PENTECOST SUNDAY: MAY 31, 2020
Texts: Acts 2:1-21
Theme: “What makes you a Pentecostal Christian?”
Key Verses: Acts 2: 1 & 4
Verse 1, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.”
Verse 4, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.”
What happened today was the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus gave to his disciples ten days after he was ascending to the Father.
Ten days, ago in Bethany, the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my WITNESSES in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8).
Pentecost means fifty and it was one of the yearly festivals celebrated by the Israelites. It was a spring festival of the Israelites known as “Festival of Weeks.” The festival was celebrated after counted seven weeks and one day from the day of sheaf of the elevation offering or one day after seventh sabbath, fifty days; then you shall present an offering of new grain to the Lord. (Leviticus 23:15-17). Pentecost was initially celebrated by the Israelites after fifty days of their Passover out of Egypt, and at Mount Sinai, Moses gave them the promise of God’s law.
In New Testament, Pentecost was celebrated as fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples of Jesus who gathered together in Jerusalem. What happened on the first Pentecost continues to happen to Christians throughout the world today.
Pentecost as we celebrate today, is the longest season in the Christian calendar. It runs for almost six months.
Practically, Easter season ends today if Pentecost is fifty after Easter Sunday.
The Risen Christ shared many things with his disciples during these forty days of Easter journey. He told them before he was ascending to stay here in the city of Jerusalem until they have been clothed with power from on high.
Today, the Holy Spirit came upon and they were filled with power to witness not in their closed-door room where they shared their confusion and fears. But now the Holy Spirit filled them with power to preach, speak and witness to the Risen Christ who is now the Prince of Peace on the right hand of the Father.
Today, the Holy Spirit came upon because:
*they were one and together in one place (upper room).
*they were one completed twelve disciples, because Matthias was chosen to replace Judas.
* they obeyed to what Jesus instructed them to do.
So, what difference does it make for us as Pentecostal Christians today?
1. Coming of the Holy Spirit is not an event. We don’t have to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit as yearly event, but we have to witness to others her transformative and abiding power as personal experience. We Christians are meant to live in the presence and power of the Spirit of God.
2. We are the members in the body of Christ-the Church. The Holy Spirit works through us to spread God’s work in the world. We are the lighthouses shinning the grace of God for those seeking peace and hope.
3. In our text today, on that first Pentecost, Peter and the disciples filled with the Holy Spirit and they got out of the upper room into the street and started to speak in tongues and in other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability. We are to be community in which all people come together as one by God’s love in Christ. As Paul shared with the Galatians church: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
4. In the early days of Easter, the Risen Christ appeared to the disciples in their locked house and said to “Peace be with you.” Then he breathed them the “Holy Spirit.” In addition to his ultimate command to them- ‘to love another’, Jesus also commanded them to forgive one another.
My friends with same breathed of the Holy Spirit came upon disciples two millennium ago, is also come upon us today to know that Pentecost is not an event, but it is a powerful experience of God’s presence in us so that we can bear fruits and new life of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control- defines the character of Jesus. Amen!
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