Are you a Pentecostal?1
This Sunday we will be celebrating Pentecost. It is a historic event we all too easily overlook – and yet it is the birthday of the New Testament church! Not only that, but the presence of the Holy Spirit is also the defining mark of a New Testament Christian. If you are a true Christian, then you are a “Pentecostal” in the truest sense of the word - the Spirit of the living God dwells within you. That means He is always present with you. He goes everywhere you go. He goes to bed with you, gets up with you, goes into the shower with you, is there when you get dressed, when you go to school or work. He is present as you think every thought that enters your mind. He hears every word you speak. He listens to your music with you, reads your novels with you, watches TV, and browses the internet with you.
You can’t get rid of Him. Nor would you ever want to! To be without the Spirit is to be without Christ (Romans 8:9b). To consciously live with and by the Spirit is a life of joy and peace (Romans 8:6). Jesus has given us His Spirit to be our “Helper” (John 14:16). The Greek word is “paracletos”. It means “one who helps by consoling, encouraging, or mediating on behalf of”. Wow…..Isn’t that exactly what we need?
I have to confess that, as I continue to mature in my faith, I am growing more aware of how desperately I need the Spirit and how utterly dependent I am upon His help in my life. Without the Holy Spirit I would not be able to repent of sin, I would not be able to experience love, joy, peace, patience – and all the other fruits of His work. I would not be able to understand the things of God (1 Cor 2:12,14). I would be completely and entirely lost.
Here’s a great quote from John Stott.
“Without the Holy Spirit, Christian discipleship would be inconceivable, even impossible. There can be no life with the life-giver, no understanding without the Spirit of truth, no fellowship with the unity of the Spirit, no Christlikeness of character apart from his fruit, and no effective witness without his power. As a body without breath is a corpse, so the church without the Spirit is dead.”
Pentecost means that God’s people are a Spirit-possessed people! The church is not simply a collection of folks who share common religious interests. It is a gathering of people in whom the Spirit of God has taken up residence. And every good fruit that is born, every God-honoring work that is done, every step of growth in grace that happens in our lives and in the church body – is directly a result of the presence and acting power of the Holy Spirit. Without him we are dead. With Him, we are more than conquerors even over death itself.
So, Happy Pentecost to you, dear brothers and sisters! May we gladly live by the power of the Spirit, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, being taught and transformed by the Spirit until He presents us “without spot and with great joy” to our Lord Jesus, who gave us His Spirit!
In His Service,
Pastor Dale Van Dyke