This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:32-33 NKJV)
The coming of the Holy Spirit upon the church on the day of the Pentecost was the logical conclusion of our Lord’s earthly ministry. It was on that day that He formally handed the baton to the Holy Spirit to continue His work in us, with us and through us. We can also understand Pentecost as our Lord’s inauguration of the church for her earthly ministry as His witness “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NKJV). Our Lord had earlier hinted His disciples that the Holy Spirit would come and take His place when He goes back to the Father.
If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:15-18 NKJV)
Let me highlight some of the key points in this passage. First, the Holy Spirit is given to those who love God and demonstrate that love through obedience to His commandments. To experience an increasing presence and power of the Holy Spirit in your life, you must live in obedience to God. Second, the Holy Spirit is given in answer to the prayer of Jesus to His Father. God is still answering this prayer till today. Third, the Holy Spirit is coming to us as “another Helper.” This phrase requires an elaboration in order to appreciate its import better. The Greek word translated “Helper” in this verse, also signifies a Comforter, an Advocate, a Defender of a cause, a Counsellor, a Patron, a Mediator, and a Friend. Jesus had been all of these to His disciples while He was on earth with them. Hence, He described the Holy Spirit as “another” divine person who would be all of those to us when He comes.
Fourth, the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth. This means that as Jesus, He is the embodiment of truth, and therefore, a teacher of truth, a revealer of truth, and a defender of truth. At no other time in history does the church need the Spirit of truth than she does now. Our Lord promised, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:12-13 NKJV). As we learn to pay more and more attention to the Holy Spirit, we will overcome the current crisis of truth that seems to engulf the church worldwide. Only by the ministry of the Holy Spirit can we reverse the popular verse by James Russell Lowell, “Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne.” Only as we listen to the Holy Spirit and speak in His power and authority can we dethrone wrong in the heart of so many today.
Fifth, the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit because it does not know Him and cannot see Him. When He came on the day of Pentecost, the world described those that received Him as drunkards. To this wrong accusation, Peter objected and explained in our text that what the people were seeing and hearing was the fulfilment of the promise of our Lord –the coming of the Comforter. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is a testimony that Jesus was back on His throne at the right hand of the Father in heaven.
As we commemorate that initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit today, we expect that God will, as He has done throughout history, renew His work in our days and grant us a new Pentecost.
We attract a new outpouring as we exalt Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to exalt Jesus and whenever we focus on exalting Jesus, we prepare the platform for a new visitation from Him. As we enjoy the season of the Pentecost, let us pray that God will so fill us with His Spirit that people around us will both see His works and hear His words from us in Jesus’ Name.