Pentecost Sunday 31st MAY 2020
Today, all Christians in the whole world celebrate the birthday of the Church of Jesus Christ, which started over 2000 years ago in Jerusalem, when believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit (after the resurrection of Jesus Christ) to begin witnessing for Christ. Today, Christians remain world’s largest religious group (with over 33% of the world’s population). The Church will continue to grow in season and out of season, to the ends of the earth. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHURCH!
Let us read Acts 2:1-21*
Reasons for great interest in the topic are:
- Some Christians don’t believe the power of the Holy Spirit
- There is hunger for a deeper and new relationship with God to deal with the personal and corporate crises in society (like one of COVID-19, corruption, rampant murders, prostitution, drunkenness, homosexuality etc.)
- Some churches have put emphasis on the Holy Spirit, while neglecting the Father and the Son. So we need to know; who is the Holy Spirit, what are his roles and how we can partner with Him to do fulfill God’s purposes, each one of us and as a church.
So, who is the Holy Spirit?
Holy Spirit is the name of one of the LORD’s three modes of being. He is a member of the three Persons of the Trinity. Traditionally, it is believed that in all eternity, God lives and loves as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In the Old Testament: The Spirit is the creative breathe of God. (Gen.2)
- He gives life to all creatures (Ps.51:10-12)
- Gives courage to the oppressed(Hag.2:4-5)
- Restores hope (Joel 2:28-29)
- Promotes justice in the land(Isa.11:1ff)
- *But in a special way it is understood from the biblical standpoint, that the Spirit of God is given to God’s servants, commissioning and empowering them to restore justice in the land, with special interest to the weak, the poor and the oppressed(Isa.42.1ff; 61:1-4)
For these reasons, and more, Jesus Christ, having given the great commission (in Matthew 28:19-20) which is; “to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” And “to teach these new disciples to obey, all the commands” given by Jesus Christ, He goes ahead to say to them (in Acts.1:4) “…Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Vs.8 he added; “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
In summary, what we see on Pentecost day is the Holy Spirit coming upon all believers who were meeting together in one place. Indeed, God’s power filled them to immediately begin witnessing for Christ. Peter explained this experience as what was prophesied by Joel about The Day of the LORD in (Joel 2:28-32).
28 “And afterward, 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. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30 I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 32 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls
In Pentecost lessons therefore;
- The Holy Spirit came in fulfillment of God’s promise. Today, the Holy Spirit still comes upon believers for God’s glory. *Note that they used to meet in the upper room and Pray*. In the life of every Church there must be the upper room. The Christian must know how to pray privately; the Church must know how to pray together. We all have the privilege and the responsibility to attend the prayer meeting. God fulfills his promises-pray in line with his promises!
- The Birth of the Church. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the church was born-believers were only waiting for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. To date we still celebrate Pentecost and life of church.
- The Holy Spirit gave believers power to serve Christ. The Holy Spirit filled believers with power to witness for Christ. (Think about Kampala without power for a month-then a Christian without power) “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). Some people have other sources of power. What is your source of power?
- Spiritual Gifts. The Holy Spirit gave gifts to believers.
- Other tongues/languages. As we witness for Christ, love should be the language we speak to all people irrespective of colour, tribe or nation
- Prophesy. “Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”(Acts 2:17-18)
- Signs/miracles. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.(Vs.19-20)
- Gift of Salvation. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved;(Vs.21)
- More details in 1Corinthians 12:8-10. Wisdom and knowledge, Faith, Healing, discernment (distinguishing between spirits) and interpretation of tongues. Romans 12:6-8; serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, and showing mercy
- Witnessing for Christ and church growth begun. With the Holy Spirit and upon using the spiritual gifts mentioned above, those who accepted the gospel message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:41).Let us continue to use the same spiritual gifts given to us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Other New Testament roles of the Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit is an Advocate. Our Lord Jesus Christ had said in John 14:16-17 “If you love me, obey* my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give another advocate,* who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads you into all truth”
Holy Spirit is a Teacher. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative, – that is, the Holy Spirit- he will teach you everything and remind you of everything I have told you.
He convicts of sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8, NKJV). He points to us and says, “You are a sinner. You need to repent.”
He gives us a new life. The Holy Spirit gives new life. The Bible says that we are dead in our sins and trespasses (see Ephesians 2:1). All have sinned. Therefore, all are dead toward God. The Holy Spirit gives us new life in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “No one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). You must be born again. And the Holy Spirit is the One who does the work of making you a born-again person. It is a supernatural act.
The Holy Spirit indwells us (1 Corinthians 3:16), our Comforter &our Counsellor.
In Summary, Pentecost comes with:
- The pouring of the Holy Spirit upon believers
- The birth of Church
- Holy Spirit giving believers power to serve Christ
- Holy Spirit giving believers spiritual gifts as he determines
- The beginning of witnessing and church growth
To receive the Holy Spirit; Love God and obey His commands. “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. (John 14:15-17)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHURCH!
In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Preacher: Rev Felix Muhangi