Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Tess Quek, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 23 June 2019.
Empowered For The Expansion Of The Kingdom Of God
Pentecost is a Christian Holy Day which is celebrated 7 weeks after Easter Sunday to commemorate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ. (The calculation of 50 days from the Easter includes Easter and 49 days)
Acts chapter 2 was the first Pentecost that took place in Jerusalem, as promised by the LORD JESUS Christ to wait upon the fulfillment of GOD. The Holy Spirit came at the day of the Pentecost.
In the Jewish tradition the 50th day is also known as the Festival of weeks the actual mention of 50 days comes from Deuteronomy 16:10 The feast of Pentecost coincided with the Jewish Feast of Weeks.
Passover - is a major festival commemorating the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.
Shavuot (festival of weeks or also known as Festival of First fruits) - which marks the time when the Jews were given the Torah on Mt. Sinai, occurs 50 days after Passover.
Sukkot (Harvest Festival)- which marks the 40 years which the Israelites were wandering in the desert. These Jewish festivals took place at the same time of the Pentecost.
Acts 2:1-13 The believers experience the manifestation of the Holy Spirit like a rushing mighty wind on the Day of Pentecost, it filled the house where they were sitting followed by tongues of fire. And there were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. There must be unity for the presence of the Holy Spirit.
The promise of God was fulfilled when the believers recognized that they were empty and they gathered in obedience with the same heart, the same trust in God’s promises and the same love for God. We need to desire the will of God daily and seek His heart before we are able to obey God. Proclaim the LORDSHIP of the Lord Jesus Christ without fail over our life for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to empower us to do great things for the LORD. Surrender our life fully like Jesus Christ yields Himself to the Father God.
When we are filled with the Holy Spirit there are 2 possible reactions of the people around us: The crowd may be amazed by the proof the Holy Spirit’s presence like the group of people at the festival when they heard the disciples spoke in their language. They were amazed and perplexed as they heard the disciples declaring the owners of God in their own language. Some however, made fun of them, there are others mocking and thought the disciples were drunk and full of wine.
The empowerment of the Holy Spirit is for us to witness about the love of Christ; holy boldness like how Peter addressed the crowd as God’s mouthpiece. Peter revealed the heart of the Father to the crowd by declaring that God has made this Jesus whom they had crucified, both LORD and MESSIAH. (Acts 2:36)
Peter was led to preach the word of God and the powerful Holy Spirit God ministered to the crowd and enlightened their spiritual eyes, they were convicted and pierced in their hearts.
When the people heard the truth, they were cut to the heart and about 3000 were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:37)
We have the same empowerment of the Holy Spirit like the disciples. Are we ready for be the vessels of Christ to bring one more person for Jesus? We need to be humble before the LORD before the Holy Spirit can anoint us with His power to be used as His instrument of glory.
The great commission is for all of us (Matthew 28:18-20) and not just for pastors or evangelists. Within us as believers, there is rivers of living water (refers to the Holy Spirit). We need to open our mouth to speak and share about Jesus. Holy Spirit will give us with wisdom to share as we avail ourselves to be God’s vessel to bring the good news. God wants to do great things through us and that empowerment has already been given to us.
Today is an awakening time for us for the world is getting darker and it’s heading to destruction. What are we doing with the Holy Spirit that God has given to us? Pentecost is a time for Christians to reflect on the role of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our own life. Pray, care and share Jesus to the people around us, to our circle of influence. We should not depend by might nor by power but by the Spirit of the Lord. Let us imparts our faith to others. Let us bring the light of Christ, sharing His unending love and His amazing grace to the world.