In this sermon, Pastor Neil talks about Pentecost– what happened and what it means. Here are some excerpts:
…The meaning of what happened that day [at Pentecost] was not intuitively obvious to everyone who observed it. It required some explanation. But it sure got people’s attention. So Peter, prompted by the Holy Spirit, stood up and started to speak. One of the things that strikes me in Peter’s message is the way he shows that what was happening had been prophesied hundreds of years earlier by the Old Testament prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-32). Peter explained that the believers were not drunk, as some of the onlookers suggested cynically (Acts 2:13). After all, it was only nine o’clock in the morning (2:15). Instead, this was a momentous act of God in fulfillment of a promise from God to the people of God.
Instead of being drunk with wine, the believers in Jerusalem were filled with the Holy Spirit, which was (and is) God’s intention not just for those first Christians but for all of Jesus’ followers in all times and places. Including you. Including us. Right here. Today.
It is true that wind and fire and the gift of languages are not God’s usual modus operandi. Not always, but most of the time, God works more quietly. Sometimes the Holy Spirit does work in dramatic ways. More often the Spirit works in ways that are imperceptible in the moment. In whatever way(s) the Holy Spirit chooses to work or to make His presence known, the thing to understand is that since the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost 2,000 years ago, the Holy Spirit is the birthright of every Christian. The gift of the Holy Spirit is given to every true follower of Jesus.
When you put your trust in Jesus Christ and receive Him as Savior and Lord of your life, you also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is, the Holy Spirit comes to take up residence in your life. Receiving the Holy Spirit is not a separate, subsequent, second experience of grace, as some Christians believe. It is true that being filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) is not a one-time event. It is meant to be an ongoing experience, to be repeated whenever our souls begin to run dry – which happens because we tend to leak spiritually. So, we need a frequent, fresh infusion of the Holy Spirit to live our lives at full capacity.
I’ll say it again: The Holy Spirit is your birthright as a follower of Jesus. You receive the Holy Spirit – another way to say it is that you are baptized with the Holy Spirit – when you come to faith in the Lord Jesus…
Pastor Neil has a lot more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the sermon in its entirety.