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October 13, 2017

The Power of Pentecost

by Mark Fulmer

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and restedOr And tongues as of fire appeared to them, distributed among them, and rested on each one of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:1-4 (https://pcpc.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=eba67192d3a27da52e93fefb8&id=b3b0885308&e=82a9a8f891)

It wasn’t even a complete sentence. Just a phrase, it would have been easy to miss. Who could blame them? In the last two months, they had shown up in Jerusalem at festival time, and the whole city turned out to meet them. But palm branches and the adoring shouts of Hosanna had given way to venomous cries for crucifixion. And in a kangaroo court in the middle of the night, their master had been condemned by his own people. Rome reluctantly complied. Keeping the peace was well worth the trouble of an afternoon execution of one innocent man.

Then for forty days, He kept showing up—alive! They had heard it from the women first, then seen it with their own eyes. Jesus had been raised from the dead. And He did what He had been doing from the beginning. He met with them, and He taught them about the Kingdom of God. Now it was time for Him to go.

That’s when He said it. Wedged between the commandment to stay put and the prophesy of their future witness, Jesus told them, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”

And they were waiting. Together. Then suddenly, the Holy Spirit rushed in. The power had come, and it was impossible to ignore. Luke tells us of the Spirit’s arrival in a few short sentences packed with truth for all of those who believe in the Lord Jesus.

Holy Spirit power was received by the believers. They didn’t engender it in themselves or think up something new. It was a gift of grace from God Almighty.

Holy Spirit power was undeniably demonstrated. The power was audible and visible. This was not a moment of God’s “still small voice,” but a moment of God’s creative and resurrecting power making dead souls alive!

Holy Spirit power was observed. People from all over the world saw the change. The believers were different. They were empowered to continue the mission of Christ. They had become the church. The power of Pentecost had been poured out.

Dear friends, the same thing happens to us when our souls are made alive by Jesus. We receive His Spirit in us, by grace alone. And it changes us. That change is demonstrated in ways that can be seen and heard. And a watching world notices. The Spirit of God in us is observed by a world that desperately needs to see Jesus.

“Let all the house of Israel know for certain the God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified”(Acts 2:36).

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About the Author

Mark Fulmer
Elder
Park Cities Presbyterian Church

Mark Fulmer is an elder at Park Cities Presbyterian Church, and along with Steve Vanderhill, teaches the New Creations Sunday School class.

 

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God's Holy Fire from Heartlight

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  • Delight of the Father's Life

    The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God's Spirit — it looked like a dove — descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: "This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life."

    Matthew 3:16-17 MESSAGE

    Key Thought

    This moment is one of incredible holiness and transcendence. The Father looks down and delights in the Son. The Spirit descends from the Father to rest on and in the Son (Luke 4:1). The Father's words are crucial for Jesus as he prepares to battle the evil one in the wilderness as he is tempted after fasting for 40 days (Matthew 4:1-11). As incredible as Jesus' baptism is, we also share in this moment of God's assurance at our baptism. We are baptized in the name and by the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20) and receive the Spirit to live in us (Acts 2:38-39). We also share with the Son in his death, burial, and resurrection for us (Romans 6:3-6). The Holy Spirit works the miraculous in us (1 Corinthians 6:11) as we are reborn (John 3:3-7) by our faith in God, who raised Jesus from the dead (Colossians 2:12; Titus 3:3-7). We are born from above through the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit (John 1:12; John 3:3-6). By faith, we also know just what God thinks about us: We are his children, chosen and marked by his love, the delight of his life!

    Today's Prayer

    O Father, thank you! Thank you for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I believe he died for my sins and was raised so I could be made perfect and righteous in your sight. Thank you for the cleansing and transforming work of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for the example of Jesus, who though perfect and not in need of repentance or baptism, was baptized anyway to fulfill all righteousness. And thank you, dear Father, for your words to Jesus when he was baptized. Through them, I know that my baptism brought you joy and delight. I thank you for these gifts, in Jesus' name. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

  • With Fire!

    [John the Baptizer:] "I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am — so much greater that I'm not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."

    Matthew 3:11 NLT

    Key Thought

    There are two sides to baptism: (1) what happens to the one being baptized based on that person's intentions, and (2) what Jesus does through the Holy Spirit. While our intentions in being baptized are important, the work of Jesus in pouring out the Spirit on us to cleanse us and to live inside us is what allows us to accomplish our intended transformation (Titus 3:3-7; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18). John the Baptizer had great power as a preacher to convict people of sin, call them to repentance, and point them to Jesus. Each of these is crucial in the lives of all people intentionally preparing their hearts for Jesus. John had incredible gifts, but only Jesus can baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Only Jesus can cleanse us through the Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:11) and then come and make his home in us through the Spirit (John 14:19-23). The greatest of preachers is not worthy of carrying the sandals of the Messiah, Jesus, the Son of God; he is the only one capable of baptizing with the Holy Spirit and fire.

    Today's Prayer

    Righteous Father, your holiness is unattainable. But you have given it to us through the gracious gift of your Son on the cross and the cleansing, empowering, indwelling, and transforming gift of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus, we praise you almighty God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.