Fully Equipped for God’s Service
In this sermon for Pentecost Sunday we are challenged to ensure our service for God is plugged into the power of the Holy Spirit.
We Need Power to Fight Spiritual Battles
Ephesians 6:12 NIV
12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
We need divine power. We need Holy Spirit power in order to be fully equipped for his service.
Jesus taken up into heaven
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptised with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptised with[b] the Holy Spirit.’
6 Then they gathered round him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’
7 He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’
The Promised Power is Provided
Acts 1:8 NEB
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will bear witness for me in Jerusalem, and all over Judaea and Samaria, and away to the ends of the earth.’
This is Jesus’ last recorded statement to his followers. It is therefore of the utmost importance. The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ spiritual presence amongst humanity. His power and presence is something God had been promising for thousands of years:
Isaiah 44:3 NEB
for I will pour down rain on a thirsty land, showers on the dry ground. I will pour out my spirit on your offspring and my blessing on your children.
Ezekiel 36:26–27 NEB
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit into you and make you conform to my statutes, keep my laws and live by them.
Joel 2:28–29 NEB
Thereafter the day shall come when I will pour out my spirit on all mankind; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams and your young men see visions; I will pour out my spirit in those days even upon slaves and slave-girls.
Holy Spirit Power is not ...
Acts 1:6 NEB
So, when they were all together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you are to establish once again the sovereignty of Israel?’
But the poor disciples still didn’t quite get it. They were still thinking of God’s kingdom in terms of earthly power.
Acts 3:6 NIV
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Acts 4:13 NIV
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
But Holy Spirit Power is ...
Holy Spirit power is the working of Jesus’ spirit in hearts that are fully given over to him.
Are You Plugged in to the Holy Spirit’s Power?
Acts 19:2 NEB
he said, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’
This sermon for Pentecost Sunday reminds us the worst thing you can do is try to do God’s service without the power of the Holy Spirit. So whoever we are, and whatever we do for God, let’s ensure our greatest desire is to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that our service will spring from his power and not our own.
If you found this podcast sermon for Pentecost Sunday helpful, would you please do something for me?
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