Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus. It is a celebration of the beginning of the Covenant of Jesus when the Holy Spirit was to be poured out on all men as promised by the Prophet Joel. The Gospel Reading is part of a long talk Jesus gives at the Last Supper. He is giving the disciples an overview of what is going to happen following His arrest, trial and Crucifixion. He is trying to give them – and us comfort and hope by promising believers will not be left alone. The Good News is that God will send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, teacher and healer to be His presence with them – and us.
1. We, like The first Disciples need comfort
John 14 begins with the words “Do not let your hearts be troubled”. Jesus has just given them the bad news that one of them is about to betray Him and that He is about to be arrested, taken from them and killed. The Disciples were wondering what would happen to them.
- They had all heard stories of other false Messiahs who had been killed and their followers killed or disbursed
- They will see His Resurrection as a sign of divine approval.
- Resurrection confirms Jesus authenticity as a teacher
- The really good news is that God will send “another comforter” (John 14.16).
- Comforter will be a spirit from God that will live inside them and help them understand the truth of what Jesus said.
- Sign to them that they have not been abandoned by God.
- Sign that God has adopted them as His sons and daughters.
- They will inherit the same spiritual life & powers as Jesus.
2. We all need an ongoing personal experience of the divine
We are surrounded by false teachings and false prophets. We do not always know what to believe. We are all searching for religious truth.
· Holy Spirit continues the work of opening the Scriptures so we can all understand them and apply them to our lives
· Holy Spirit gives us the ongoing teachings of Jesus
· Become “Holy Spirit led” believers who know for sure
· Video “The Last Reformation” on utube shows ordinary people praying for strangers on the street – healing pain and sickness
· Includes a dramatic scene of a baptism in the ocean where spectators see the word “real” written in the cloud above
3. “...You have received the spirit of adoption...” (Romans 8.15)
Perhaps the most important thing in life is to know who you are. Many people facing a problem ask “What would Jesus do?” Another question that might help even more is “Who am I - and what would a child of God do?”
- Satan has deceived many people into forgetting who they are and what rights and authority they have inherited.
- I have memories, gifts and human authority that I have inherited from my earthly mother and father,
- I also have memories, gifts and spiritual authority that I have inherited from my Heavenly Father by adoption.
- When we make a decision to accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour and are Baptized; we are adopted as spiritual sons and daughters of God.
- We receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit as a sign from God that confirms our Baptismal Covenant.
- Does not mean that we are instantly changed into a perfect human being.
- It does mean that we now have a way to ask for and receive forgiveness and freedom from the guilt and shame in our life.
- This leads to the joy of right relationship with God.
- Adoption means that we have the authority of God behind us as His children.
- This is the same authority as Jesus had when He healed the sick and cast our demons.
- I did not believe this either - until I experienced it personally.
What Jesus promised and what we receive is not another prophet, but a spiritual presence that will live inside each believer.
- Holy Spirit, the Comforter, is a sign of who is accepted by Jesus as a believer – this is the basis of our spiritual life
- New teaching for some people – that’s what the Bible says
- Many people are not aware of the Holy Spirit living in them
- Some have just not made the connection to their conscience – the voice in their heads
- Others have not had good teaching or become so distracted and spiritually polluted that the Holy Spirit cannot live in them
- The words “in you” are important. It is an ongoing personal experience of the divine that comes more fully with prayer!