Reading Scripture: John 14:16
Verse to Memorize: John 16:7
Reference: Acts 2:1-4
Goal: to help people accept Jesus Christ, receive the Holy Spirit, and lead a Spirit-filled Christian life just like Early Church members did
Pentecost is a Christian holy day commemorating the first descent of the Holy Spirit upon the believers in Jesus Christ after Jesus?resurrection and ascension. After the Lord Jesus ascended into Heaven, around 120 people were praying in Mark뭩 upper room in Jerusalem. Then, the Spirit came upon them like fire. Afterwards, a church was established in Jerusalem, and the apostles and believers, given the strength of the Spirit, enthusiastically spread the gospel in Judea, Samaria, and to every corner of the earth (Ref: Acts 1:8).
Only when we gain the help of the Spirit can we preach the gospel with the fullness of the truth and grace all over the world just as the Early Church members did.
1. The Helper the Holy Spirit
At the Last Supper which is the final meal He shared with His disciples, Jesus said He would go to the Father and prepare a place for them. At the time the disciples could not grasp the meaning of what He meant when He said where He was going to go. They were even worried thinking that Jesus, who had always been with them, was going to leave. Jesus knew their thoughts and told them that He would not leave them as orphans.
Jesus promised to send the Helper to them, saying in John 14:16, 밒 will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.?He added, 밄ut I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you?(John 16:7).
The Helper refers to the Holy Spirit who protects, provides grace, and mentors believers. Jesus taught His disciples the roles of the Spirit in detail; how the Spirit would help them. But they could not conceptualize any of it in those days. They came to realize His words one by one after the Spirit came upon them.
The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus had promised to send to them after His ascension, descended upon the disciples who were waiting in prayer for the Holy Spirit. Owing to the strength of the Spirit, they could boldly proclaim the gospel in any persecution and affliction.
Since the initial descent of the Holy Spirit, God, who is the same yesterday and today, has given the Helper the Holy Spirit as a gift to all who are believers in the Lord. This is because only when we received the Spirit뭩 help can we overcome the world with faith and come forth as God뭩 child.
2. To lead a Christian life with the help of the Spirit
1) We need to trust in the Spirit who dwells in us and rely on Him
Acts 2:38 reads, 뱟Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.?As written in the verse, if anyone repents of their sins and accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, God will send the Holy Spirit into their hearts. It is not that God gives to one and not to another. God is able to give anyone the Spirit without discrimination.
The Spirit is invisible with our naked eyes, but He has demonstrated varied evidences of His existence. John 1:32 says, 밓ohn testified saying, 멗 have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon [Jesus].뮅 Because the Holy Spirit absolutely existed though He had no specific shape, God opened the spiritual eyes of John the Baptist and allowed him to see it.
Acts 2:1-4 relates the Early Church members?experience of the Spirit뭩 descending and that they experienced the Spirit뭩 power as well. It says, 밯hen the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.?
The apostles became filled with the Spirit and through their teaching with authority the work of repentance was brought to thousands of people all at once. They caused them to surrender before the name of the Lord Jesus. They exhibited proofs of the existence of the Holy Spirit with His power such as raising the man who had been lame. Also, it is the Spirit in us who presents us faith with which we can call Jesus Christ our Lord and God our Father and offer worship to, pray to, and praise God.
Some people think, 멗s there the Spirit dwelling in me? I committed such a sin. Hasn뭪 the Spirit been quenched in me??But unless you judge and condemn the Word of God with a hardened heart like a road-like heart most of you can receive the Spirit. Even if you committed sins and you repent of your sins and try hard to live by the Word again, you can be forgiven after repenting. It means that the Spirit is not quenched that easily.
Therefore, in order to lead a life with the help of the Spirit, we must believe that the Spirit dwells in us and trust Him. We have to believe that the Helper the Spirit helps each of us and He helps us rely on Him. We must lay aside our old self that seeks the world and live according to the will of God. When we are faced with things that are not understandable, if we believe in the help of the Spirit and depend on it, we can do things that cannot be done with our own strength and know things that are unknowable.
2) We must not ignore the words of goodness with which the Holy Spirit edifies us
The Holy Spirit instructs goodness through the Word of God or the voice of the Spirit. But if we listen to the word of goodness, just think 멼t has nothing to do with me? and close our hearts, we can neither gain realization, achieve the heart of goodness, nor enjoy the growth in faith.
When we listen to the messages that teach us how to achieve the heart of spirit such as 멣piritual Love,?멒oodness,?and 멦he Fruit of the Holy Spirit,?the Holy Spirit provides us with the knowledge of the way to accomplish the highest level of goodness and the measure of faith that belongs to fullness of Christ and guides us to the most beautiful heavenly kingdom, New Jerusalem.
But some say, 밒t is impossible for me to achieve such a high level of goodness. Such and such deeds of faith are not achievable for me.?However, the Spirit believes with hope that we can achieve the highest level of goodness and possess great faith just as the forefathers of faith did and implants self-confidence in them. Moreover, He lets us realize what we should do according to their measure of faith and He leads us to act according to it in a gentle and exquisite way.
But some people ignore the Spirit뭩 enlightenment. For instance, the Holy Spirit lets believers realize how great the love of God is, but people sometimes say they have not felt and experienced the love of the Father so they can뭪 love Him and then they forsake the Word of God. It is the deed of ignoring the word of goodness with the fleshly thought that is hostile toward God. If you keep neglecting the teaching of the Spirit you won뭪 receive the guidance of the Spirit which is goodness and you will not be able to receive the love and grace of God either.
3) We must live by the will of God in the guidance of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit is always leading God뭩 children to live according to His will. By the Spirit뭩 guidance, we must demonstrate the willpower to live according to the will of God. Of course, it does not mean that you can just shift responsibility on the Spirit saying, 밫he Spirit will do everything뀛 You also have to make active efforts to act according to the Spirit뭩 teaching.
If you truly believe that the Spirit dwells in you, you will naturally listen to the Word and pray with longing to receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In order to obey what He teaches you, you will discipline your body and make it your slave. Even when you find it hard for you to follow His guidance, if you sincerely believe the Spirit, then you will trust Him and rely on Him, thinking 멗 can make it because the Spirit is in me.?At first, you need to show your efforts but if you pile up such efforts over time it will get easier for you to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and receive His guidance. Then, you can live all the time in the help of the Holy Spirit.
In the Bible, there are many forefathers of faith that manifested great works. You may think, 멖ow could they do such great works??But if you receive the help of the Holy Spirit it will be easy to do so as well. When we are helped by the Spirit we can do things beyond our ability with His love and strength. However, if we rely on ourselves everything just seems tough and hard to achieve. Therefore, I hope you will say that it is easy to lead a Christian life because of the Spirit in you and it will bring you to happiness.