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THE HOLY SPIRIT

Today is Pentecost Sunday. We are celebrating the birth of the Christian church, the day on which the first believers came alive in their faith. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHURCH!! AMEN

God required that every male Jew who lived within 20 miles of Jerusalem must celebrate Pentecost at the temple at Jerusalem. “Pentecost” means "the fiftieth" because it is on the fiftieth day after Passover. The Feast commemorated the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. It also was a day of gratitude for the completed and in‑gathered harvest. No work was to be done on that day. It was a festive holiday occasion. The streets would have been filled with people. Luke paints the picture for us in Acts chapter 2.

Acts 2:1-3

IN THE UPPER ROOM during PASSOVER at THE LAST SUPPER, JESUS told His disciples that He would be going away but would send the Holy Spirit whom He called “the Comforter” to guide them. HE ALSO TOLD THEM NOT TO BEGIN THEIR MINISTRY UNTIL THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME.  (John 15:26‑27; John 16:4-16)

Let me remind you that the Holy Spirit always existed as the third person of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Genesis 1:1-2 records His participation in Creation.

Acts 2:26

God the Holy Spirit was evident in the Old Testament and was referred to as “the Spirit of the Lord.” The Bible says “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon

·    Balaam (Numbers 24:2)

·    David (1 Samuel 16:13)

·    Gideon (Judges 6:34)

·    Samson (Judges 14:19)

·    and others.

Isaiah 61:1 speaks of the Messiah. This is the verse Jesus read about Himself in the Temple when it was His turn to read in Luke 4:18.

Pentecost is the reversal of what occurred at the Tower of Babel where, because of their sinfulness, people became unable to understand one another. On Pentecost, the followers of Jesus were given the ability to speak the languages of all those who were assembled in the city and beyond so they could begin to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20.

The disciples needed the miracle of language, a gift which the Holy Spirit gave them at Pentecost. These were known languages.

ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST, THE HOLY SPIRIT FILLED THE DISCIPLES. THE DESCRIPTION IS IN ACTS 2:1‑15.

IT WAS SO UNUSUAL THAT PEOPLE THOUGHT THE DISCIPLES WERE DRUNK. THERE ARE SOME STRONG SIMILARITIES BETWEEN BEING DRUNK ON WINE AND BEING DRUNK IN or filled with THE SPIRIT, ALTHOUGH IN A DIFFERENT AND MARVELOUS WAY. They were given both a spiritual gift and filled with the Holy Spirit at the same time, a rare occurrence.

·    The Holy Spirit WILL AFFECT OUR COURAGE, BECAUSE HE WILL GIVE US THE COURAGE TO DO SOME EXTRAORDINARY THINGS IN THE NAME OF THE LORD THAT WE WERE NOT CAPABLE OF BEFORE.

·    He WILL AFFECT OUR WALK -- NOT TO WALK LIKE A PERSON DRUNK ON WINE, BUT TO THE WALK WITH the LORD IN EVERYTHING WE DO, GIVING UP ALL OF OUR OLD WAYS as soon as possible while fighting against our sin nature.

·    THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT CONSTITUTES A SIGNIFICANT PROOF OF GRACE AND OF DIVINE PURPOSE IN FRUITFULNESS AND SANCTIFICATION.

The dramatic day of Pentecost so drastically changed the disciples' lives that they were never the same. Receiving the gift of known languages or tongues and being filled with the Spirit at the same time must have been a real shock to their systems. This gift was a temporary gift for that occasion.

What does the Holy Spirit do in our lives?

·    He teaches believers and reminds us of what we have learned (John 14:26).

·    He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8‑11).

·    He reveals our need for Christ and shows us how to depend on the Lord.

·    He guides us into all truth (John 16:13).

·    He lives within every believer at the moment of salvation (Romans 8:11).

·    He guides our steps and helps us discover the Father's plans for us (Romans 8:14).

·    He assures us that we are saved. He “testifies with our spirit that we are children of God!” (Romans 8:16).

·    He gives us spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4‑8).

·    He empowers us, especially for evangelism (Acts 1:7‑8). The disciples waited for the Holy Spirit before sharing the gospel even though they had walked with Jesus for three years, which showed great faith.

