Prior to the outpouring the disciples were fearful of witnessing, They were hiding from witnessing. They lived their lives in a closet. Their leader, Peter even denied Christ three times. However, when the Holy Spirit "baptised them in the Spirit" and each was given the gift of "language" they began witnessing with power to the many visitors gathered at the temple court and boldly shared with them the wonder of God.
Peter was emboldened with authority to preach the Gospel of salvation to the crowd. He uplifted Christ as the Messiah who was crucified and buried. But God would not let him remain in the grave. He was raised from the dead and exalted to the right hand of God.
The Spirit brought conviction of sin and guilt upon the large crowd. When Peter made an appeal at the end of his sermon, 3000 believed and were born again in the Spirit. A miracle happened. The first church was birthed.
What great truths can we learn from Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples?
1. When believers are baptised or filled with the Holy Spirit, they not only become bold, they become Partners with the Holy Spirit. Spirit-filled disciples would bear fruit of honour to our Lord.
When we witness to unbelievers, the Holy Spirit will bring conviction of sin and guilt upon the unbelievers to draw them to Christ. Spirit-filled disciples will have full confidence of the authority and power of the Holy Spirit in our act of witnessing. Boldness, confidence and power come from the Holy Spirit in partnership.
2. If we are not filled with the Spirit, we will be fearful to witness. Christ delights to see us empowered and instructs us to "ask for the Holy Spirit" and receive the power from on high (Lk 11:13; Acts 1:8). When we are filled, we would begin to see a big difference of being partners with the Holy Spirit and see unbelievers come to know Christ as Saviour and Lord.
3. When a church is born, is not due to human effort but the power of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Spirit is primarily to honour Christ. The birth of Jerusalem Church is the beginning of the spread of churches throughout the whole world. The visitors who became Christians at Pentecost took the Gospel message and preached it with the partnership of the Holy Spirit to various cities of their origin. The pattern of the spread of planting churches is evidence of believers obeying the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20).
Can we appreciate the Person and Power of the Holy Spirit and make him our treasured Partner of the Gospel of Salvation?
Pastor Kim Bew Lim