John 16:7-8; 13-16
Last week was a significant week in the traditional year celebrated by many churches. The truth is that at Baptist Churches we often overlook this Sunday. The Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. I think we overlook it because it is about the Holy Spirit and sometimes in churches that aren’t considered “charismatic” we are uncomfortable talking too much about The Holy Spirit. We think if we talk about him, then something weird will happen.
I think we are leery of it because we don’t understand The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. We think if we talk about the Holy Spirit too much … it might lead us into something that scares us.
When I was a kid we used to sing an old hymn, “Pentecostal Power”.
“Lord send the old time power, that Pentecostal Power,
thy floodgates of blessing, on us throw open wide.
Lord send the old time power, that Pentecostal Power,
that sinners be converted and thy name glorified”
So what IS Pentecost, and why do We Need an Infusion of Pentecostal Power?
Pentecost was one of the feasts of Jewish Tradition, the Feast of Weeks. It was at the end of the Spring Grain Harvest. It was 50 days, 7 weeks, after Passover. It was one of 3 times a year where the people would make pilgrimage to the Temple.
Now, on the day after the Sabbath after Passover, the firstfruit of the harvest would be waved by the priest before the Lord. Then the people on that 1st day would count 50 days and on that 7th Sabbath they began Pentecost.
Jesus rose on the first day after the Sabbath after Passover, just as the firstfruits were being waved by the priest and so Jesus was OUR Firstfruits of the Resurrection. Jesus appeared to as many as 500 people over the next 40 days including more than 400 at one time.
During that time Jesus taught them “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gif my Father promised which you have heard me speak about … you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit”
He also told them “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses …”
And then Jesus was taken up, right before their eyes, into Heaven
So they went back to Jerusalem and waited 10 days for the Promised Holy Spirit
So read with me Acts 2:1-7; 12
Now … the thing that everyone wants to focus on is the shocking things and unusual things that happen and we MISS the PERSON that was given
Folks the PERSON is the THING … not the thing that he chose to do
Notice that we aren’t really told exactly what happened because it was so amazing that they couldn’t describe it.
It doesn’t say there was a wind … it says there was a SOUND LIKE a wind … so a LOUD Wooshing Sound … and they saw what SEEMED to be tongues of fire … some something showed up visibly … and God Gave them the perpetual gifting of the Holy Spirit on their lives and the lives of every believer from then on.
And then in THIS OCCASION … they began to Speak Languages that they had never spoken before.
And the people there who didn’t believe in Jesus Christ were bewildered, utterly amazed, and perplexed and asked “what does this mean?”
Here is my point.
When we respond in faith to Jesus Chris, and he becomes our Lord and King, he gives us the Holy Spirit and when he does, and when the Holy Spirit is manifest in our lives, he will work in amazing ways within us to proclaim Jesus Christ in a way that will cause an unknowing and unbelieving world to be amazed and want to know
“what is this all about?”
These people didn’t speak in unknown languages, they spoke in many different languages.
Why? Because there were people from all over the world, there were no interpreters and God was wanting to reveal himself through them to these people in need of Salvation.
People of God, The Holy Spirit is a gift from Christ to reveal Christ to a watching and needy world.
The Gift of Christ is the Holy Spirit
The Gift of the Holy Spirit is SALVATION through faith in Jesus Christ
Now, I have gone a long way to make a point to us today.
This is NOT a message about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This is a message about the GIFT of the Holy Spirit and the WORK of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers
This is a message about the fact that New Life Baptist Church needs to operate in the Power of the Holy Spirit
This is a message about the fact that we need the Power of the Holy Spirit in our lives
This is a message about the fact that we need Men and Fathers who live in the Power of the Holy Spirit
New Life Baptist Church we need to realize that God does amazing things through unexpected people and people who are otherwise unable.
If we understand and believe that Jesus can and will do something amazing through us and when he does it through an unlikely source it just Enlarges his Glory BECAUSE we are unable
God wants to do something amazing in our church
God wants to do something amazing in our homes
God wants to do something amazing in the lives of men, women, students, boys, girls, Fathers, Mothers, Grandfathers and Grandmothers, Husbands and Wives, sons and daughters … we need God to do something amazing
We need to receive and surrender to Pentecostal Power.
