The Greatest Promise
Updated: May 24, 2018
John 14:15-18 ...Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit...15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
2 Things that matter today- this Sunday as we celebrate the Day of Pentecost:
1. The Holy Spirit
2. Pentecost- season of his divine manifestation note NOT visitation- anniversaries are commemorated for a reason- that time becomes significant and of great importance
The Holy Spirit and Pentecost, the season of God’s divine manifestation, are significant to Christians. The day of Pentecost occurred 50 days after the resurrection and ascension of Christ into glory, in His new glorified body.
For us to thoroughly understand the purpose and significance of this Day of Pentecost, we must grasp the notion of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead; He is God on Earth. He is Lord in the Church; He is omniscient and omnipresent. The Holy Spirit’s presence on Earth is the fulfillment of the promise of God. In John 7:37-39 we are introduced to God’s greatest promise. “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this, he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” God's greatest promise was to send the Holy Spirit to live in and abide with us forever to ensure our continuous victory.
The Holy Spirit's first work is to reveal Jesus Christ; He is the indwelling Christ. Our minds are limited to experiential knowledge. Christ is the only way to know and possess the fullness of God. The workings of the Holy Spirit allow us to understand the nature of God through Jesus Christ. Bible says in Genesis 6:3, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh…” The human flesh battles the spirit; there is a constant struggle between the flesh and the spirit. The Holy Spirit quickens us and connects us with the Spirit of God. This is further emphasized when Jesus says that God is spirit and all who worship must do it in spirit and truth, John 4:24. It thus becomes patent that the coming of the Holy spirit was imperative and pivotal to God’s plan for humankind.
So, the narrative of the Day of Pentecost is significant. Acts 2:1-4, “and when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”.
God is a master planner; detailed and meticulous. The coming of the Christ was the cornerstone of God’s masterplan. Jesus fulfilled the purpose and became the Christ. He determined to die so that the limitation of the Word -Christ being trapped in the body of a man would not limit his disciples. Before his death, Jesus promised the disciples that the Christ would one day not be limited and trapped in one man but would be shared abroad in all men – who believed in him and they would manifest God’s glory. In John 10:10 states that He has come that they might have life and have it more abundantly. That abundant life is contained in the manifestation of the Christ- birthed in believers via the Holy Spirit i.e. the indwelling Christ, completing the work of our salvation in daily triumph over a sinful world.
We must note also that the coming of the Holy Spirit was thus the culmination of God’s eternal plan. The amazing event of Pentecost marked the birthing of the church; his eternal vehicle for manifesting that plan. Through the church, all who believe are given this life-giving and life-sustaining gift that ensures a victorious walk in righteousness. In 1 Corinthians 16:8, Paul recognizes the importance of the season of Pentecost and the empowering grace imparted by the Holy Spirit to overcome all adversity. He reveals the need to know when the Holy Spirit’s transforming power is about to break out and break forth in a believer’s life. Scriptures tell us Paul tarried in Ephesus until Pentecost. Ephesus as illustrated in Revelations 2:1-7, was a very prosperous city with a hitherto thriving church that had now backslidden. It was the first of the churches that needed to overcome sin. Despite the hardships Paul encountered in Ephesus, he remained there awaiting the season of Pentecost. Despite his challenges, Paul remained because as 1 Corinthians. 16: 9 states, “a great door and effectual was opened unto him, but there were many adversaries. Despite the challenges, opposition, pain, and affliction, we encounter, like Paul, may we remain in Ephesus because we have the assurance that Pentecost will surely come.
Pentecost is a necessary commemoration and reminder of the power of overcoming sin, evil and the world. It is the birthplace of the fullness of a promise that we are surely overcomers and must receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit to become effective exponents and witnesses of the Kingdom to which we are called.