But when the Father sends the Counselor as My representative–and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit–He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I Myself have told you. –John 14:26 (NLT)
Jesus Christ was an amazing example for the disciples to follow as they learned how to be on mission to tell the world about the grace and love of Jesus Christ. As Jesus ascended into heaven, He told the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit to come over them because Jesus knew that the Spirit would serve as a guide and a teacher in His physical absence.
During the Jewish feast of Pentecost, the disciples got what they were waiting for. The Holy Spirit, the presence of God Himself, took up residence inside ordinary bodies – their bodies. The disciples immediately hit the streets with a bold new style that the world has never recovered from.
Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Within days, everyone in Jerusalem was talking about these followers of Jesus. Although Jesus was no longer physically present among them, now there were many “little Christs” making the same kind of impact that Jesus made. Clearly, something supernatural was happening. To the amazement of the disciples, people from all over the world were hearing their message in their native tongues.
Peter, the coward apostle who denied Christ three times to save his own neck, shamelessly took on both Jewish and Roman authorities declaring that Jesus is the Messiah and the fulfillment of the Jew’s long-awaited dream. Three thousand people responded to Peter’s inspired message on that first day (v. 41), and this event birthed the Christian church.
Beginning with this high-spirited scene in Jerusalem, Luke continues to record a historical, adventurous tale. The group of new believers would not stop growing. Just as Jesus had proclaimed, the message spread throughout Judea and Samaria and in less than one generation penetrated into Rome. In an era when religions were a dime a dozen, the Christian faith became a worldwide phenomenon. This entire movement all began on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit entered the lives of Christ’s followers.
If you are a Christian, then you too have the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of you. This same power that used sinners like Peter to draw thousands to Christ also empowers you.
The Spirit of God empowers Christians for service (Ac. 13:2), empowers prayer (Ro. 8:26), gives spiritual gifts (1 Co. 12:7), teaches (Jn. 14:26), and helps us to understand the depths of God (1 Co. 2:10). We have the Good News, we have the power of the Spirit aiding and leading us, and we each have spiritual gifts.
There is nothing else you need; you are fully equipped to be on mission for Christ, both in the work place and around the world.
You may feel inadequate and not comfortable sharing you faith, but the Spirit of God in your life is adequate.
The Holy Spirit worked through the life of Peter, and He is eager to work through your life to build His Kingdom; don’t sit on the power He has given you. You have “received the power,” you have been given the purpose of the power, “you shall be my witnesses,” and God has surrounded you with people He wants you to reach. So, don’t hold anything back.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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