The Significance Of Pentecost And The Holy Spirit

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James D G Dunn notes:
“The epochal significance of Pentecost raises the whole course of salvation-history to a new plane ….In one sense, therefore, Pentecost can never be repeated - for the new age is here and cannot be ushered in again. But in another sense Pentecost, or rather the experience of Pentecost, can and must be repeated in the experience of all who would become Christians.”

Dunn is effectively saying that in order to witness for Jesus Christ today, just as the disciples needed the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, so we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit for our effective witness for Jesus. Just as Jesus Christ went about his ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit, it was by the same Spirit that was given
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Jesus promises His disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit, as a parting gift before his final ascension to His Father, (Acts 1: 8). The Holy Spirit could be looked on as a replacement for Jesus Christ in the world and is mentioned forty-two times in the book of Acts. Jesus had to finish His work and be crucified in order that the Holy Spirit could come and bring its power. In Acts 1: 3-5 the community are told to remain in the city for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Luke in Acts shows that the Holy Spirit is the guide for church mission work as the Spirit is the fulfilment of what Christ did. The sheer power of the Holy Spirit is demonstrated in the gift of tongues in order that the whole community could understand the gospel message in a language that they understood, (Acts 2: 4-12).¬¬ Peter tells those gathered that what they “see and hear” is “the promise of the Holy Spirit” given to them by Christ (Acts 2: 33). Mission to the world is started by the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and Peter’s sermon is that powerful that those listening to him were “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37). Throughout the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit is seen in …show more content…
The Holy Spirit is poured out on a Gentile and his family and Peter says that the Holy Spirit told him to go to Cornelius, and “not to make a distinction between them and us.” (Acts 11: 12). There are many historical events recorded in the book of Acts which shows the Holy Spirit at work. Peter, John, Stephen and Philip are just some of the disciples who preached the gospel by the power of the Spirit. Pentecost could be seen as the time that the church began, the gospel began to spread to the world, first with the three thousand converted on that day. The Holy Spirit, leads Paul out on his first mission - “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them’.” (Acts 13: 2). They returned to say that God “opened a door of faith for the Gentiles.” (Acts 14: 27). The power of the Holy Spirit broke through obstacles and enabled Paul to preach to all kinds of people. The author, controller and energiser of the church is undoubtedly the Holy Spirit and mission was started by the Spirit and not early church leaders. The apostles just did what they were told by Jesus and waited for the coming of the Holy

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