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Posts from 2021-05-23

Pentecost 2021

Having been a regular visitor to a Pentecostal church for 11 years, when I was part of their music-band, Pentecost was their most important festival, more than Easter or Christmas.

There is some truth in that, of course, because without Pentecost we wouldn’t have a church. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit marked the beginning of the Church. 

It was at Pentecost that a small group of fearful witnesses to what all what happened to Jesus Christ, transformed into a large gathering of Christians who with boldness proclaimed the Gospel to all around them. It says in Acts that they heard them all speaking in their own language, so even those who had no interest in listening to the Gospel, could not avoid hearing the Word of God preached to them.

The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. These words of Paul leads us into 2 observations:

In the first place it indicates that there was no need for a temple anymore like the temple in Jerusalem. When Paul wrote these words the temple in Jerusalem was still standing strong. Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians 20 years or more before this temple was destroyed by the Romans. Paul died under the hands of Nero and Nero committed suicide in 68AD, while the temple was destroyed in 70AD, so surely the temple was still there when Paul wrote these words down.

Secondly was the role of the temple. The temple was the House of God in Jerusalem and all people who believed in God came at least once a year to the temple to meet God in His house and make sacrifices for the cleansing of their sins. Paul knew that this was no longer necessary through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The ministry of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice of Himself on the cross did away with the function of the temple as the house of God. Paul goes even further by saying that all who believe in Christ have becomes temples of God, by the Holy Spirit living in them.

In the past people had to go to the House of  God, but now God’s House comes to the people in the form of you and me. 

When Looking to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is Acts 2, it shows us how the Holy Spirit had an effect on all the people and not only on the leaders or a chosen few. And Besides, all who heard the disciples speaking, heard them in a language they all understood.

There is no Temple, as the House of God needed anymore, where people have to go to meet God, because God is meeting the people through us. We have become the heralds of the gospel in what we say and do.

But, in all this, it is encouraging to know that the Holy Spirit will help and guide us in performing our task. If needed we can expect the same boldness to speak and live the Good News in the same way as the first disciples did, through the Holy Spirit. And like with the first disciples, everybody around us will hear and see, whether they search for the Gospel or not. Perhaps that is the greatest part of the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, the Light of Christ living in all who believe in Him, will shine to each and everyone in words and actions everybody can understand.

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