now they heard a sound like the blowing of a violent wind. But the strange thing was that it was “inside” the house where they were sitting. Nothing was blowing around or moving like it would with a regular wind storm. But the sound filled the whole house. It must have been like a freight train going by or a jet bussing your house. The sound filled the place up.