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you need Pentecostal Power
If you are a child of God, then you and I need to surrender to the Holy Spirit
We NEED Pentecostal Power
Why do we need the Holy Spirit Power in our lives?
Who is the Holy Spirit and
What does the Holy Spirit Do?
First and very simply …The Holy Spirit is a WHO not a what …
The Holy Spirit is a PERSON not an IT … Not a Feeling … Not a FORCE, not an Ideal. He is a Person
He is a He!
We were sitting at the Goody Goody Diner, one of our favorites in St. Louis, a few weeks ago. And the only seats available were at the counter. So we were kind of having breakfast with several people. In our conversation it came out that I was a Pastor and this lady said “I want to ask you a question that I have always wondered and a Pastor can answer for me”. She said “God the Father obviously is revealed to us as Male because he is called Father” and Jesus is revealed to us as male because he is The Son, is it possible that the Holy Spirit could be Female?”
I was glad for an easy question …
I replied to her “no, it is NOT possible for a couple of reasons.”
1) he is called the “Spirit of Jesus Christ” so if Jesus is revealed, in God’s wisdom, to us as Son, then his Spirit would have to be like him and thus A him”
2) Jesus called him a HE countless times as He taught us about the coming of the Holy Spirit. So he is a HE
John 16:7-8 Jesus said “I tell you the truth: it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment”
He is a Who and
… we are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, AND the Holy Spirit
He is equal to Father Son and Spirit though in a place of submission to them both in the Trinity … He IS GOD!
We must worship him
We must obey him
So that is who he IS
Then what does the Holy Spirit do in our lives?
Jesus called him a Counselor in John 16:7
The word is Parakletos – one who pleads another’s case, a helper, an assistant, one called alongside, an advocate
Jesus has NOT left us as orphans. He promised that in John 14:18. He didn’t leave us high and dry, saved and sure but on our own telling us to do the best we can until he comes back.
John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”
So with certainty and confidence, unafraid of the future we can move forward because Jesus has given us his Promised Holy Spirit
So, what does he do? Why do we need Pentecostal Power?
How will we know if Pentecostal Power is at work?
Stay with me, several things
Back to what we just read, Jesus said that this helper, when he comes, and the Holy Spirit Has COME,
“he will CONVICT …”
Elencho (el-eng-kho) expose, convict, convince, refute, call to account
Of what does he Convict, convince, call to account?
“Sin, … Righteousness, …Judgment”
Without the work of the Holy Spirit we would not know that we are sinners -
Without the work of the Holy Spirit we would not know what righteousness is – without the work of the Spirit we think we aren’t that bad and matter of fact we think we are good enough
Without the work of the Holy Spirit we would not know that there IS a judgment for those who do not measure up and in his work we come to an understanding of holy fear of that impending judgment
If you want evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit’s work in someone’s life, see if conviction is at work
If they can just move along and do whatever they want and care not about their sin, coming short of the righteousness of God, or if they say there is no judgment then the Holy Spirit is not at work or they are fighting against his work in their lives
The Holy Spirit moving in our lives convicts us of the fact that we are separated from God and in need of a Savior
When the Holy Spirit is at work and the gospel is preached, the Holy Spirit is the one who causes one to feel guilty for their sin and fear the just judgment of God that awaits because our own righteousness is destitute of worth
The Holy Spirit causes one to realize that they are NOT righteous and desire to have the Righteousness that ONLY comes through Jesus Christ
Could I say that it also works in the positive. When you have received Christ and are walking by faith and obedience … The Holy Spirit will certainly convict you of waywardness but he will also confirm IN you that you have been forgiven of the guilt of your sin, that you have the Righteousness of Christ Justifying you and that you are FREE from Condemnation because “there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1
Do not resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit today because it leads to Pentecostal Power as he Convicts … but it’s not enough to just know that we are in need, but we need to know what to do about it … and so
In John 14:26 Jesus says “The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said”
Back in John 16:13-16 … Jesus goes on to say “when he, the Spirit of truth, comes he will guide you into all truth. He will tell you what he hears and he will tell you what is yet to come … taking what is mine and making it known to you …
