Discipleship

Welcome Holy Spirit!

Bible Lesson: Acts 2:1-13

 Theme Verses: Vs. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

After the ascension, Jesus sent Holy Spirit to His disciples as He has promised in John chapters 14, 15 & 16. Jesus assured His disciples that He will always be with them through the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. He asked them to wait before they could witness about the gospel because He knew that only through the power of the Holy Spirit they will be able to do that. When the Holy Spirit came, prophesy made by John the Baptist was fulfilled, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16) and also of the prophet Joel’s words about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (2:28-29). As Christians we should know that the role of the Holy Spirit (the Third Person of the Holy Trinity) in our lives is equally important as that of the Father and of the Son.  Nicene Creed beautifully summarizes the person and work of the Holy Spirit which affirms our Christian faith: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.” For St. John Chrysostom, It is meet and right to worship Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Jews always had three major festivals in a year: Passover, Feast of the tabernacle and the Pentecost (the feast of the weeks). From the Greek word for “fifty,” Pentecost was named because it fell on the fiftieth day after the Sabbath of the Passover. Pentecost was focused on thanksgiving to God as they brought the first fruits of their harvest expecting that God would give the rest of the harvest as His blessing. Remarkably, the Day of Pentecost became “the day of first fruits of Christ’s church, the beginning of the great harvest of souls who would come to know Christ and be joined together through the work of the Holy Spirit.” Throughout the scripture Holy Spirit played an important role. From the creation event till the resurrection of Christ, Holy Spirit was actively involved in fulfilling the purpose of God on the earth. One may say that before the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit appeared behind the stage helping the Father and the Son. But from the Acts chapter 2 onwards the Holy Spirit has taken a lead role in the Church as well as in the created world. Holy Spirit helps us to believe that God of the Bible is the creator, redeemer and sustainer of the whole cosmos. He is the instrument of divine action in the world. Psalm 104:30 says ‘when you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.’ The Biblical writers were inspired by Him; Prophets were guided by Him; the dry bones became alive through Him; Christ was born, baptized, ministered and resurrected by Him. Now He helps us to draw close to Christ and also to experience Christ in our daily lives.

When the disciples were baptized by the Holy Spirit they started to speak in other tongues and spoke the gospel boldly. In Genesis 11, language brought disunity and confusion among the people. When the Spirit was poured upon the disciples, their message was easily understood by Jews of many nations in their own native languages. They were flabbergasted to hear that how these Galileans (a poor class community with illiterate background) could ever learn so many languages. But this is the power of the Holy Spirit. God works through all kind of miracles to spread the gospel no matter what we are. Many who heard of the finished work of God in Jesus’ death and resurrection (Acts 2:32–38) repented of their sins and received the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Let us allow the Holy Spirit to baptize us with His fire so that not only we may proclaim His work boldly but to live holy and righteous lives. His fire cleanses us from all impurities. J.H. Jowett says, ‘the Holy Spirit ministers to me as fire…He will create a enthusiasm in my soul, an intense and sacred love which will burn up all intruders, but in which all beautiful things shall walk unhurt.” It is through Him we are created into a new being or into a new humanity in Christ Jesus. Holy Spirit is a gentle Spirit and wants to dwell in our lives. Are we ready to welcome Him now?

Breathe on me, Breath of God,

Till I am wholly Thine,

Until this earthly part of me

                                                                Glows with Thy fire divine.                                  Edwin Hatch