If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. — Galatians 5: 25
Bible reading: Acts 2: 1–4, 12–21: When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. …
So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
But Peter, standing up with the Eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
“‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
We give thanks to God, the Holy Spirit, by allowing Him to lead us.
On this festive day we gather together in order to thank God for
- Fulfilling the promise of Jesus by sending us the Holy Spirit, who helps and comforts us.
- Creating the church of Christ, which was first revealed on Pentecost.
- Granting us the gift of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of future glory.
Living in the spirit
The celebration of Pentecost is an excellent opportunity to give thanks to God, the Holy Spirit, in particular for His activity of salvation. Apostle Paul says that we live in the Spirit, in other words, we live through Him. Without the activity of the Holy Spirit we could never have true access to fellowship with God.
- Only the Holy Spirit can produce belief in Jesus Christ, which is a prerequisite for eternal life (1 Corinthians 12: 3; John 11: 25).
- Also, it was only through the rebirth out of water and the Spirit that we received life from God.
- The word of God, which is imparted to us in the sermon inspired by the Spirit, in turn nourishes this life (Matthew 4:4).
- Without the involvement of the Holy Spirit in the consecration of the communion wafers, we could not partake in the body and blood of Jesus, and yet this is indispensable for the divine life within us.
- And finally it is the Holy Spirit who sanctifies the Apostles at their ordination and confers upon them the authority inherent in the Apostle ministry.
Walking in the spirit
Indeed, we have many good reasons to give thanks to the Holy Spirit. But how do we do this? Apostle Paul tells us the solution: we bring our thanks to expression by “walking in the Spirit”. This means that we allow Him to guide us.
Following the instructions of the Spirit, we look after the divine life within us by supplying our soul with plenty of the food it needs.
Permeated by the Holy Spirit, our prayers bring to expression our limitless trust in our heavenly Father (Galatians 4: 6).
The Holy Spirit teaches us to follow the example of Christ. Although He is true God, Jesus Christ accepted His humanity in all aspects. He dedicated His earthly being to God in obedience, even though He must also have enjoyed pleasant moments (Matthew 11: 19). Even as children of God, we face hardship and distressing circumstances, and we accept these with trust in God. We do not despise our life, but rather know to treasure it and enjoy it. And being instructed by the Holy Spirit, we recognize that every day which God grants us offers us an opportunity to decide for God and gain victories over evil.
As members of the body of Christ, we have received gifts from the Holy Spirit in order to put them at the service of others (1 Corinthians 12: 7). Certainly these gifts differ from person to person, but there is one gift which we have all received, namely the ability to love our neighbour (Romans 5: 5)!
Finally, through the ministering of the Apostles we hear the call of the Holy Spirit: “Come!” (Revelation 22: 17).
Our entire life is filled with this plea: “Come, Lord Jesus!”
* Thoughts from the Chief Apostle adapted for the Pentecost divine service held on 15 May 2016 at Midrand Congregation.