E41: Pentecost: The Spirit of power, promise and truth

PODCAST: What work is the Holy Spirit accomplishing in YOUR life?

  • E41: Pentecost: The Spirit of power, promise and truth
  • On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was sent to the earth with power. What is this power for? Listen to this episode where Milenko and Eunice talk about the significance of the Holy Spirit coming to earth, and the powerful work He can accomplish in us when we not only live, but walk in the Spirit!

    Transcript: “Living the Gospel” podcast, Episode 41: Pentecost: The Spirit of power, promise and truth

    “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.” Acts 2:1-4.

    This is ActiveChristianity’s “Living the Gospel” podcast. Join us as we explore different aspects of the gospel according to the Bible, and how we can put this into practice in daily life.

    Eunice: Welcome to this episode of “Living the Gospel.” I’m Eunice and I’m here with Milenko, as you’ve just heard.

    Milenko: Hi everyone!

    Eunice: And this Sunday is the day of Pentecost and those verses that Milenko just read in Acts, describe the day when the Holy Spirit came. And why is this day a day that we commemorate, a day that we celebrate?

    Milenko: Yes, as you just said, and the verses we read, it describes the day that the Holy Spirit came to earth. And that was something that Jesus Himself had prophesied about. He’d told them that He would not leave them alone. He was going to go back to His Father, but that He would send His Holy Spirit, the Helper, back to the earth to be their guide and strength and power. That’s what He actually said to them. And to go and wait for that to happen, and pray about it. So, they did and 10 days after Jesus ascended to heaven, that’s exactly what happened, what we just read about. And you can imagine that experience! We heard there was that physical sound of the wind coming through, and these flames of fire on their heads. And then they began to speak in different tongues. And above all, they really felt that now, Jesus was back with them, in His Spirit. The Holy Spirit had come to help them. And that which was so high and difficult and impossible for them before, to live this life that was pleasing for God, the life that Jesus was an example for, now became possible for them. Just imagine that, that they got light, they got revelation about Jesus’ life, and it suddenly became clear for them, what they were to do! What it meant to be a disciple. Think that must have been the biggest thing in their life. What a day! So, we still celebrate that day because it’s just as important for us, that the Holy Spirit comes into our lives.

    Eunice: So, it’s actually the significance that now, it was possible for mankind. They didn’t just have to admire Jesus, or wonder what they should do when He left. But now it’s something, that you can actually begin to understand Jesus, right? Because the Holy Spirit was with Him and that’s what He sent back to us.

    Milenko: When Jesus was alive on earth, when He was with His disciples on earth, He was the only one who really understood what it was to do God’s will, because He had the Spirit with Him. He was born of the Spirit, and that Spirit with Him was giving Him direction and showing Him the will of the Father. And giving Him the strength to carry it out. But He was alone. He had disciples; He tried to explain it to them, they didn’t understand it. They loved Him, but they couldn’t grasp it. And on this day, Jesus had left them, but then the Holy Spirit came and now they could also live that life. Because the Spirit was going to teach them and show them and give them the strength to do so. So, you can say, on that day the church was born. The church of Christ, the body of Christ. That He was no longer alone. Now He had brothers and sisters who were going the same way. So, it was a really significant thing.

    Eunice: And it’s the Spirit that was present before the foundation was laid and the Spirit by whom Jesus was conceived. And when you think about, that is the Spirit that is dwelling in us today, it’s actually crazy! It’s like … It makes you realize how much God loves us, that He entrusted us with His Holy Spirit. And I love reading that part when, you know, in the moment, Peter just turned around and spoke with such boldness.

    Milenko: Yeah, and just think … Just a few weeks before, He was denying Jesus, you know? Three times. Oh no, He wasn’t going to deny Jesus! And when the moment came, he was just so weak, he just couldn’t stand up for what he believed in.

    Eunice: I think we all can identify with that.

    Milenko: Right! I mean, we all have these different things. But when he got the Spirit, then things changed. He went out in the street and he preached, and that day 3,000 people were converted and became Christians! The first church. 3,000 people in one day, just because of the words he and the others spoke! It’s amazing. And when you read what he writes there, what conviction, what power, that was what the Spirit gave him, there and then. He got revelation and he spoke it with boldness.

    Eunice: And he knew that it was the truth too, without a doubt. That’s why he could speak so clearly, the way he did.

    Milenko: And then we read that he went on to live that life as well. It wasn’t just words; it wasn’t just theory. He lived it. And that was the power he got through the Spirit.

    Eunice: Yeah, and we can see from Peter and many different examples in the Bible, and also in daily life, the difference the Holy Spirit makes in those He fills is immeasurable. And one word we can associate with receiving the Holy Spirit with is power, right? And we talked a little bit about receiving power to witness, receiving power to know the truth and speak it, but what more is this power for? Because you know, you can kind of rejoice in that power, right, but then when life starts happening, then you need power for different things.

