Summary: Everone focuses on the day of Pentecost, but have you every looked at the background all the way from Genesis 1?
Before I start the sermon, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for inviting me to preach here today.
As you know, I am the worship leader at St Oswald’s in Maybole; I am also their Eucharist assistant, Server and General Dogs body as required.
Most people know me as a secondary school teacher, but I was late entering teaching being an engineer for 25 years; and the reason I mention this is because my sermons reflect the style of an engineer, with everything logically in its place.
Many people say the bible is full of inconsistencies, and there are some, but the people saying this generally tend not to have an insight into the bible, rather they use it as an excuse. I on the other hand find the bible totally logical; and when I find bits that I do not understand, I don’t blame the bible, I blame myself for not being wise enough to fit it all together.
I sincerely pray you like my style, and if you want a copy of my sermons, please give me your email address, and I will be honoured to send you a copy in PDF form. Thank you.
Let us begin our sermon with a short prayer:
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you: Amen.
Today is Pentecost Sunday; where we remember and celebrate the greatest revival the world has ever seen. No other revival was so sudden, or as tremendous in its effect; nor as long lasting. … It was the revival to end all revivals: where about one hundred twenty disciples of the Lord were suddenly immersed in the Holy Spirit; empowering them with new gifts, and a deeper spiritual understanding.
The Holy Spirit also enriched their characters, giving them a tremendous zeal of love and devotion; which led in its first few hours to over 3,000 conversions to Christianity; and … the establishment of the New Testament Church.
And this continued, … with conversions taking place every day for years to come, … thousands were added to the ranks of Christianity. It even spread abroad … as missionaries went out in all directions. Every city in the Roman Empire experienced the influence, of this revival.
And this outpouring affects us today, in our own era, and so we make today a special day to celebrate this magnificent even.
Many people put the emphasise on Easter; as THE day on the Christian calendar; but Pentecost was far more important; because Pentecost was the day, the Holy Spirit was the release from heaven onto the earth and into the hearts of the disciples.
Now the background to this event is so important and often missed, because the disciples were at a loss as what to do; they were rock bottom, having spent 3 glorious years with their Master, only to watch him being wrongfully accused, beaten, and then crucified unto death. Their world had come to an end, … and they were so afraid.
Yes Jesus had risen from the dead, and appeared to them as a physically person giving them hope; but during this time he also commissioned them likewise, … to promote the gospel. But now Jesus had ascended to his Father in heaven, and they were left on their own with this heavy burden of evangelism on their hearts. They were fearful, and powerless, and ineffective, and I am sure we can all relate to that.
Yet with hindsight things looked so different. The first mention of the Holy Spirit is with John the Baptist who said in Mark 1:8 “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit”, so the disciples were familiar with the term Holy Spirit, as I am sure Jesus was.
In fact this was one of the first things on Jesus mind when he met them after his resurrection. John 20:20 says “Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were overjoyed”. Then Jesus commissioned them, Verse 21 “Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit”.
Notice, Jesus breathed on them; and many scholars including myself believe that he was breathing the Holy Spirit straight into their hearts; as John the Baptist has prophesised.
Yet the disciples in the room that day were so confused; they were weak, and hiding in fear, when all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit appeared, filled the room, and empowered the disciples.