June 5 Sermon Resource

Pentecost: Rejoice in the Lord

Acts 2:1-21; Philippians 4:4-7

Accompanying Text: John 14:16-17


“The eloquence of Peter and the spectacle of the fiery tongues that arrested the attention of bystanders at Pentecost continues to capture the imagination of believers. Many cry out for the similar evidence of the poured-out Spirit today. Too often, however, they bypass Christ by failing to remember that the Spirit’s descent was at the behest of the ascended Christ. Peter explained: ‘Exalted to the right hand of God, he received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear’ (Acts 2:33).

The ascended Christ was and continues to be the source of the Holy Spirit with all his fruits, graces and gifts. Even Pentecost, the most dramatic of the Spirit’s appearances, focused on Christ, about whom Peter declared, ‘God has made this Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ’ (Acts 2:36). Think about it! The Holy Spirit directed Luke, the author of the book of Acts, to record that Pentecost, the most Spirit-anointed event in church history, was a Christ-centred event.

The New Testament consistently maintains this balance. Paul wrote that the measure of grace, in the form of the gifts of the Spirit, which each of us receives is due to a decision of Christ: ‘To each one of us grace has been given as Christ has apportioned it’ (Ephesians 4:7). ‘When he ascended on high…and gave gifts to men,’ the Son of God poured out undeserved tokens of his love in the forms of spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4:8). Believers receive their gift or gifts from the seated Christ. Christ is the gift-giver while the Holy Spirit is the gift-bearer.” [1]

“The miracle of Pentecost demonstrates the astonishing diversity of Christian community that has its concrete historical and cultural reality in peoples as numerous as the grains of the sand on a beach, each speaking their own tongues (a metaphor for their historical and cultural diversity) yet hearing and understanding in their own tongues the joyful good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ” [2]

Thoughts re application today

“While ruling in heaven, through the Holy Spirit he is able to be able to be with us on earth.  Jesus described the Holy Spirit as our ‘advocate’ or in some translations, ‘comforter’ and ‘helper’.  The Greek word is parakletos, which means one who ‘stands beside’ (as a lawyer defending you) or ‘walks alongside’ (as a friend).  The Spirit is not an impersonal force like Star Wars’ or magic power like Harry Potter’s.  The Holy Spirit brings the personal presence of Jesus to his people”. [3]

“We may think longingly of the Day of Pentecost when 3,000 responded to Peter’s message. He probably didn’t have to prepare the sermon! Normally, however, to reach non-Christians, God uses Christians who have already established a friendly relationship with them over a period of time. Instead of encouraging us perpetually to seek some shortcut to sanctification and effectiveness, God purposes that we apply the normal means he has provided for us in every area of life.” [4]

“After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ came Pentecost, and the church, the new people of God, was born. The resurrected Christ sends his disciples into the world with the giving of the Great Commission and the sending of the Holy Spirit…the church today continues on this trajectory of mission”. [5]

“The six christological salvific events may never be viewed in isolation from one another. In our mission, we proclaim the incarnate, crucified, resurrected, ascended Christ, present among us in the Spirit and taking us into his future as ‘captives in his triumphal procession’ (2 Corinthians 4:14, NEB). Each of these events impinges on all the others. Unless we hold onto this, we will communicate to the world a truncated gospel”. [6]


Some other Scripture Resources

  • Philippians 1:6
  • Hebrews 12:7
  • Galatians 5:13-25

GCI resources

Footnotes and references

  1. Eric Wright, Church — No Spectator Sport: a theological and practical journey of discovery in search of spiritual gifts, published in the UK by EVANGELICAL PRESS in 1994:50-51.
  2. Michael Jinkins, Invitation to Theology, IVP, USA, 2001:215.
  3. Andrew Ollerton, The Bible: A Story that makes Sense of Life, Hodder & Stoughton, UK, 2020, 2021:222.
  4. Eric Wright, Church — No Spectator Sport: a theological and practical journey of discovery in search of spiritual gifts, published in the UK by EVANGELICAL PRESS in 1994:50-51.
  5. Craig Ott, Timothy Strauss with Timothy C Tennent, Encountering Theology of Mission published by Baker Academic, USA, in 2010:73. 
  6. David J Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, published in the US by Orbis Books in 1991:518.
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