This Sunday at 10am all three congregations will be gathering at the Jessamine County building to celebrate Pentecost. In preparation for that time I wanted to review what we’ve covered since Easter.
The great tragedy of the Fall was that Adam and Eve were driven from God’s presence. But God, through the drama of the Old Testament, promised that one day his presence would be returned to humanity in a final, life-changing way. Paul understood that this happened through the ministry of Jesus and the subsequent giving of the Holy Spirit.
At Pentecost, Peter told the crowd that because Jesus had been raised from the dead, he had received the Spirit from the Father and poured it out on the apostles. All through the New Testament, the Risen Jesus is depicted as the one who through his sacrificial life and high priestly intercession continues to minister the Spirit to his people.
Reception of the gift of the Spirit was the culminating promise of Peter’s sermon at Pentecost. Repentance, baptism, and forgiveness prepare us to receive the Gift. Reception of that gift is an experience of joy, vitality, and freedom in worshiping God and declaring his goodness to others. We should not shy away from asking for that experience.
The Spirit now fills believers and generously distributes gifts to the body of Christ so that she can build herself up for her mission in the world. Diminishment of those gifts in our day is primarily the result of a worldview that increasingly pushes God out of its expectations. In the name of love, we are called to be zealous for all the gifts.
If we will listen to the Spirit in our lives he will daily lead us in becoming more like Christ. We are not called to new rules, but a relationship with Jesus through the indwelling Spirit that produces something no rules or laws ever could; likeness to God in our hearts.
Ultimately, he wants to lead us into a poured-out life. If we will let him, the Spirit will daily set us free from a grasping, self-oriented life, to a life of emptying and humble service for others. In other words, he will lead us into the lifestyle of Christ himself, the Way of our Lord.
Sunday, we will discuss the power the Holy Spirit gives for witness. The fire of Pentecost transformed a flawed and bewildered bunch of fishermen and send them to the ends of the earth to turn it upside down by declaring the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen one. The Holy Spirit ultimately wants to do the same with us.
If you have missed any of the teachings over the past six weeks I want to challenge you to catch up on them. They are not just good information, but the prophetic word of God to us in these days. Listen to the sermons, go over your notes, pray, and come with expectation this Sunday. May the Gift of Pentecost fall on us afresh through the generosity of our Father and the intercession of the Son!