    Milenko: Yeah, and what is that power? We can just read what it says there in Acts 1 verse 8. They’re Jesus words, when He talked about this. He said: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Quite powerful words. And you’re thinking, as you said, what is that power? Like, is it just a feeling of strength and that I can now … I feel invincible? I can go out and tackle the world. The thing is that that power is the power that is in God, the power that was in Jesus, which was firstly and foremostly…well, it’s written about Jesus, He came to destroy the works of the devil. That power, it was power to carry out God’s will. And thinking about this, about witnessing. Because it’s one thing about going out and speaking. That’s, of course, witnessing. But a witness isn’t only one who does it in word, but also in deed. And …

    Eunice: Actions speak louder than words.

    Milenko: Right! And if you read, for example, what Paul writes to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12, here he really shows what it’s like to be a witness. And, if you think about it, why we really need strength! In 1 Timothy 4:12: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Imagine that being your witness. That you’re an example, not just to anyone, but to the believers. Like, even to people who are also following Jesus, that you can be an example for them. In all those things. In word, in purity, in faith, and so on. And to do that, I need strength, because that’s not what I’m like by nature, right? And it’s … You can’t say that you’re a witness if you’re bitter or angry or disappointed or discouraged, and walk around acting that out. Then you’re not being a witness at all, no matter how much you say, “I’m a Christian, and Jesus died for me,” and so on. But if you think about it, if I’m tempted to those things, which we all are, and then I turn around and instead of acting out my bitterness and my disappointment and my discouragement, I follow Jesus’ footsteps, do what He says, take up my cross, deny myself, and instead show love and longsuffering and forbearance and courage. That shows that power. And how do I get that? Through the Holy Spirit. I can’t do that in myself. That’s what the power’s for. So that, even though I’m tempted, even though I am the person I am, the one I’m born, with a flesh in which there dwells no good thing, I can be a witness for Jesus. That’s what the Holy Spirit is for. That’s what happened in Peter, that’s what happened in the first church, and that continues to happen today. And when I do that, when I walk in that Spirit and obey it, then I am one with that first church. I’m also a member of that church that was born that day. It’s amazing! That same Spirit is with us today. Fantastic!

    Eunice: And then in daily life, how the Holy Spirit works in us, He reminds us – it says He’s the Spirit of truth – He reminds us of God’s word, actually. When we read, and sometimes we can be worrying about, will I ever remember all this? This is all so good, but I don’t know if I’ll ever remember this when I need this! Then the Holy Spirit, He reminds us of this, of God’s word. And He also shows us the truth about ourselves, right? And He also sometimes – not in the moment, but after – as well you know, right there you were a little bit too quick to answer. Or you know, there you should have said something. Things like that. And then that’s when I need power, because you know, especially I know for myself, for example, when you should have said something and you didn’t, that’s because you were being a coward. And I think that was also how Peter experienced it too, when the little servant girl came and said, “You know, hey, you’re part of the same crowd, right?” “No, no, no!” So, I think that in many different ways the Holy Spirit shows us how we can actually overcome sin.

    Milenko: Right. And that’s what Paul writes about. The Spirit of wisdom and revelation. And revelation, that’s revelation in the word of God, revelation that I can read it and understand it, that it speaks to me. And it’s revelation about myself, as you just said. And when those two things come together, then I have not only light about myself – the Spirit of truth tells me the truth about myself – but He’s also given me a way. He’s revealed a way for me to come out of it. And not only that, He also gives me the power to carry it through.

    Eunice: Yeah! What more do you need?

    Milenko: So, I see the sin in myself, I see the reaction. Then I get power to deny it, give it up, go the opposite way. And then I’m living the life of Jesus. So, without the Spirit that’s impossible. And you can really actually feel like you’re a slave of sin. I think that’s how Peter had it too. When we go back to that example, he wanted to, you know, be bold and confess that He was Jesus disciple. But he couldn’t. He was a slave of his own sin, his own cowardice, for example. But Paul writes very clearly about that in Romans 8. And he writes about what happens when we receive the Holy Spirit, for someone who’s in that situation. Romans 8:12: “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors – not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” These are really liberating words. We’re no longer debtors to our flesh. You know, when a demand comes up…

    Eunice: You just have to do it.

    Milenko: You just have to do it. Then you’re a slave of that. We’re no longer a slave! We don’t owe the flesh, we don’t owe Satan, we don’t owe sin anything! When the flesh comes with its demands, I can say no! And in the power of the Spirit, it says here, “… if through the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body …” So, it’s something I do, but I do it by the Spirit. So, by that power. And then, what am I then? Then I’m a son of God. Jesus was the Son of God and I can be His brother. I’m also a son of God. It’s so liberating. I don’t have to live according to my flesh. No matter how much my flesh demands and screams and kicks, I can say no, through the power of the Spirit. I couldn’t do that before. I mean, we all know that. We all sinned. We all know how hard it is to deny ourselves. Maybe to a point, and then you have to give in again. You just snap somewhere. But now, through the Spirit, I can live that victorious life.

