So this weekend we celebrate Pentecost. 50 days after Easter, the Holy Spirit was given to us, this time to stay.
Before Jesus ascended back to Heaven (10 days before Pentecost) he told the disciples
Acts 1:8 (MSG)
What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
The disciples had spent three years with Jesus. They had seen him calm the storm, feed thousands, heal the sick, cleanse lepers and even raise the dead, and yet they were still not able to be his witnesses without the power of the Holy Spirit.
The trouble with witnesses, is how do you know they are telling the truth?
In Mark 2, we see the story of a paralytic man that was let down through a roof by his friends so that Jesus could heal him. Jesus looks at the guy and tells him his sins are forgiven. The religious folk standing there say in their hearts “Who does he think he is forgiving sins! Only God can do that!”
Jesus perceives their thoughts and responds this way:
… “Why are you being so skeptical? Which is easier, to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are now forgiven,’ or, ‘Stand up and walk!’? But to convince you that the Son of Man has been given authority to forgive sins, I say to this man, ‘Stand up, pick up your stretcher, and walk home.’” Immediately the man sprang to his feet in front of everyone and left for home.”
Mark 2:8-12 (Passion Translation NT)
Jesus said that the miraculous basically backed up his message! That’s one of the things that the Holy Spirit does in our lives. In Mark, just before Jesus heads up to Heaven, he gives the great commission to us as believers:
And he said to them, “As you go into all the world, preach openly the wonderful news of the gospel to the entire human race! Whoever believes the good news and is baptized will be saved, and whoever does not believe the good news will be condemned. And these miracle signs will accompany those who believe: They will drive out demons in the power of my name. They will speak in tongues. They will be supernaturally protected from snakes and from drinking anything poisonous. And they will lay hands on the sick and heal them.”Mark 16:15-18 (Passion Translation NT)
First preach the gospel and the signs and wonders will follow and back up the message that you’ve preached, proving that what you’ve said is true.
We cannot live a Christian life without the power of the Holy Spirit. We can be saved, but we can never demonstrate the truth of the Gospel in our own strength, no matter how enticing our words are. Paul puts it this way:
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (KJV) And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Even Jesus did not begin ministry until he been empowered by the Holy Spirit. If you haven’t received the Holy Spirit yet, don’t delay!! Without power, it’s just you! If you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, then daily tap into the power to walk in miracles, faith, speaking in tongues, healings and all the other wonderful gifts He bring to your life.