How the Holy Spirit Works, Pentecost Sunday, Sermon 06/09/2019

“Ps. 4:1-8; John 16:5-16

When Jesus was on earth, he promised to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples. He said, “l will ask the Father and he will give you another comforter and he will never leave you” (Jn. 14:6). The comforter, “the Spirit of God himself” would come after Jesus was gone to care for and guide the disciples. This happened at Pentecost, shortly after Jesus ascended to heaven. The Scripture says, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

Today we celebrate the day of Pentecost. Pentecost has the mood of joy because the promise of Jesus to send the Spirit was fulfilled and the gift was received. As Jesus promised his disciples were strengthened enough to witness for Christ, when they were touched by the power of the Holy Spirit. You may remember how weak the disciple Peter was before Pentecost. He had been an unstable leader during Jesus’ ministry, letting his boldness be his downfall, even denying that he knew Jesus. But Christ forgave and restored him after his denial. This was a new Peter, humble but bold. His confidence came from the Holy Spirit, making him a powerful and dynamic speaker.

After Peter’s powerful, Spirit-filled message, the people were deeply moved. About 3,000 people became new believers when Peter preached the Good news of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, ‘…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus promised the apostles that they would receive power to witness after they received the Holy Spirit. Power from the Holy Spirit is not limited to strength beyond the ordinary. It involves courage, boldness, confidence, insight, ability and authority. The disciples of Jesus Christ would need all these to fulfill their mission.

It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us and takes us deeper and deeper into God’s truth as we go along in our Christian life. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ but we can grow only by the help of the Holy Spirit.

The moment that we receive Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts. Our body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit helps us live the Christian life. There is not a person anywhere who can be a Christian without the Holy Spirit. There is not a person who can follow Christ without the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows what goes on in our hearts. He knows what goes on in our minds.

Nothing is hidden from him. And in Hebrews 9:14 says that the Holy Spirit is eternal.

The Holy Spirit gives us power to serve Christ. “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me” (Acts 1:8)

The Holy Spirit’s role is not to glorify himself, but Christ. He does not call attention to himself, but to Christ. He does not lead us to focus on our experiences, but on Christ. The Holy Spirit comes to magnify, to glorify and to exalt the Son. Jesus said the Holy Spirit shall not speak of himself. He comes to magnify the Lord Jesus Christ. He comes to glorify Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is pleased when we glorify Christ in our lives. It is the Holy Spirit who draws us to Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our need of Christ.

There is only one way of salvation and that is Christ. It is a dangerous thing to resist the Spirit. The Bible says,

“Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be though worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:28-29).

The Lord wants us to apply his teaching here to our walk with him. Is the Holy Spirit progressively guiding you in all the truth, especially the truth about Christ?

Are we growing to understand more deeply the great truths of Scripture, centered in Christ and the gospel?

The Lord calls us to renounce our plans and practices and seek his way. He asks us to step off the throne of our lives and let him rule in every area of everything we are and do.  The Lord wants our lives to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Here is a poem, entitled, “Fill Me Lord”

“Lord, you know I cannot see the wind blow yet I can see leaves or dust pushed by the wind. And I wonder is that how the Holy Spirit works? Giving power to ordinary people like me?

Take my life, Lord. Fill me, to allow you to lead me.”

Let the Lord make us be filled with his Spirit. Let him use us as his instrument for his kingdom. Thanks be to God!

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