August 9, 2022

The Holy Spirit Comes 05-06-2022

5th June 2022 (Pentecost)

Sermon Title: The Holy Spirit Comes
(Acts 2: 1- 8 & John 14: 8 – 17)

                                                                                  By Heeyoung Lim

Acts 2 narrates the Christian community’s birth in sending the Holy Spirit, while John promises the Spirit’s ongoing dwelling. Especially, there are Jesus’ farewell words, care, and promise in John 14. 

The theme of “believing is seeing” appears here again. Jesus emphasises on both words and work in verse 10. The disciples had been fascinated by his work, but they had not listened carefully enough to his words. The Lord said to his disciples, at least believe in the evidence of the miracles themselves.

Thomas’s doubt and Philip’s confusion are also shown in today’s Christians. Now Christians hold the entire Bible and enjoy the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit, but sometimes struggle with some theological issues such as oneness of the Father and Son even though Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

In verse 12, what Jesus meant by telling his disciples that they would do greater things than he had done? Jesus’ power and ministry are not limited, but his earthly ministry was limited in time and space. He served the Father for about three years and never was outside the boundaries of Palestine. The disciples, on the other hand, carried out ministry that was greater in terms of geography and numbers of people, and the group of disciples are still extended. Jesus wants us to continue His ministry here through the Holy Spirit who was sent by Jesus.

How do we gain confidence that we are born again by the regenerating power of God’s Holy Spirit? The disciples were told that the Holy Spirit lives with you and will be in you. After Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was in them and in every other believer. God empowers His children and church for ministry through the coming of the Holy Spirit. 

What did Jesus mean by the promise at the end of verse 18: “I will come to you.” This can be referred to the resurrection or the second coming. But in the context of these verses, it means the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus lives in us through the person and power of the Holy Spirit.

This indwelling will be endless, and the new Counsellor will be with you until the very end. No orphans or abandoned people in the family of God. The Holy Spirit will be a constant presence of Jesus with all believers. Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit is a gift of promise not only to the disciples in the past, but also to us today. May we trust the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor and teacher. 

Luke from Acts records the togetherness the early Christians enjoyed. We found them all together, and they heard a sound like the blowing of a violent wind. The sound was not a wind but like a wind. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire. The fire which symbolises the presence of God started as one and then separated and came upon them.  Some commentators interpret the single and multiple fires as the unity and diversity in the body of Christ.

A third experience on the Day of Pentecost was the use of different languages. Most evangelical scholars believe the tongues of Pentecost were genuine languages, not the tongues of sounds Paul dealt with at Corinth (1 Cor. 14:1-12). There is a mention that people of different languages understood the message of the Christians in their own language.

In Genesis 11, the Babel tower story links to the eventual confusion of language and scattering of people caused by human pride. In Acts 2, however, language is no longer confusing but understood. People gather rather than scatter by an act of God. This is a miracle that happened through the working of the Holy Spirit. In Pentecost, it means that communication was made between people of different languages due to the work of the Holy Spirit.

When people filled with the Holy Spirit proclaimed the gospel, a supernatural ministry took place. When the hearers responded, a miracle of understanding followed. The Holy Spirit comes and works when Christians led by the Holy Spirit serve the Lord and others. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians can proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, and people will believe and become a part of his body, the church. 

Instead of a group of Christians praying quietly in an upper room, they had over three thousand people all over the city praising, praying, and witnessing for Jesus. The early church was a veritable model of what congregations can be in our day and what it means to be the church.

When God makes a promise, he keeps it, and we had better pay attention to how it applies to us. Both historical facts and Bible prophecy affirm that Jesus is God’s Messiah. The gospel calls for faith, and every believer has the Holy Spirit within them. True churches are genuine at worshipping God, and pay careful attention to teaching, fellowship, prayer, and witness. 

Every believer has the Holy Spirit within them. The controlling power of God’s Holy Spirit is available to all believers. May we trust God’s Spirit whenever we serve the Lord and others. I hope that we can all participate in the ministry Jesus wants with other believers as a true church.

What we must do as disciples who believe in Jesus is to follow the model of Jesus. Our ministry for Christ begins with faith, follows through by imitating the perfect model. I believe that the Holy Spirit comes and leads us to follow Him in all circumstances. The lead of the Holy Spirit is not a punishment or heavy duty, it is the biggest gift and happiest companion. God’s sending of the Spirit is an ongoing gift of renewal for Creation and the church. May we trust and enjoy the lead of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Thanks be to God! Amen.
(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)