On Sunday, May 27th, Christians all around the world will celebrate the Day of Pentecost. This celebration is based on Luke’s account of the giving of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus on Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. The disciples had been gathered in Jerusalem praying in an upper room of someone’s home, and Jewish pilgrims had flocked to Jerusalem from all over the world.
According to Acts 2 there was a loud sound and a wind. Then tongues of fire descended upon the disciples and all were filled with the Holy Spirit (God’s Presence) and began to speak in other languages. Those who had come from other parts of the world began to hear the Good News about Jesus spoken in their own language. Of course, this created quite a stir and the people wanted to know what was going on.
The Apostle Peter gives a sermon explaining what has happened. He begins by quoting from the Hebrew Prophet Joel about how the Holy Spirit would be poured out on all people in the last days. He proclaims that what they had experienced and seen in Jesus was the fulfillment of this. Peter talks about Jesus’ life and ministry, speaks about how he died, explains about his resurrection, and how Jesus ascended to the Father.
The people began to believe and were “cut to the heart” asking “What must we do?” Peter replied: “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call”(Acts 2:38,39). Three thousand people responded and became believers that day.
This is what the Church remembers and celebrates each year on Pentecost. However, this is not just some historical remembrance and celebration like the 4th of July. It is a time when the Church challenges its members to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the promised gift to the believer (John 14:15; John 16:7f).
The Holy Spirit is the very Presence of God who will indwell the believer if there is a willingness, a yielding, a submission to the will of God. It is the Holy Spirit who brings love, joy, and peace into the believer’s life (see Galatians 5:22). Without the Holy Spirit the Christian life is just legalism and ritualism.
Have you had your personal Pentecost? Does the Holy Spirit live within your life? If not, why not ask God today to fill you with His Spirit? Jesus said it this way in Luke 11:13 – “How much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”