We continue our new sermon series entitled ‘Unity’, with preaching from John Western and our (virtual) service led by Beverley Sills.
What is Pentecost?
Originally, a celebration of grain harvest
Nowadays, a celebration of the Holy Spirit came on the first disciples – for a spiritual harvest
We desperately need a spiritual harvest in the UK today.
The disciples faced an impossible task – humanly speaking
Equipped by the Holy Spirit.
Couldn’t have achieved the birth of the church by themselves.
Example of my coat!
We cannot do anything for God or his kingdom unless we are filled with the Spirit.
The wind symbolized God’s presence among them. Everyone was included.
Similarly, the tongues of fire revealed that God’s divine presence was resting on each believer individually.
There was a variety of responses to the amazing events which accompanied the coming of the Holy Spirit. Not everyone recognized it or received it.
Yet this was the work of God, the Holy Spirit. It birthed the church and brought about the changing of the world.
The effect of the Holy Spirit in the days which followed
He changed the disciples.
Cf Acts 2:23 with Luke 22:54-61
He empowered the disciples to do the work of Christ
Acts 2:43, Acts 3:2-8
He produced growth – Acts 2:47
- Beware – the Holy Spirit can depart
- Example of Welsh church
He produced unity – Acts 2:44
There is a great need for the work of the Holy Spirit today.
God never intended the Holy Spirit to be available only at the start of the church’s history.
God never intended the gift of the Holy Spirit simply as an amazing experience.
We can’t plan our own Pentecost, but we can pray for it.
Questions for reflection and/or discussion:
- Speaking in tongues was a significant part of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. What did this achieve? What can this tell us about a way in which tongues might be used by God today?
- What is your experience of the Holy Spirit? If there is anything uncomfortable or negative in those experiences, are you able to discern why? Is it because, although it was genuinely God at work, it was not what you expected? Is it because what was claimed to be the Holy Spirit was actually an example of human over-enthusiasm or chasing an experience?
- What situations are you aware of, in which you need a move of God – something beyond your ability – to bring about transformation, healing, peace, salvation? Pray for God to pour out his Holy Spirit into these situations through his church, including you, in His way.
Sermon Title: Do we still need the Holy Spirit today?
Bible Reading: Acts 2 & 1 Cor 14
Preacher: John Western
Worship Leader: Beverley Sills