Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Holy Spirit Comes!
~Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
As we saw last time, Jesus has ascended back to the right hand of the Father. The 12 apostles are now back in Jerusalem and waiting. Waiting for the Holy Spirit to come and baptize, fill, empower, indwell and transform. Before Jesus went to the cross, He told his disciples a number of times that He was going back to the Father, that He would not leave them alone and powerless because the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, would be sent. The Holy Spirit would live in, empower and motivate the disciples. He would also remind them of all Jesus had taught them.
Throughout the Book of Acts and in the other New Testament writings we discover more about the Holy Spirit. We see that His prime role is to see Jesus Christ the Son of God praised and glorified (John 16:13-14) by testifying for Jesus Christ (John 15:26) and witnessing for Him (Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit is involved with ministering to members of the church. The Holy Spirit declares God’s Word, interpreting and illuminating it. He convicts of sin, transforms, indwells, fills, baptizes and seals the believer. With all this, the Holy Spirit also equips for service. God is at work in His body the church, to will and to act accordingly to his purpose (Phil. 2:13), to be my witnesses (Acts 1:8).
Let’s look at the Holy Spirit at work, concentrating on His work in the life of Peter! Remember how Peter had rejected Jesus Christ and openly defied Him by trying to stop Jesus going to the cross. That Peter was a dejected and defeated man. There is now a new Peter! A new Peter, transformed by the Holy Spirit! A Peter who speaks with the authority Jesus gave all the disciples. This Peter, given impetus by the Holy Spirit, preaches a sermon and 3000 people are added to the church in one day (Acts 2:41). This Peter, who when passing by a man who couldn’t walk, told him to get up and walk – and the man did (Acts 3:1-11)! Peter was allowing himself to be guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit. The difference between this Peter and the dejected Peter before Jesus’ resurrection is due only to the Holy Spirit making a difference to Peter. Peter, by submitting himself to the authority and power of the Holy Spirit, was allowing the Holy Spirit to control him and guide him. The greatest evidence of the Holy Spirit living inside any of us, is the transformation of the individual into the image of Jesus – as demonstrated here in Peter.
This Peter who under the influence of Holy Spirit’s power, administered church discipline as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:10). But it wasn’t just Peter who was empowered. As Acts 5:12-16 shows us, all the disciples, not just the twelve apostles, were able to do all manner of things for the glory of Jesus Christ because they were baptized and controlled by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit empowers and delivers the disciples passion for making Jesus Christ known. The early church was dynamic and seen to be exercising the authority of Jesus Christ. This was done by preaching the good news about Jesus being the long waited for Messiah. The Disciples exercised Jesus’ authority by submitting themselves to and relying upon the Holy Spirit. Would that be for the church of the 21st century! The Holy Spirit, lives inside and empowering all believers for the service and glory of Jesus Christ! Not just the 12 apostles for the service of Jesus Christ. Next time in this series Consequences we will look at where the early disciples were told to go and teach!
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