    Eunice: And it’s a progression, right? I mean, it’s not like the first day and all of a sudden you overcome all sin. But it says if you live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. And it really is a walk. I remember this verse was really powerful for me, especially in the beginning. Walk in the Spirit. Walk in the Spirit. And then you know that, when you walk, sometimes you fall. But then to keep going and to keep walking in the Spirit. The little that I understand, I walk. That was really, really good for me to remember. The little that I understand I walk, and then I walk a little bit more, and then you sense also God’s good pleasure over your life when you do that. You sense that you are doing the right thing.

    Milenko: And if you think about it, what we’ve been promised: we’ve been promised eternal life. And Peter actually goes so far to say that we become partakers of divine nature – which is eternal life. Which means a fullness of goodness, a fullness of blessing, which is in God’s nature. And you think where you are today, and that you are going to come to that. And that has to happen in this lifetime. And Paul actually writes about the Holy Spirit being the seal of our inheritance, like a guarantee for our inheritance. And that’s the thing, that where I am now is not where I’m going to end up. Like, where I started off is not where I’m going to end up, as a man, a person that’s full of lusts and desires towards sin. And we’re going to end up being holy and blameless before God! And to get there, I have a way to go. And that’s why the Holy Spirit is that seal of our inheritance. If I have the Holy Spirit it’s a guarantee that I will get there. If I walk in the Spirit, that I don’t only have the Holy Spirit and live in the Spirit, but that I walk in the Spirit – that is, obey His commandments and His revelations – then it’s a guarantee that I will reach what I have been promised. And that’s incredible, to have that faith with me all the days of my life! In every situation I’m in, with things that are difficult, when it hurts to deny myself, I have this guarantee. “Do it, I will give you the strength, I will give you the help, I will give you all that I need to reach that promise, and it is yours!” And I know that. The Spirit working in me is that guarantee. There’s no reason to doubt, no reason to become discouraged. So, to celebrate this day, I think it’s only fitting. Like, it’s the birth of the church, it’s the opening of the possibility for me to come to that life that Jesus promised us, that Jesus went ahead and showed us.

    Eunice: It wouldn’t have been possible without Him.

    Milenko: No, we couldn’t have done it without the Spirit. So, this is something we really should be working with. That we pray to receive the Holy Spirit, not just as an experience of joy – that’s part of it, that we can have that real fullness of joy and fullness of satisfaction in the Spirit, gifts of the Spirit that follow with it – but mostly, that we receive the Spirit as this guarantee of our inheritance. Our Helper, the One who gives us strength and revelation. And we can pray for a greater fullness. If we’ve been baptized in the Spirit, we can receive even greater fullness. And just think of a life we can live with the Spirit! He is our Helper. He is sent by Jesus Himself to help us, to show us, to guide us.

    Eunice: It’s like Jesus is with you every single day.

    Milenko: It’s just as if Jesus is with us. And He is. He is with us in that way.

    Eunice: And then another great thing also, is that we become one, because we drink of the same Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and …

    Milenko: Because in the body of Christ there is only one Spirit, that’s the Holy Spirit. The Spirit that Jesus Himself had, and now He is in us. That Spirit is in us. And we are one through that. That’s also a huge miracle, that the body of Christ is one despite being many. That’s through the Holy Spirit.

    Eunice: We’re the church that Jesus is building here on earth.

    Milenko: Exactly.

    Eunice: So, I think there’s no doubt that we are very thankful for the Holy Spirit, but also that we are excited and enthusiastic to walk in the Spirit. Like, this quote that Johan Oscar Smith writes: “Live in the Spirit, believe in the Spirit, pray in the Spirit, battle against the flesh in the Spirit, and in every way be obedient to the Spirit, then you have the Spirit.” 

    Milenko: That was clear.

    Eunice: If you’d like to read more about the Holy Spirit and about Pentecost, there’s an article on our website called “Do you understand how significant Pentecost is?” And I think that’s written very clearly. And we actually have a very extensive list of resources on the Holy Spirit on our website, so do check it out. We’ll put a link in the episode description, so you might find what you’re looking for there, if you have questions about the Holy Spirit. Because there are a few things that people can wonder about.

    Milenko: And we’ve also recently added an animation video to our YouTube series on Bible words explained about the Holy Spirit. It’s very short, to the point, and I think you’ll probably enjoy it, so go and check it out there.

    Eunice: Thank you for joining us today and have a good Pentecost!

    Milenko: Have a good Pentecost! Really let this same Spirit that was in the disciples on that first Pentecost be in you! Just think about that mighty rushing wind and those flames. Maybe not what we’ll experience physically, but we can experience it in our hearts and in our own spirits. That we really are ignited for this, that the Spirit comes to us like this wind, and starts blowing in our lives, that there’s transformation and change. I really hope this for you all, and for myself, and have a very good Pentecost weekend!