Acts 2:1-4 (NIV) 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.
Today churches around the world will celebrate Pentecost Sunday, a Christian festival on the fifth Sunday after Easter, commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles. In Jewish community, they will also have a celebration called the Feast of Weeks which is a commemoration of the giving of the Torah which is the culmination of the Jewish Law given on Mount Sinai. The Torah also known as Pentateuch is considered to be God’s Truth, His Instruction and Law. It is a verbal noun from “horah” meaning He taught or He showed. It is contained in the first five books of the Bible and the basis of study in synagogues today. This will end our history lesson on the significance of today.
What does Pentecost mean to believers today? The day of Pentecost coincides with the Feast of Weeks with good reason. The Word of God is completed by the appearance, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This marks the fulfillment of God’s Word that originally ended in death by our ability to live apart from sin, but now gives us life and life more abundantly. It changed our celebration. First God told us how to achieve righteousness pointing out our weaknesses and inability to live such a life to produce a need for faith and hope. When Jesus came and died on the Cross, now even though we could not live up to God’s Standard, by His Grace and Mercy, we became sons and daughters of God. The celebration of God’s Word, Instruction and Truth did not end when the name changed from Feast of Weeks to Pentecost but rather marked the day of radical fulfillment for those who believe.
John 4:23-24 (NIV) Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Jesus told the woman at the well, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship in Spirit and in Truth. This is the kind of worship that the Father seeks. The Word is Truth. The Truth is that I fall short of the Glory of God. Game over. The existence and impartation of the Holy Spirit allows me to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and make Him my Lord. I am filled with His Spirit which identifies me as a child of God. It changes my genetic code or DNA. No longer am I destined to die as a result of my sinful heritage and ancestor Adam, but I identify with Christ by His Spirit.
This holy inhabitation of the Holy Spirit in no way nullifies the truth that is the Word of God. Every single thing in the Word of God applies to my life. Sin is still sin. Grace does not exempt me from following God’s Instruction to the best of my ability and live obedient to Christ. Grace satisfies the penalty of death every time my intention is to live for Christ as a believer yet seem to fall short due to my fickle heart and unsettled mind. God gives me mercy each day to continue my pursuit of Jesus Christ. The Word of God means death to me apart from Jesus. It is rules and regulations that I personally cannot live up to except when the Holy Spirit comes to empower my life. We cannot live on bread alone but need every Word that comes from God’s Mouth. The Spirit takes the Bread of Life and works it to nourish and strengthen our soul. We need the Word to worship God. We most definitely need His Spirit, too.
John 14:16-18 (NIV) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and 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.
Jesus had to die for my sins. He had to descend to the grave to take back my life. He had to ascend to the Father in His Perfection to sit at the Right Hand of God and assume full power and authority over the enemy who seeks to destroy my life. (Acts 2:22-24) But Jesus could not and would not leave us abandoned or alone. He handed us the Keys to the Kingdom so we could access His Presence and loose those things that He promised us by grace that empowers us. Yet there had to be more. He gave us the very essence of His Being – the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Truth lives in us. This Spirit is the One who changed us from fatherless orphans to Children of the King. We are never alone or forsaken and can be confident in this once filled with His Spirit.
Paul explains in Acts 2:14-21 the outpouring they had experienced as the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32. God said that in the last day I will pour out my Spirit on all people. They will prophesy. The will see visions. They will dream dreams. I will show them wonders. It is the impartation of God’s Spirit in us that allows us to link our life to an unseen Kingdom and hopeful God who is not realistic but totally received by faith. We need the Holy Spirit to stay connected to Christ until we meet Him in Heaven or He comes back to earth.
John 16:12-15 (NIV) “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
Faith is illogical. Hope seems illusive. The comprehensive nature of God whose ways are not our ways and thinking so much higher than human perception makes the Holy Spirit completely necessary to be our guide and translator in life. Human knowledge, understanding and wisdom can never grasp a grace so endless or love unfailing yet it exists in the person of Jesus Christ. We must have the Mind of Christ to understand the process ongoing in our life as we apply the Truth and it blossoms into blessings. The prosperity of God’s Promises is dependent on the cultivation of God’s Spirit in us who produces the spiritual fruit that causes us to be recognized as His Children. Like produces like.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV) And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Many babies are born each day into this world. Each one containing a soul desired by the God who created them. However, not every parent decides to love and care for their child. Not every mom and dad seeks a better life for their child or creates an inheritance for them. Then there are the ones who love their child the moment they lay eyes on them and find it unbearable to watch them grow, develop and mature flying from the nest. God is a Good Father who desires an inheritance for every single one of His Children. It is hidden in heaven for you with everything you need to live up to God’s Standard. You have the ability to experience God’s Goodness now in the land of the living. The Holy Spirit is evidence that this promise is a reality for your life. If you believe the Word of God and allow the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit – it empowers you to receive the Kingdom of Heaven in everyday life and from everlasting to everlasting. Complete fulfillment just because God has invested His Power into our life. It is a cause for celebration for those who believe. Do you?
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 (NIV) But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as first fruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letters. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
We are to worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth. I just don’t think that Jesus could make it any simpler than to state it so plainly and directly. Yet, many struggle with the person of the Holy Spirit. This comes at a great price. The Truth leads to death in the absence of God’s Spirit who identifies us as Children of God. If a tree bears no fruit, the Bible shows it is cursed time and time again. On the day of the first celebration of Pentecost, more than 3,000 believers were born again. (Acts 2:36-41) How could we ignore such a relevant fact? Every interpretation of the Word of God agrees.
We are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. He gives life to my dry, dead bones. He is the very breath that revives my soul and seals it until the Day of Redemption. My ability or willingness to believe in the Holy Spirit and allow Him to assist me in life is totally and completely up to me. He is a gentleman. After all, He is the very essence and presence of Jesus Christ. To live in intimacy and communion with the Spirit of the Living God is at my total discretion. He pursues me relentlessly through life. He is a doting suitor who brings all the blessings of God for me in His Hands. I have the ability to have complete fulfillment in my life and every detail turned for my good. Will I worship in Spirit and in Truth today? Well, I guess that is up to me…and you.
When I choose to allow God’s Spirit to live in me, He produces spiritual fruit. These are evidence that we are God’s First Fruits. It is how God’s Sanctifying Work is accomplished in our life. What is sanctification? It is to the Holy Spirit who makes us holy and set apart. Set apart from sin completely past, present and future to live in God’s Glory. He purifies our soul continuously challenging us to rid our life of lesser things beginning with sin then moving on to substitutions and compromise. I love this part the best, the Holy Spirit makes our life productive of and conducive to every spiritual blessing. We have been given a new life. Don’t you just love Jesus? His Love and Care for you and me is complete lacking no good thing. Let us honor His Love by worshipping in Spirit and Truth today as we celebrate the arrival of complete fulfillment. Thank you Lord for your Spirit today that makes the Word of God complete in our life.
I John 5:5-6 (NIV) Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.