(Click to listen to an audio recording of this article: What is the Spirit of Pentecost?)
What is the meaning of Pentecost and the Spirit of Pentecost?
“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
Jesus promised the disciples that once He had left them He would send them the Holy Spirit as a Helper and a Guide. An incredible promise, that when He would no longer be physically among them, the same Spirit that was with Him on earth would come to guide the disciples on the way of truth. (John 14:15-18; Acts 1:4-5,8) On Pentecost that promise was fulfilled, and for the first time mankind were filled with this Spirit of power and truth. The tremendous significance of Pentecost is that now that Spirit is available to all who ask; all who obey God. (Acts 5:32) That is the Spirit of Pentecost. In this way God can speak to us.
Read more about Pentecost here
The Spirit of Pentecost: the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit. Many people think about the Holy Spirit in terms of miracle healings, or gifts that He can give, and indeed, the Holy Spirit is also able to do these things in our days. Nevertheless, the clear insight God’s Word can give about the work the Holy Spirit does in the everyday lives of Christians in the 21st century is so much more important.
That which dwells in man
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God …?” asks the Apostle Paul in the letter he wrote to the Christians in ancient Corinth. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Since the day of Pentecost our physical bodies are the temples where the Holy Spirit dwells. He would like to make all the decisions for our lives. The Bible also teaches us that there are other forces that dwell in our bodies—wickedness, bitterness, discouragement and uncleanness. These powers are stronger than us. Therefore, it is obvious that we as Christians cannot just do whatever we feel like doing. We cannot just “take life as it comes” even though we may have had experiences with the Holy Spirit.
The daily inner battle
Since the Holy Spirit dwells in us simultaneously with these sinful forces, it is necessary everyday to take up a battle and make inner choices. This is what it means to live in the Spirit of Pentecost. Paul calls these sinful forces “lusts of the flesh,” in Galatians 5, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the . For the flesh against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another…” (Verses 16,17)
If you are honest with yourself, you know where the lusts of the flesh lead. The Holy Spirit greatly desires that we never give in to the evil powers of sin that dwell in us. The Holy Spirit is like a teacher who teaches us the truth, and teaches us to do what is pleasing to God. Paul therefore continues by saying, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also .”
means that we in our everyday life make use of the power that dwells in the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, walking in the Spirit means that we use that power to destroy the evil that dwells in our flesh and choose to do God’s will. (Galatians 5) The most wonderful thing is that when we walk in the Spirit, glorious fruits grow in our inner man—fruits of the Spirit such as joy, peace, love, and faithfulness.
The Spirit of Pentecost is just as alive today as it was on the Day of Pentecost all those years ago. May you and I, in the 21st century, be people in whom the Holy Spirit can do the work that He longs to do.
Read more about the Holy Spirit by the same author:
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.