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Celebration Of Pentecost

After 40 days of walking on the earth after his resurrection, Jesus ascended to the Father God in heaven. Since he would no longer be present in physical form, Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”(Acts 1:8). The experience of receiving the Holy Spirit happened at Pentecost, which occurred 50 days after the Passover Sabbath, one of three big festivals the Jews celebrated. Many Christians across the world celebrate Pentecost Sunday which in 2024 will be on, or was on, May 19th (depending on when you read this article).

The disciples and other followers of Jesus were gathered together when “suddenly there came from heaven the sound like a mighty rushing wind…and tongues as of fire…rested on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance”(Acts 2:2-4).

In Jerusalem were people of all nations who spoke different languages. The tongues they spoke was not some kind of gibberish or “heavenly language” sometimes thought of, but actual known languages. The crowd  was astounded when each person heard what was being said in their own native language (Acts 2:6). Acts 2:11 says, “we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” There are two insights from this passage: One, tongues was not something that was worked up, but “the Spirit gave them utterance,” and two, it was for the purpose of evangelism.

The same Holy Spirit given at Pentecost resides in the heart of each person who has accepted Jesus as his or her Savior. Normally one will not have a situation to speak in an unlearned language for the purpose of sharing the gospel, though I have heard of a person who did. So, what are the functions of the Holy Spirit? John 14:26 says he is the teacher of spiritual truth. In Galatians 5:22-23 are listed the Godly character qualities produced by the Holy Spirit. First Corinthians 12:13 states, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…” This is the true baptism of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is an important part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, as written in Romans 8:26-27. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words…the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Ephesians 1:13 says Christian’s salvation has been sealed by the Holy Spirit.

What are our responsibilities to the indwelling Spirit of God? Ephesians 4:30 tells us to “not grieve the Holy Spirit of God”, by doing things which are displeasing to him. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” Do not do anything to our bodies that will go against bringing glory to God. If you stop and think about this, there are several applications of this verse in today’s culture! It also means not putting any substance into our bodies that can result in harm or death. First Thessalonians 5:19 warns us to “not quench the Spirit,” by refusing to do what He commands.

The biggest benefit of having the indwelling Holy Spirit given at Pentecost is expressed in Galatians 5:16. “Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the lusts of the flesh.” How does a person do this? There is a story about a man who had two dogs, one named “Flesh,” and other named “Spirit.” These two dogs were always getting in fights. Someone asked the man which dog usually wins? The man replied, “The one I feed the most.”

So, as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, let’s all ask ourselves how much are we allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work in our lives? 

About John Clark

John Livingston Clark is 74 years of age and lives in central Washington State. He has written two published books, and two published poems. His initial book is called, " God's Healing Hope: Breaking the Strongholds of Wrong Thinking." His second book, released in December of 2016, is a motivational book written to seniors titled, " Seniors: Are You Retiring or Recharging?" Both books are available on amazon. You can also view his writings on www.faithwriters.com. His “Poem For Senior Citizens” is in the 5th spot on FW.

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