Because of Pentecost
Because of Pentecost, you are reading this today. And because you are reading this today, you have an opportunity to not only remember the significance of Pentecost but to experience a renewed power through the indwelling Holy Spirit whom Jesus has sent to us. Acts 2:1-41 chronicles this transformative event and contains five truths to proclaim and to pray into action in order to continue the work of Christ through your life today.
People Have Become God’s Temple
Perhaps the most remarkable outcome of Pentecost is that God has chosen people to become His dwelling place. Under the Old Covenant, God inhabited the tabernacle and temple, and His personal presence would often appear as a “pillar of fire” over these structures. But the temple was always meant to be temporary. Under the New Covenant, Jesus as our forerunner was the word that became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). But because of Pentecost, the same Holy Spirit that filled and indwelled Jesus is now a gift that is graciously bestowed upon every believer.
The coming of the Holy Spirit that appeared as “divided tongues of fire” and rested on each person meant that God was sealing what the cross purchased. We now become God’s mobile temple to steward and spread His presence throughout the world. As pastor and author Rich Villodas commented, “Pentecost Sunday is not the celebration of an ambiguous spirit or force. It’s the celebration of Jesus’ ongoing presence among us. He promised to never leave nor forsake us. In the sending of the Spirit, Jesus dwells with us and we with Him.”
The coming of the Holy Spirit that appeared as “divided tongues of fire” and rested on each person meant that God was sealing what the cross purchased. We now become God’s mobile temple to steward and spread His presence throughout the world.
Praying into action: Jesus, I praise You that because You are always with me by the indwelling Holy Spirit, I can show Your presence to ___________.
People Far From God and Each Other Are Brought Near
While the magnificent miracle of “speaking in other tongues” that occurred at Pentecost is no stranger to theological debate, there is much scholarly agreement that Luke interpreted this event as a reversal of Babel in Genesis 11. On this point, one biblical theologian powerfully observed, “Humanity’s prideful reaching up to the heavens and making a name for themselves results in confusion of language, inability to communicate, and the scattering of people over the face of the earth; the sending down of the Spirit from heaven restores communication and points forward to the uniting of people from all over the earth.”
From the earliest pages of Scripture God has been in the business of building a family. A kingdom of diverse image bearers to steward and display His glory on every square inch of creation. Pentecost reminds us that we have been brought near to God and one another for a purpose that is greater than any individual.
Praying into action: Holy Spirit, thank you for how You brought me near to Jesus when ____________. And I pray that You would restore my communication and relationship with ____________.
Prayer Becomes the Engine for Kingdom Advancement
It’s been said that the Book of Acts could be divided into the following two parts: 1) The prayer meeting that gave birth to the Church; and 2) The prayer meeting that launched the missions movement. In Acts 1:14 and 2:1 it is said of the 120 that were in the upper room that they were of “one accord” and in “one place.” As these faithful few were waiting for the fulfillment of the promised Holy Spirit, they were “devoting themselves to prayer.”
In Acts 13:1-3, a small group of diverse believers were worshiping the Lord with fasting and prayer when the Holy Spirit set apart Paul and Barnabas to take the gospel into the uttermost parts of the earth. But notice that these two monumental movements didn’t occur through human ingenuity, but from the initiative of the Holy Spirit through united corporate prayer. This dynamic wasn’t something that was merely described for us to observe, but was a principle prescribed for us to obey. Prayer enables us to partner with the Spirit to bring God’s purposes into fruition.
Prayer enables us to partner with the Spirit to bring God’s purposes into fruition.
Praying into action: Holy Spirit, thank You that through prayer, the Kingdom purpose of ___________ can be fulfilled in _____________ (list specific people and/or situations).
Preaching Becomes the Agency for Establishing the Church
In Genesis 1 the Spirit of God was hovering over the darkness of the uncreated world. But when God spoke, creative power was released over the chaos and new life was formed. The Holy Spirit is still hovering over dark places today, and when energized by prayer, the preaching of the Word releases light and creative power for the Spirit to produce new life in people.
The Holy Spirit is still hovering over dark places today, and when energized by prayer, the preaching of the Word releases light and creative power for the Spirit to produce new life in people.
When Peter stood up on Pentecost, it was the preaching of the word that interpreted and explained what was otherwise an alarming and confusing occurrence. It was by the preaching of the word that the crowds were “cut to the heart” and transformed into the Church. The Spirit has always been about forming and filling new communities of faith to represent the Kingdom of God throughout the earth.
This why Pastor Glen Packiam recently observed, “It is significant that the Nicene Creed speaks of the church within the article or stanza on the Holy Spirit. There is no speaking of the Spirit without also speaking of the church; and there is no speaking of the church without also speaking of the Spirit…The church is where the life of the Spirit takes shape.” The preaching of the word establishes this foundational truth.
Praying into action: Holy Spirit, I pray that my pastor would be filled by You so that the preaching of the word would produce new life in _________ (list people, circumstances in the church, needs of your community and country).
Power for Change Is Available
Christian author Vance Havner once wrote that “we are not going to move this world by criticism of it nor by conformity to it, but by the combustion within it of lives ignited by the Spirit of God.” Power in this world is something that is often driven by lust for control, status, and self-gratification. But for the follower of Jesus, or one whose life has been ignited by the Spirit of God, power is the supernatural ability to love, serve, and joyfully sacrifice his or her life for the sake of the Kingdom.
Power in this world is something that is often driven by lust for control, status, and self-gratification. But for the follower of Jesus, or one whose life has been ignited by the Spirit of God, power is the supernatural ability to love, serve, and joyfully sacrifice his or her life for the sake of the Kingdom.
The Book of Acts has often been titled “The Acts of the Apostles.” However, it would be more accurate to title it “The Acts of the Holy Spirit,” since it chronicles the Person of the Holy Spirit working in and through the people of God. And I would add that in the same way Jesus hand-selected the least likely group of men to be His go-to followers to commission the continuation of His mission, the Holy Spirit also fills and empowers the least likely people to bring about much-needed change in our world. If the Holy Spirit can use them, He can certainly use you and me!
Praying into action: Holy Spirit, thank You that You can even empower and use me to bring change to ___________ (list specific events and circumstances).
Copyright © 2022 Justin Jeppesen. All rights reserved
 Scobie, H. Charles. The Ways of God: An Approach to Biblical Theology. Eerdmans. Grand Rapids, MI. 2003. p. 283.