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03 Jun 2017
The Power, Promise and Purpose of Pentecost
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26 Apr 2017
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Pentecost

03 Jun 2014

Acts 2:1-/John 14:15-                                     Pentecost.
 
Having journeyed for the last few weeks by being, as it were a guest in the upper room with Jesus and His disciples; (John 14-17) we too, like them; have heard Jesus' promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit, well the day has arrived, revealing that:
 
1) What God says will come to pass, therefore He is trustworthy.
2) That He equips us for the task he calls us too. He is considerate.
3) That Christ Himself has ascended but we have not been left alone, for His comforter and counsellor abide – paracletos. He is compassionate.
 
Having personally received the promised baptism of the Holy Spirit, the apostle Peter informs his hearers to receive the same gift for themselves as well -  Acts 2:38–41. Peter, now gives away that which he himself has recieved, revealing the fundemnetal aspect of discipleship. Disciples make disciples by giving away that which  they themselves have been given. He does so by four ways:
 
Firstly, the Word of God must be heard. Peter has preached what can only be the finest sermon EVER preached, the fruit being thousands come to faith. He preached the FULL-Gospel, that is, that in God's great love plan for man, Jesus was given to earth, ministered to mankind, was brutalised, crucified, took upon Himself the sins of all mankind, was killed but raised from the dead; as prophesised by the Word of God; and is now exalted high over all as Lord over the entire universe and that forgiveness of sin and spiritual renewal can be had only from him and Him alone. The Word has been heard.
 
Secondly, the sovereign God calls everyone to himself, or they will never come. Verse 39:, "The promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, everyone to whom the Lord our God calls to him." No one comes to faith in Christ unless the Father draws him (John 6:44,65). The preached Word is heard with conviction and power only when the effectual call of God lays hold of the hearers. Mission therefore is the foundation of discipleship, as discipleship is the fruit of mission.
 
Third, we must "receive the word." Verse 41: "So those who received his word were baptized." Receiving the Word means that it becomes part of you so that you trust the Christ, The Living Word; whom it presents and represents. You trust his provision for your forgiveness. You trust his plan for your life. You trust his power to help you live the new life. And you trust his promises for your past, present and future. And that radical commitment to Christ always involves belief and repentance—a turning away from our own self-sufficiency. And when you turn to Christ for new paths and new power, you open up yourself to the person of The Holy Spirit, because it is by the Spirit that Christ guides and empowers.
 
Finally, we must give an open expression of faith in the act of water baptism in obedience to Jesus Christ. Baptism was the universal experience of all Christians in the New Testament. There were no unbaptized Christians after Pentecost. Christ had commanded it (Matthew 28:18f.) and the church practiced it. So we do today.
 
At Pentecost, The Living Trinitarian God invites all to experience the greatest thing the world cannot give, — to Repent, trust Christ, open ourselves to the power of The Holy Spirit and be baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity in order to receive "life in all its fullness" (John 10:10) as well as the necessary gifts of the Holy Spirit to exercise within that new life. Here at ASHP, we seek that this be the common case for all who seek after Jesus Christ.

Steve

 

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