·    He equips us to minister to others (Ephesians 4:11‑12).

·    He helps us pray. The Bible says He intercedes for us “with groaning too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26).

·    He seals our salvation (Ephesians 1:13).

·    He shows us love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Acts 1:8 also gives a general outline of the Book of Acts as it describes the geographical spread of the Gospel from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria. I’d like to paraphrase these chapters to show our responsibilities as witnesses:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Sedalia, and in all Pettis County and Missouri and to the ends of the earth."

Galatians 5:22‑23 DESCRIBES THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. THESE ARE CHARACTERISTICS OF JESUS. LIKE FRUIT ON A PLANT, SPIRITUAL FRUIT MUST DEVELOP. SPIRITUAL FRUIT GROWS IN HEALTHY CHRISTIANS AND CENTERS AROUND THE THREE MAJOR VIRTUES OF FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE.

THE WORKING OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES IS THE TANGIBLE EVIDENCE THAT WE ARE BEING CHANGED INTO THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST.

IN CONTRAST TO THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT ARE THE WORKS OF OUR SINFUL NATURE IN Galatians 5:17-21.

THE CULTIVATING OF SPIRITUAL FRUIT IN A CHRISTIAN'S LIFE IS A PROCESS. WE CAN BETTER UNDERSTAND THIS BY READING James 1:2-4.

·    It is a process to give up the things of our sinful nature.

·    WHEN YOU FIRST COME TO JESUS, YOU HAVE FAITH.

·    THE HOLY SPIRIT ALLOWS THAT FAITH TO BE TRIED AS SATAN TEMPTS YOU.

·    EVENTUALLY, YOU WILL REALIZE THAT THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS temptation.

·    YOU WILL KNOW THAT TEMPTATION ITSELF IS NOT SINFUL ON YOUR PART.

·    YOU WILL DEVELOP ENDURANCE, TRUSTING IN GOD INSTEAD OF IN YOURSELF.

·    AS YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT THE LORD MEETS YOUR NEEDS, YOUR HOPE IN GOD GROWS.

·    YOU THEN BEGIN TO FORGET ABOUT YOUR OWN NEEDS AND BEGIN TO BE CONCERNED WITH THE NEEDS OF OTHERS and how to use your own spiritual gift or gifts. 

·    YOU WILL ALSO DEVELOP PATIENCE, PUTTING UP WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S FAULTS AND WEAKNESSES.

·    AT THIS POINT, YOU ARE ABLE TO OVERLOOK THINGS THAT WOULD HAVE ANGERED YOU BEFORE.

·    YOU REALIZE THAT PEOPLE HAVE HUMAN PROBLEMS.

·    YOU WILL BEGIN TO REALIZE KINDNESS, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF CONTROL LIKE JESUS.

·    THIS PROCESS KEEPS ON HAPPENING.

WHAT IS BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT? IT IS THE EMPOWERING FOR SERVICE THAT TAKES PLACE IN THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN AT THE MOMENT OF CONVERSION WHEN A PERSON MUST SURRENDER TO CHRIST. NO WORKS ARE REQUIRED.

WHEN YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN, THE HOLY SPIRIT THEN LIVES WITHIN YOU. YOU CAN THEN RELY ON THE POWER OF GOD TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE INSTEAD OF TRYING TO DO IT YOURSELF. ONLY THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN YOU LIVE VICTORIOUSLY AS A CHRISTIAN SO YOU DON'T "SLIDE BACK" INTO YOUR OLD WAYS. At the moment of your salvation, you become a saint and a priest through the Holy Spirit, not by human appointment as some wrongly teach.

REBIRTH IS A TRANSFORMATION AS WE RECEIVE A NEW NATURE AND HEART AS A NEW CREATION.

·    A CHANGED WILL

·    CHANGED OBJECTIVES FOR LIVING

·    CHANGED AFFECTIONS, AND

·    A CHANGED DISPOSITION

THE HOLY SPIRIT

·    CONVICTS US OF SIN,

·    PURIFIES US,

·    TAKES AWAY OUR DOUBTS ABOUT SALVATION,

·    CONVINCES US THAT WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD, 

·    AND MAKES CHRIST'S PRESENCE IN US REAL.