Now this reference in John 16 was Jesus telling the Apostles that God was going to give us the Word of God through them. This was a prophetic statement about how they would be lead by the Holy Spirit to give us his word
If you want to be TAUGHT by the Holy Spirit and so be able to take advantage of this Pentecostal Power you need to READ, KNOW, and Practice the Truth found in the Word of God
The Holy Spirit teaches
Didasko – to teach, instruct by word of mouth
This is not teaching by experience or life learning … this is schooling by instruction from the Mouth of the Holy Spirit
“But pastor I’ve never heard the Holy Spirit”
HERE IT IS - It is the Written Word of God
This is not a book of suggestions
This is not a “self-help book”
This is the Word of God
It is a “GOD Help book”
This is Jesus on paper, delivered by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
2 Tim 3:16 says “all scripture is God-Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correction and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”
2 Peter 1:20-21 … no prophesy of scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophesy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit
Men, Women, students, boys and girls, we must surrender to the Holy Spirit and he will teach us
So the Holy Spirit SPOKE to the Prophets and Apostles and they wrote down what came directly from his mouth
And we must study it and when we do he will teach us
It is why I could tell a new convert in El Salvador, with no church in his community, to read the word of God because the greatest teacher, the Holy Spirit, lives within him.
And my friend Damien in Las Tablas El Salvador said “don’t worry about us Pastor we will be fine”
YES you WILL be fine if you will study the teaching of the Holy Spirit, listen to his voice and learn from him
If you will not listen and will not learn and will not do then you cannot know the power of the Holy Spirit
You also should know that he has also given you the blessing of a church with pastors and teachers who according to Ephesians 4 are given to you for your equipping that we might together grow in unity and likeness of Jesus Christ
So the Holy Spirit works through me and works through our other staff and teachers to teach you so you will know HOW to live in the Power of the Holy Spirit within you …
But I don’t know about you but I’ve learned lots of things in my life, but some things I’ve learned I can’t remember … Oh if we could just remember everything we’ve ever learned huh?
Amazing how we remember or seem to naturally know some things we don’t want to … but other things
Well also … The Holy Spirit
John 14:26 not only says he will teach … but he will also
Can I encourage us today not to despise this beautiful work of the Holy Spirit
There is something in our nature that resists reminders
You had a little brother or sister that said “mom said” or “dad said” there was that kid in class that said “teacher said” … and we turned up our noses because we didn’t want to know that
Sometimes you don’t like what I have to say on Sunday because it is the work of the Holy Spirit reminding you of truth …
But please know and remember that this if FOR your good
And you and I both know that we never have an excuse
We never say “oh I forgot” when it comes to the things of God
Because somehow, someway, through another person, or from that still small voice within us … we KNOW what is right … what is wrong
Why? It is because this is the work of the Holy Spirit because he WANTS us to surrender to the truth and experience Pentecostal Power that comes when we surrender to him
“Oh but Pastor, I’ve walked away from the truth, I know and have been reminded but I think it is too late … my opportunity has died, my marriage has died, my hopes have died …”
Well I have good news for you today … Because of something else about the Holy Spirit …
1 Peter 3:18 – For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit
Whatever has died in your experience Pentecostal Power is the power that brings life to dead situations
The Holy Spirit resurrects
Your hope has died, you passion has died, your compassion has died, your marriage has died, you “want to” has died, whatever it is …
The Holy Spirit resurrects with Pentecostal Power
“But Pastor, that’s just for Jesus right?”
Ephesians 1:18-20 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious in heritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power FOR US who believe. That power is LIKE the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right in the heavenly realms
People the same power that resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead is FOR US who Believe in Jesus Christ and Receive him as Lord and Savior
I pray today that your eyes will be open to realize what you have and allow him to resurrect what may have died in your Life.
