“I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one comes to the Father
except through Me”
Pastors Noreen & Henry Kevern
Fire From The Holy Spirit
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at My saying, ‘You must be born again’.” John 3:5-6
It’s interesting to note that Pentecost is one of the 3 major Jewish feasts that is also known as the Feast of Weeks, or shavuot, in Hebrew. When celebrating this feast, the focus is on remembering God giving the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19 – 40). It is also know as the Feast of Harvest, representing the first fruits including redeeming the first-born son and male livestock (Exodus 23:16). The name, Pentecost, comes from 7 weeks and 1 day that is counted from Passover to the feast to determine Pentecost. In New Testament, the Greek word, Pentekostos, means fiftieth (Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words). When reading about the first Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 1:15) we see God pouring out His Spirit on 120 believers. Pentecost is not just reflecting on the Law, but also on accepting the Holy Spirit so that we can keep the spiritual intent that the Law represents to us.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1-4). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is set free by our surrender to God. The Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of God. The Holy Spirit enables us to see His Law spiritually, as the Spirit infuses in us a heart that fears the Lord. God knows our human weakness and laments of this: “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commands that it might be well with them and with their children forever! (Deuteronomy 5:29)
God knows that we have a problem with our hearts. We think, feel and live with our hearts but we have no control: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Knowledge of God’s Law, academically, does not make our actions, our words, and our whole beings able to follow God’s Law. The only way that we are able to do so is by surrendering and letting God’s Spirit be in us. God’s Spirit is set free and His will is lived through us. But the problem with humans is that we don’t like the word, “obey” and we fear that surrender means loss of control but that is false. For even when we surrender, we still have to control our human nature, our inability to stop sinning. The acceptance of the Holy Spirit gives us that ability. The Law then is not hard but easy to follow. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to not only see right from wrong but to be righteous.
God is love and He demonstrates His love for us daily. Only when we have been reborn with God’s Spirit do we understand what love is. As we read earlier in John 3:5-6, Jesus tell us that the Spirit gives birth to spirit. We are to be reborn of water and Spirit. Water washes us clean of sin and the Spirit fills us with God. But through God’s love, through God’s Spirit living within we become closer to what God wants us to be. We have the Spirit in us and are reborn. When the Holy Spirit came down on those 120 believers, He filled them with a fire to preach the News of Jesus. Peter stood up, (remember, here was a man who deserted Jesus on the night He was betrayed and still Jesus never changed His mind that Peter was to lead, to show that even though one may fail God one can repent and become the strength, the person whom through God can build His church. Each of us is given that ability when we accept Jesus as our Savior and LORD so that as disciples of Christ we become the church and give our testimony of faith. We are to lead others to Christ and so that in our weakness we are made strong with the Holy Spirit indwelling in us) and began converting people with his testimony about Jesus. He stood up and said: “this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel, ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour My Spirit on all people, your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men with see visions, your old men dreams. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My spirit in those days and they will prophesy…And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:16-21). He proclaimed Jesus’ story, His miracles, wonders and signs, His life, His death and resurrection, His ascension and the promised Holy Spirit. Peter was filled with God’s Spirit, no longer afraid, building the church right there and then. The Holy Spirit set free in Peter, his gift, to use for the glory of God. Because Peter was so filled and proclaimed with such confidence, about 3000 people accepted his message: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39).
Being reborn in the Spirit fills us with the ability to be all that we are to be in the Lord. The Spirit is God, in us. As humans, we receive our faith by allowing God’s Spirit to inflame us with God’s will. We become like Peter, bold, proclaiming the Good News to all those around us. We live our lives accepting God’s will in our lives, losing our old ways of sin and learning the way of the Lord. We burn with God’s desire, and find ourselves living a new life in Christ. Being reborn in the Spirit offers me a life of knowing God and being filled in the knowledge that God’s love shines in me. “I no longer live, but Christ lives within me (Galatians 2:20). I am on fire for God, living, loving, laughing, learning and accepting God’s will in my life. In Him, through Him, with God’s Spirit within me, I grow deeper in love with God. I am happy knowing where I am going. Is God’s fire burning in you?