THE HOLY SPIRIT, AS THE THIRD PERSON OF THE HOLY TRINITY (FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT), IS A REAL PERSON AND HAS PERSONALITY. THINK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AS A PERSONALITY THAT MAY BE HURT, LOVED, HONORED, KNOWN, AND COMMUNICATED WITH, GRIEVED, HAVING INFINITE INTELLECT, AND HAVING WILL AND EMOTION. 

THE HOLY SPIRIT POSSESSES ALL THE DIVINE NATURE OF GOD AS ONE AND IS WAITING TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE. JESUS TOLD HIS FOLLOWERS BEFORE HE LEFT THIS EARTH AFTER THE RESURRECTION THAT HE WOULD SEND THE HOLY SPIRIT BACK TO EARTH TO LIVE INSIDE EVERY BELIEVER AND CONTROL THEIR LIVES.

THE HOLY SPIRIT'S PRESENCE BRINGS ASSURANCE OF GOD'S CONSTANT CARE AND MINISTRY IN THIS LIFE, AND HIS UNFAILING PURPOSE TO FULFILL ALL HIS PROMISES TO US. HE STRENGTHENS, GUIDES, ENABLES, AND HELPS US IN OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE. ONCE WE ARE BAPTIZED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT INTO CHRIST AT SALVATION, WE HAVE A NEW RELATIONSHIP THAT CAN'T BE CHANGED. WE ARE GOD'S CHILDREN FOREVER IN A BOND THAT CAN'T BE BROKEN, EVEN BY OUR SINFUL ACTS.

THIS ETERNAL SECURITY IS THROUGH THE MERIT OF JESUS CHRIST'S SACRIFICIAL DEATH ON CALVARY, JUSTIFYING AND RECONCILING US. IF WE ARE GOING TO BE EFFECTIVE FOR CHRIST IN THIS EVIL AGE, THERE are THINGs WE should DO:

·    WALK WITH GOD BY CONTINUING TO BE GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT and tell others about the good news of Jesus Christ.

"Witness" is a key word in the Book of Acts and is used 29 times. A witness is one who tells what he has seen and heard (Acts 4:19-20). Our English word "martyr" comes from the Greek word translated "witness." Many of God's people throughout the ages have sealed their witness by laying down their lives.

Some of God's people have an actual calling to evangelism (Ephesians 4:11), but all of God's people are expected to be witnesses and to tell the lost about the Savior. While every Christian may not be gifted at bringing a sinner to the place of faith and decision, every Christian can bear faithful witness to the Savior and plant the seed.

Proverbs 14:25 says "A true witness delivers souls."

The filling of the Holy Spirit is distinctly different from baptism in the Holy Spirit. There is only one Holy Spirit baptism, never commanded in the Scripture because it is only obtainable through free will to accept Christ as your personal Savior.  Holy Spirit baptism establishes the believer’s new relationship and position in Christ.

The filling of the Holy Spirit for specific service by the believer is commanded by God and is our provision for holy living. It provides the power we need to live the Christian life, letting us experience the sufficiency of Christ for our new walk of faith. He strengthens, guides, enables, and helps us in our Christian life. As Christians we are to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Four people were always filled with the Holy Spirit in the Gospels: John the Baptist, Elisabeth, Zacharias, and Simeon. Apparently the apostles and others were only filled as needed.

Holy Spirit filling deals with our behavior. The filling of the Holy Spirit involves our yielding, our hunger, our thirst for more of Him. His filling cleanses, energizes, and renews us, affecting our entire being (spirit, mind, emotions). It transforms our habits and character, producing within us His supernatural fruit (Galatians 5:22). His filling involves the continuing choices we must make.

Our daily decisions affect the Holy Spirit's ministry in our lives. Our disobedience doesn’t change our salvation relationship with the Lord, but rather our effectiveness in the kingdom of God is diminished. If we live in disobedience, we can't expect to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit who glorifies Christ through our obedience. This tells us that His fillings are recurring, so that we do move in and out of being filled with the Holy Spirit because of our sin nature.

THE INVITATION

You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned  (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).

To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).

You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:

         Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed.

      Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on.

      I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf.

      Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.

                     In Your name I pray, Amen.