Pentecostal Power is “INCOMPARABLY GREAT” --- that means Greatness that is cast way out beyond everything else
“FOR US“… the word literally means “INTO” … it is not like it is something laying on the shelf with our name on it … It means that this Pentecostal Resurrecting Power is IN US ALREADY because we have BELIEVED and ARE BELIEVING in Jesus Christ
Resurrection happens in our lives when we live by FAITH and not by SIGHT
Oh there are some who erroneously try to say that if the Holy Spirit lives within us that we will all act the same and do the same stuff
They think if we have the Holy Spirit that we will all have some same spiritual gift
The Problem is that is not what the Word of God says
1 Cor 12:4-6 says there are different kinds of gifts but the SAME SPIRIT … different kinds of service but the same Lord … different kinds of working but the same God
Then he goes on to list many different gifts that are given to each one as the Spirit chooses but FOR the common good … with each gift listed that is DIFFERENT Paul says “by the same Spirit”
And he says in verse 11 “all these are the work (or empowerment) of one and the same Spirit and he gives them to each one, just as he determines”
People don’t run around saying you have to have a certain gift or begging for one gift over the other, but receive the empowerment of the Spirit as HE CHOOSES
The Only Gift of the Holy Spirit that ALL have is the Gift is the Eternal Life that comes from Salvation by Faith in Jesus Christ
God never guides where he does not provide
God never leads where he does not proceed
And he will never command if he is not close at hand to give you all the power you need to obey and complete the command
I know you CAN’T but Christ IN You … always CAN
Finally one thing that is simple but True about the Spirit working in Pentecostal Power … Is that always
The Holy Spirit has this purpose, to glorify Jesus … everything he does is about Jesus and not about himself
If a person or a church is working under the leading and Pentecostal Power of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will NEVER BE FRONT AND CENTER …
It concerns me when churches, preachers, Christians make The Spirit the lead Character … NOT BECAUSE he isn’t deserving and worthy … because it is against his nature to take the Center
John 16:13-15 when he … comes … he will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears … he will bring glory to me … all that belongs to the Father is mine
Dad’s if you live in the Power of the Holy Spirit, Pentecostal Power, it will all be about Jesus
You will Lead your Family in such a way that those around you see Jesus Christ through you and your family
A man’s home is NOT his Castle if God’s Spirit is present it will be a House of God
So … quickly let’s make application …
“I can’t do this Pastor” … you are right
But Christ IN YOU … is the Hope of Glory Col 1:27
Greater is He that is IN you than he that is in the World – 1 John 4:4
So how do I live in HOPE and the Greatness of his Glory?
John 1:12 – to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God
It is not enough to say “yeah I will take some of that eternal life stuff and some of that power” … you have to also believe that Jesus is who he says he is and that is HE IS LORD over everything including your life and mine … so you must RECEIVE what he has for you as you believe that he IS who he says he is, LORD of all, and when you make him Lord
He GIVES you the Holy Spirit
1 Cor 1:21-22 it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come
Now, then if you have received Christ then you HAVE his Spirit, you don’t have to get up every day and say “God give me your Spirit today” … you already have it … BUT you DO have to
James 4:7 says “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee”
Power comes when we surrender in obedience, weakness comes when we cut off the natural working of the Spirit in our lives
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do Not Quench the Spirit … the NIV renders it Do not put out the Spirit’s Fire
When we resist the natural work of the Spirit to teach, remind, resurrect and empower we put out the fire of his work in our lives
How do we KEEP from that … read the verses in 1 Thessalonians 5 around verse 19 and it gives you a list
When you do that you submit to God and you won’t put out the natural fire of the Spirit
And you will HAVE Pentecostal Power moving through you … but if you don’t do those things … you quench the Spirit … So surrender … go down through the checklist and
Romans 8:9,11 – you are not controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you … if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you
Romans 6:13 – offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness
Oh People Pentecost means that we don’t have to live dead, defeated, discouraged lives but we can live resurrected, righteous, rejoicing lives