Last Sunday was supposed to be “Pentecost Sunday” in which some churches mark the celebration of the pouring out of God’s Spirit on the first-century church as recorded in Acts Chapter 2. We don’t have a tradition of marking this particular day in our church calendar but I would like to share with you my thoughts on this, centered on the question: what should the purpose of Pentecost Sunday be for us? To say it simply, what does it mean to us and what are we to do about it?
Let us first recognize that when God poured His Spirit on believers He does so in order that His very life, breath and energy may live in every believer! John the Baptist prophesied this when he said that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Jesus confirmed this prophecy with the promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. And after His resurrection He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Father’s promise.
That promise was fulfilled in their lifetime. The Spirit was poured on them fifty days after Jesus’ resurrection.
Now, let me answer the “Now what?” question.
Now, Jesus invites – nay – enjoins (much stronger than invites) us to “abide” in Him in order to be fruitful. The word abide means “remain”, “endure”, “continue”, or “dwell." In other words, Christ is to be our everything. When we abide in Him – fully and truly – the Scriptures tell us that it will make a great difference in our lives in the here and now.
Some things naturally flow from this. For example, 1 John 2:6 tells us that whoever abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 3:6 further adds that believers who abide in Him do not keep sinning but is walking in the light and will manifest love for the brethren (1 John 2:10).
The bottom line to all this is: You cannot abide in Christ without making an effort to be like Christ. You must!
In Christ's discourse on the vine and the branches (John 15:1-16) are several wonderful promises to the Christian. “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit" (v. 5). “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (v. 7). “These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain (“abide”) in you, and that your joy might be full" (v. 11). “I have chosen you … that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain" (v. 16).
Do you abide in Him and He in you?
You know that you can, because He has given you the Spirit (1 John 4:13).
Pastor Robert Chew